Today we’re looking at the Western Conference teams eliminated in round one of the playoffs. Click here and here to read about the teams that couldn’t even make it that far. The Western conference gave us some of the biggest surprises seen in recent playoffs, with the Chicago Blackhawks being swept in just four games and being held to just three bracket busting goals.
Rules and regulations for the expansion draft can be found on NHL.com
Calgary Flames (Joe)
Excitement to be in the playoffs can quickly be extinguished, especially when you get swept. The Flames had a very happy-to-be-here feel for a team that lost two 3-2 games and an overtime heart-breaker before being swept out in game four. That being said they’re still a team on the rise and has the potential to do damage next season; even with the pieces they will lose in the expansion draft.
|Johnny Gaudreau||Michael Frolik||Matthew Tkachuk|
|Sean Monahan||Matt Stajan||Hunter Smith|
|Troy Brouwer||Matt Bartkowski||Oliver Kington|
|Lance Bouma||Thomas McCollum|
Chicago Blackhawks (Mike)
Having been swept aside in four games by the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks have a lot of thinking to do about their impending contract situation. Figuring out who to save in the up-coming expansion draft will be one of Chicago’s easier tasks. Most of the team is already locked in anyway. Seven players and one goalie are already protected so only leaves space for three more forwards. Richard Panik, Ryan Hartman, Tomas Jurco made my final list. All have produced this season and have more potential moving forward.
Minnesota Wild (Mike)
After a playoff series to forget, the Minnesota Wild have to regroup and plan for next season. Jason Pominville, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter all have to be protected by virtue of their contracts. That doesn’t leave many other spaces. Saving Dubnyk seems like a no-brainer. I also wanted to keep as much of the offence that played so well in the regular season together, so I’ve focused more on the front end. The Wild have a reasonable defense anyway but with what we’ve seen recently, could do with a bit of a shake-up.
San Jose Sharks (Joe)
The time has finally come, the sun has finally set, insert the cliche you want to use because the Sharks’ window is officially over. One year after making it to the Stanley Cup Final, this team will look very different next year. With Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau off their massive contracts there will be decisions that need to be made. For the expansion draft it is a pretty simple one though.