If you’ve ever wondered what the best NHL teams in 2018 might look like, now’s your chance to get your own opinion.
The NHL Players Association has released its 2018-2019 list of the 30 teams and the top five prospects for each team.
Here’s what we know so far:The Pittsburgh Penguins:The Penguins, who have won five Stanley Cups since 2008, are in a tough spot, and their only realistic shot at winning it in the next decade is to win their first Stanley Cup since 2003.
It’s been a long time coming for the Penguins, and the recent struggles on the ice, coupled with the team’s cap hit of $7.3 million, have left them in a bit of a hole.
With Sidney Crosby still in the midst of a three-year deal worth $70 million, it makes sense for the team to make a run at another Cup this season, but the cap hit on their top line has been so high that it’s tough to justify making a move.
The Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres have been through a lot lately, and it’s clear that GM Tim Murray has his eyes on the future, not just at the NHL level.
The Sabres will need to address their defense in a big way in the offseason, but it’s hard to imagine Buffalo going back to the dark ages with their current roster.
They have some talented young players in the system, and that could prove to be the difference in a team that finished eighth in the East with a 59-47-15 record.
The Leafs, who finished third in the Atlantic Division and finished second in the NHL with a 56-40-10 record last season, are the only other team on the list that has a cap-friendly contract.
The Florida Panthers: After the Panthers’ disappointing start to the season, they will be looking for a few good players to bolster the back end of the roster.
In their last 11 games, they have outscored opponents by a combined 22.5 points per game.
That’s a huge improvement over their early seasons, when they were struggling mightily and were playing with the type of pace that was difficult to sustain.
They will need help up front in order to make some noise this season.
The Washington Capitals: The Capitals, who just got off to a bad start, have a new GM and a new coach who have to work hard to make things right, but their core is already very young.
The team has a lot of talent, including top center Nicklas Backstrom, and they will need a steady hand at the net with center Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers have a lot to prove this season after the team fell to 10th in the Western Conference.
However, they still have a ton of talent and they are still very young, so there’s a chance that this team could make some big changes down the road.
The Oilers will have to find some answers for the lack of scoring, especially at forward, and there is still a lot that needs to be done to find a way to make the playoffs.
The Winnipeg Jets: The Jets have been in the playoff picture since 2014, but they have lost their last four games.
The biggest reason for that is because they played a slow start and the team has not had enough players on the roster to properly develop their young players.
Winnipeg needs to find something in the draft and free agency to fill a lot more holes down the line, but at this point, they are just not making the playoffs and need to make big changes.
The Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes are the best team in the West, but a lot has changed since the Coyotes first won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
The Coyotes have lost some key pieces, including captain Shane Doan and goalie Mike Smith.
They also have to figure out how to replace one of the best forwards in the league, Ryan Getzlaf.
The lack of depth in the back line has limited them, and getting better at defense is the only way they can make a playoff push.
The Dallas Stars: The Stars are the youngest team on this list and have the potential to be a really good team, but right now, they don’t have the young talent or the right coach to help them develop.
The Stars will have an opportunity to make major changes down a long road with new coach Ken Hitchcock and GM Jim Nill.