Farm Club: St. Petersburg Dynamo
GM: Ron Lavallee (4th GM in team’s history)
Coach: Joel Quenneville (formerly Glen Gulutzan)
Last season: 13th overall (In the playoffs, defeated Helsinki, then Minsk; lost to Belfast)
Ins and Outs:
(Season 7 to Season 8)
Out: Dustin Brown (free agent), Duncan Keith (free agent), Chris Stewart (free agent), Gerhard Unterluggauer (free agent), Derek Roy (free agent), Anton Stralman (free agent), Jannik Hansen (free agent), Patrick Maroon (free agent), Riley Nash (free agent), Cale Tanaka (free agent), Rich Peverley (retired), Anton Lander (free agent)
In: Jiri Tlusty (free agent), Wei Yang Zhang (free agent), Keith Kincaid (free agent), Vojtech Nemec (waivers), Dennis Seidenberg (waivers), Benoit Pouliot (free agent), Eddie Lack (free agent), Cody Glass (draft), Jake Oettinger (draft), Tanner Kero (draft)
(Key players signed past Season 8)
David Backes, C; Max Pacioretty, LW; Kyle Palmieri, RW; Wei Yang Zhang, RW; Mitch Marner, RW
1.That was quite a drop last season, wasn’t it? Moscow fans will forever remember Season 7 as the year their team knocked the powerhouse Minsk Hussars out of the playoffs. As satisfying as that was for the Russians, they have to have noticed that their team is going in the wrong direction all of a sudden. After five straight seasons of finishing among the top 6 in the league, Moscow dropped to 13th overall last season. For the first time since Season 1, the Dynamo gave up more goals than they scored. And for the first time in the team’s history, they gave up more shots on goal than they got on opponents’ nets. Why? In short, because General Manager Ron Lavallee encountered a problem that occurs too much in the world of Websim hockey: His predecessors gambled away the team’s future and then abandoned the team. Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Palmieri and Nick Leddy are only a little older than 25, and Mitch Marner will step into a starting role at age 20, but Moscow is woefully short of good young talent. Thanks a lot, previous GMs. Moscow will be able to fill the secondary forward lines and the bottom four defense positions in the future, but if they want to challenge again, Lavallee will have to figure out a way to get a couple more top-line players into this lineup.
2. Turnover much? The problem mentioned above led to a major change in the team this season. Moscow hasn’t seen change like this since 1982-85 when leadership of government passed from Yuri Andropov to Konstantin Chernenko to Mikhail Gorbachev. After Season 7 ended, Rich Peverley retired from Moscow Dynamo and 11 players were allowed to leave and become free agents. Three forwards then came in as free agents and the lineup looks a bit different than it did in the past. The only player remaining now from the Season 3 team that won the Cup is goalie Alexander Salak, who played in just one game that season. But just because the Dynamo is relatively new, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are young greenhorns. The team is full of EURO veterans mostly in the 26-32 age range. They will be able to compete when their top six forwards are on the ice. Ryan O’Reilly and Max Pacioretty will probably be on the top line with either speedy Kyle Palmieri or the Chinese Lucic, Wei Yang Zhang. The second line will probably consist of either Palmieri or Zhang with center David Backes and Jiri Tlusty. Each of those lines will present opponents with size, guile, determination and skill. The other two lines will be solid but coach Joel Quenneville will worry about them being overmatched against the top teams. In any event, there are a lot new pieces on this team and it might take time for good chemistry to be achieved.
3. How will they look in the defensive zone? Alexander Salak has proven to have been a great goalie in this league and he is just 27. The Czech took over the starting job in Season 6 and he’s put together two seasons with a save percentage of more than 90 percent. His lifetime goals against average is 2.73, which is 6th best all-time among goalies with more than 150 games played. So Moscow seems to be set in goal for a long time if they can afford to resign him when he comes out of his Type 2 contract. In front of Salak, the defense corps is good at shot blocking and playing their position in the defensive zone – Ryan Suter and Karl Alzner are perfect for that role – but the group might find getting the puck out and up to the forwards to be a challenge. Nick Leddy has speed and finesse, but no one else has a combination of the two. A wild card could be Erik Andersson, a 23-year-old who might get his first starting job because he offers speed and toughness, which the team seems to need.
Season Place PTS PP % PK % SPG SAPG GPG GAPG PIM
Season 7 13 87 17.2 80.8 29.44 29.98 3.17 3.22 9.79
Season 6 5 106 21.2 86.8 33.38 27.91 3.74 2.88 10.00
Season 5 6 107 20.9 86.9 32.50 27.45 3.67 2.76 9.67
Season 4 1 113 18.6 86.4 35.01 27.01 3.44 2.34 8.62
Season 3 4 (cup) 106 20.9 80.4 32.61 29.48 3.56 3.15 9.45
Season 2 5 101 18.4 83.4 32.62 28.21 3.38 2.8 11.21
Season 1 18 77 15.9 81.1 31.00 29.88 3.10 3.20 8.48
Top Draft picks
Season 1: Anze Kopitar, C, current age 31. Games played 550; Points 629, -17
Season 2: Alexander Salak, G, age 27. GP 188; Save Pct. 90.5
Season 3: Darnell Nurse, D, age 22. GP 90; Pts 14; -11
Season 4: Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, age 21. GP 62; Pts 17; Plus/minus +14
Season 5: Sam Godfrey, D, age 27. GP 44; Pts 11; -3
Season 6: Brock Boeser, RW, age 20.
Season 7: Olli Juolevi, D, age 19.
Season 8: Cody Glass, C, age 18.
Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)
Traded Round Phil Kessel and Bobby Ryan to Dublin for Alxeander Ovechkin and 2014 Round 1 pick (used to draft Darnell Nurse)
Traded Alexander Ovechkin and Dave Bolland to Copenhagen for Andrew Ladd, Brandon Sutter and Kevin Dallman
*Three trades missing from this period. Tomas Kaberle seems to have been traded in one of them.
Traded James Van Riemsdyk and Marcus Johansson to Stockholm for Dustin Brown
Traded 2015 Round 1 pick to Berlin for Kris Versteeg
Traded Darnell Nurse, 2016 Round 1 pick (traded later to Copenhagen and then Bratislava – Morten Madsen) and 2017 Round 1 pick to Frankfurt for Max Pacioretty
Traded Nicolas Ehlers to Helsinki for 2016 Round 1 pick (later traded to Gothenberg)
Traded Kevin Dallman and 2016 Round 1 pick (formerly Helsinki’s – Olli Palola) to Gothenberg for Ryan Suter and Blake Wheeler
Traded Aleksey Morozov to Gothenburg for 2018 Round 3 pick
After Season 5 started
Signed Rich Peverley (free agent)
Traded Alexei Kalyuzhny to Lisbon for a 2017 Round 3 pick (Melker Karlsson)
Traded Andrew Ladd, Jaroslav Halak, Brandon Sutter and a 2018 Round 2 pick to Athens for David Backes, Kyle Palmeiri and a 2018 Round 1 pick
After Season 6 started:
Traded Anze Kopitar to Athens for Ryan O’Reilly
Traded Brock Boeser to Helsinki for Mitch Marner
Traded Blake Wheeler, Marc-Andre Bourdon and 2018 Round 3 pick to Madrid for Nick Leddy and Chris Stewart
Signed Mark Fayne and Brian Campbell (free agents)
Bought out Mike Brown
Claimed Derek Roy and Gerhard Unterluggauer (waivers)
After season started: Traded Travis Sanheim to St.Petersburg for Karl Alzner
bought out contracts of Vinny Lecavalier and John Mitchell; claimed Riley Nash (waivers)