What of those clubs that didn’t make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs? Well, the Unfortunate Fourteen are always a mixed lot, and this year is certainly no different. Some want immediate change. Some ponder and puckhandle. A few, such as the Los Angeles Kings, managed expectations from the outset. LA is left hoping a record of 34 wins and 79 points speaks to reasonable improvement and a sign of good things to come (just a hint of a trend can sell in SoCal).
The Kings, in fact, think they might have found a goalie in ex-UMass standout Jonathan Quick, who went 21-18-2 with a 2.48 goals-against mark and .914 save percentage. As the Bruins proved with Tim Thomas, that goalie thingy is a huge piece to figure out.
But some clubs suffered through a winter of discontent and emerged figuring that they can’t stands no more. The Wild and Oilers top that list, leading them last week to a collection of bold moves, which possibly could lead other clubs to do the same in the weeks leading up to the June 26-27 draft.