Season 7 Profile: Geneva Generals

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GM: Andy Rolling  (4th GM in team’s history)

Coach: Brent Sutter (replaced Guy Boucher after Season 6, who replaced Darryl Sutter before Season 6, who replaced Joel Quenneville after Season 3)

Last season: 17th overall, out of the playoffs

Ins and Outs (Season 6 to Season 7)

Out:  Gerhard Unterluggauer (waivers), Ondrej Pavelec ( free agent), Dany Heatley (free agent), Mike Fisher (free agent), Wojtek Wolski (free agent), Jay Bouwmeester (free agent), Jordan Leopold (retired)

In: Dustin Byfuglien (free agent), Lee Stempniak (free agent), Colton Parayko (draft), Ben Hutton (draft), Filip Gustavsson (draft)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 7)

Frederik Andersen, G; Nazem Kadri, C: Valeri Nichushkin, RW; Colton Parayko, D; Dylan Larkin, LW

3qs   

 
Three Questions

1. Luck of the Swiss? “The luck of the Irish?” Hmph. This Swiss team has had all the luck heading into Season 7. The run of good fortune started when the team jumped up in the Season 7 draft lottery, from seventh place to first, where they grabbed big defenseman Colton Parayko. Then, the luck continued in the off season – OK, money helped a lot – when they landed Dustin Byfuglien, who was one of the biggest fish in the free agent sea. General Manager Andy Rolling also convinced another defenseman, Jason Garrison, to re-sign and when Bratislava released coach Brent Sutter, Geneva scooped him up. The big defensemen, the new coach, great goaltending and more luck made a huge difference as the Generals opened the season with 7 straight victories. Geneva’s long-suffering fans really hope it continues as they hope for a return to the glory days of Season 1 when they won the President’s Trophy and the EURO Cup with Nicklas Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne and Kari Lehtonen in charge.

2. The offense needs help, right?  Geneva scored fewer goals last season than it did in any other season. They were fourth from the bottom in the league in that category and only Nazem Kadri and David Desharnais were able to get over the 50-point mark.  The addition of Byfuglien and Parayko, although they are blueliners, will help the team get more goals. They can both blast the puck and they are smart about moving it out of the defensive end. Fans hoping for more goals from the Generals will be looking at young flyers like Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin and Dylan Larkin. They have their best years ahead of them.  The remainder of the forward lines, however, are 30 and older for the most part and many are past the peaks of their careers. Theoretically, that is. If the entire team plays well, then the older guys could see stats improvements as well. The team will need to push their goals per game average to at least 3 per game and then keep the defensive average low if they want to keep the noise going for a 5 more months.

3. How good are they defensively? That’s the question everyone is asking after the Generals have kept the goals against number to 9 through 7 games of Season 7. The answer to the question is: good, but not as good as they are showing currently. There is no way goalies Frederik Andersen and Michael Hutchinson will be able to maintain their torrid save percentages of 94.8 and 97, respectively. But Andersen is a two-time league all-star and has been above 91 percent in two of his three seasons. Stamina was a concern early in his career, but that’s much less of a concern these days. He may be capable of lugging this team up the standings. The defense corps is where to focus when you look at Geneva. The additions of Byfuglien and Parayko are huge. Byfuglien has appeared in five EURO All-Star games representing three different teams. The Generals’ blueline already included Garrison, three-time all-star Dennis Wideman, Carl Gunarsson and Karel Rachunek. Wideman was on the Cup-winning team of Season 1 and the speedy Rachunek has been a fixture since Season 2. As a group, the six men all have good hockey sense and experience, excepting Parayko.  Their speed and puck handling ability is probably underrated, but if they continue their good start, more will notice. Next year, draftee Ben Hutton and prospect Brandon Carlo will be ready to step into blueline spots if Coach Sutter wants or needs them to.

History

Season   Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 6               17            77           17.5          83.8       27.05     32.67     2.61   3.02    6.61

Season 5               18             80           15.0          85.1        27.22     32.49    2.85   3.28    6.67

Season 4              18             80            15.5          83.4       26.29    32.51   2.72     3.28     9.46

Season 3              17             82             17.1         83.8       29.01    30.28    3.15    3.38     8.83

Season 2              10            96              18.9         82.8       31.94    29.30   3.39    2.99    10.68

Season 1              1               123              21.4        83.6        32.16    27.72    3.99    2.77    8.85

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Kari Lehtonen, G, current age 34. Games played: 333; Save Pct. 90.0

Season 2: none

Season 3: none

Season 4: Frederik Andersen, G, age 27. GP: 164; save pct. 91.1

Season 5: Sergei Mozyakin, C, age 24. GP 162; Pts 101; -6

Season 6: Victor Rask, C, age 22. GP 3; Pts 4; +3

Season 7: Colton Parayko, D, age 22.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 15 pick (used to draft Ryan Ellis) , Round 25 pick  (Ben Lovejoy) and 2013 Round 1 pick (Jason Krog) to Paris for Dennis Wideman

Traded Round 8 pick (Olli Jokinen), Round 10 pick (Petr Sykora) and 2013 Round 2 pick (Ryan Murray) to Dublin for Round 7 pick (Chris Kunitz), Round 22 pick (Bryan Allen) and $250,000

Traded Round 17 pick (Tomas Kopecky) and 2014 Round 1 pick (Michael Stone) to Bratislava for Round 8 pick (David Desharnais) and Round 19 pick (Greg Zanon)

Traded Round 13 pick (Marcus Kruger) and Round 14 pick (Mark Scheifele) to Athens for Round 9 pick (Nick Foligno)

Traded Alex Chiasson to Minsk for Vernon Fiddler and $1 million

Traded Brian Dumoulin to Minsk for Round 21 pick (Raffi Torres)

Traded Matt D’Agostino, 2014 Round 2 pick (Andrei Loktionov) and $250,000 to Oslo for Justin Williams

Traded 2013 Round 3 pick (Scott Glennie), 2014 Round 3 pick (Tommy Wingels) and $1.5 million to Bern for Nicklas Backstrom (goalie)

Season 2 

Traded Justin Williams, Ryan Malone and Jeff Woywitka to Prague for Thomas Vanek and Mike Weaver

* seem to missing one trade in this period

Season 3

Traded Michael Del Zotto to Minsk for Valeri Nichushkin, Ilya Nikulin and Sergei Kostitsyn

Season 4

Traded Kari Lehtonen to Edinburgh for Ondrej Pavelec, 2016 Round 1 pick (later traded to Bratislava – Morten Madsen) and 2017 Round 2 pick (Michael Hutchinson)

Season 5

Traded Chris Kunitz and 2016 Round 1 pick (Morten Madsen) to Bratislava for 2016 Round 1 pick (Bud Holloway)

Season 6

After Season 6 started: Traded Sergei Mozyakin to Belfast for Nazem Kadri, Vladislav Kamenev and 2020 Round 1 pick

Signed Chris Butler (free agent)

Season 7

After season started: signed James Reimer (free agent), Andrej Sekera (free agent)

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