Miss some of the pre-season Doses? Here’s a handy list of what may still be useful for you as you draft, strategize or merely want to kill time on the toilet or at your cubicle.
With some of the more esoteric concepts out of the way in those above links, the Dose pivots to interesting 2015-16 storylines for each NHL team.
Continuing in alphabetical order, let’s take the subway to the Metropolitan Division.
I wonder what it must be like to hang out with members of the Hurricanes front office. They must think that Jarome Iginla is still the premier power forward in the NHL, as clearly their hockey thoughts haven't progressed much during the last few years.
Hockey fans in other markets run actually productive big name players out of town when their teams struggle. Is Carolina just so asleep at the wheel that they cannot take a step back and realize that neither player is worth it?
Ward, most obviously, is a backup at best. Let's be honest.
With Staal, it's probably just best to part ways.
One way or another, this team isn't taking a step forward unless their younger, better players get to take control. If they believe Staal - Eric and Jordan - are going to stand in the way in the slightest, then why not sell them when they're still reasonably marketable?
It's been tough to fantasy rank Eric Staal for years, because it's frankly difficult to really tell where he should be. Maybe he's a great supporting actor who's long been promoted as a headliner. Maybe he's a guy who will fade away if not given the plum jobs somewhere else.
It's tough to say, but how can any reasonable person argue that things are working in Carolina? How far can a long-ago Stanley Cup (in a weird year for the NHL) really take you?
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Does anyone have any earthly clue what to expect of Brandon Saad in Columbus, other than the fact that he'll probably continue to look a lot like Seth Rollins?
In a way, it kind of captures the fuller spirit of the Blue Jackets.
A lot of people are expecting big things, as last season featured some resoundingly bad injury luck. They finished the season on a tear that ruined draft picks but really stoked expectations.
Still, are we sure that will carry over? I have no clue, but they're an interesting team to watch.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Imagining scenarios in which Ray Shero sells off Travis Zajac > pondering just about anything related to the 2015-16 season for New Jersey.
3-on-3 OT formation that would be fun/odd/interesting: Barf - Tears - Existential Crises
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
My impression is that it's going to be a pretty bumpy ride at the Barclays Center. Concession stands talk and other weirdo stories might distract from the whole "Hey, this team could be really, really good" factor.
It seems like Kyle Okposo isn't getting the love he deserves. The Islanders would be foolish to trade him, but one way or another, it could be a pretty big year for the underpaid power forward.
NEW YORK RANGERS
How is that, year after year, the Rangers boast some of the most interesting contract year situations?
Once again, they're intriguing in that way.
Chris Kreider is getting plenty of hype, and he's especially robust in leagues that include hits. Keith Yandle seems like a prime candidate for a big jump after getting more familiar with his teammates (plus he could make buckets of money as UFA defensemen of his ilk are wildly uncommon).
It's tough to believe that Brayden Schenn is only 24.
Schenn seems like he's been not-quite-good-enough to satisfy onlookers for ages now, yet he's actually coming along quite nicely.
He could be very expensive for the Flyers in a strong year, although some of their deals are set to evaporate after 2015-16. Perhaps they'll just give a chunk of Sam Gagner's remaining $3.2 million cap hit (that guy gets paid by more different companies than a freelance writer) to make it all work?
Anyway, Schenn could be an interesting sleeper, especially in hits leagues.
Gosh, the Penguins could be crazy good in 2015-16.
Obviously, Phil Kessel is the most fun to watch, but everyone's covering that. I'm actually intrigued by the mid-level guys.
Should Pascal Dupuis even bother playing (I say hang 'em up, as effective as he is)? Will Chris Kunitz ever get some benefit of the doubt from weirdly harsh critics? Might Patric Hornqvist enjoy his best season ever? What happens with David Perron? Also, will a pretty fleet-footed defense (aside from Rob Scuderi, obviously) end up being a great fit for Pittsburgh's attack?
Pittsburgh stands as a likely must-watch team, and considering their core players rapidly approaching their 30s, in might not get any better than this.
I wonder if this is the year the Capitals realize that they made some shaky defensive bets back in the summer of 2014.
Those decisions basically stamped Mike Green's ticket out of town, regardless of how well he played in 2014-15 (which was pretty well).
The Caps are lucky to have some solid bargains beyond Alex Ovechkin's suitably gigantic cap hit, at least.