As the offseason gears up, each team is faced with critical decisions to improve their franchise.  As a gesture of charity and good fellowship, we’ve decided to assist our neighbours in this venture, by giving them a guide to the offseason.  We’re not going to talk about Tampa Bay (too good) or Florida (don’t care.)  No, we’re going to focus on five of our favourite fellow teams.

Ottawa Senators

If this offseason proved anything, it’s that the Senators are much closer to a championship calibre team than any of us thought.  Built on a strategy of forming a flesh wall in front of the net and waiting for an opportunity to win 1-0, the Sens showed everyone that it is sustainable to have a bad CF%.  In fact, they were one goal away from beating the Penguins, which means—or so I’m told—that by the transitive property they’re actually the Cup champs.  They should hang a banner!  Hey, they’ve already claimed a bunch of trophies from other teams, they might as well do it again.

Because the Sens are definitely a real team that is not going to miss the playoffs this year, they need to consolidate their core while also making the aggressive win-now moves a contender has to make.

  • Extend Jean-Gabriel Pageau for six years at $5.5M/

What an incredible showing for Pageau this post-season.  His four-goal game against the New York Rangers is already the stuff of legend, coming through in the clutch to lead his team to a critical victory.  Best of all, he’s a hometown hero, born in Ottawa.  It’s time to lock him up for term.  Some people will point out that Pageau is actually a bottom six centre who only ever cleared 40 points by shooting 14%, but those people are haters and Torontonians.  Don’t listen to them.  Except me.  Listen to me.

  • Trade Thomas Chabot for Brent Seabrook/

Now I know this is tough to swallow, but let’s get real here.  If the Sens had a weakness this year, and honestly they barely did (#contender), it’s that they had to play Erik Karlsson so much.  The poor guy played 30 minutes a night on a doubly broken foot.  If he gets fatigued or misses a lot of time, the Senators will get relocated experience difficulty in their triumphal procession towards the Cup.  Brent Seabrook is a right-shooting D who can take some of the load off Karlsson while bringing three rings’ worth of Cup experience to the organization.  Thomas Chabot is a nice prospect, but he’s a future asset, and the Sens need to win now.  Do it.

Montreal Canadiens

It was a tough year for our friends the Habs, who fired their coach and then got stoned cold in the playoffs by Henrik Lundqvist.  Despite the peerless leadership of Shea Weber, the Habs were not good enough to make a deep run, and had to watch as no-good showboater PK Subban took a team with zero healthy centres under 90 years old to the Cup Finals.  Oh well.  I’m sure the Habs couldn’t use anyone like that.

Nonetheless, the Habs are another team in a position to make big moves.  These are the youngest years Weber has left.

  • Trade Carey Price to Nashville for Pekka Rinne/

Oh, whoop-dee-do, Carey Price had a good save percentage again.  You know what he didn’t have?  PLAYOFF WINS.  When push came to shove, Price got outplayed by Henrik Lundqvist, just like he did in 2014.  How many times are Montreal fans going to put up with another polite performance where Price manages to be the second-best goalie and loses?  “Best goalie in the world” ought to mean the best goalie in a series for a change.

Pekka Rinne won fourteen playoff games this year.  Price’s career high is eight.  I thought Montreal was a city that expected championships.  Somebody should tell Marc Bergevin.

  • Extend Alexander Radulov for eight years at $7.5M AAV/

Radulov was the Habs’ breakout star this season, and now it’s time to lock him down for his prime.  No, don’t look up his age.  He’s played 254 NHL games, that’s less than Morgan Rielly.  He’s probably 23 or something.

  • Trade Alex Galchenyuk/

lol they’re actually going to do this one

Boston Bruins

Well, nerds, this ought to shut you up once and for all.  The Bruins had one of the best Corsi teams this decade, and they barely made the playoffs.  Possession?  Seems to me like Boston needs an exorcism.

  • Trade David Pastrnak/

This punk-ass Czech—ironic by the way, how much checking does he actually do? Soft—plays with Bergeron and Marchand and now he wants a raise.  For what?  Sparking William Nylander to dunk all over Boston every time the Leafs come to down?  Pass.

  • Sign David Backes for five years at $6M AAV/

As evidence by his obsession with fighting Canadians, Backes is the kind of gritty, take-no-prisoners forw—they already did this one?  Last summer?  But they didn’t have any secondary scoring.  Man, he must be bad now.

  • Extend Zdeno Chara for three years at $5M/

What are you going to do without him?  Do you think Brandon Carlo is going to be as good as Chara was because they’re both tall?  Wait, you do?  Jesus.

Honestly maybe you guys are beyond my help.

Buffalo Sabres

Despite completing their tank to the bottom one year ahead of the Leafs, the Sabres had to watch as their rivals up the highway made the playoffs while Buffalo was left in the cold.  Sabres Director of Hockey Operations Jack Eichel concluded this was unacceptable and, after miscellaneous yellings, fired the coach and GM.  Hopefully the new regime can figure out what the problem is in Buffalo.  How is such a talented team failing to reach its potential?

  • Keep assuming Rasmus Ristolainen is a 1D/

This is definitely not the problem.

  • Extend Josh Gorges/

He’s also definitely not the problem.

  • Re-sign Dimitry Kulikov/

Not the problem.

  • Trade Sam Reinhart/

We found the problem!

Detroit Red Wings

It finally happened.  After a playoff streak of, I don’t know, a while, the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs this season.  In some ways, it’s a relief; the streak had been lingering on life support for years while Doctor Ken Holland pumped ever more experimental drugs into its body in a desperate bid to sustain it.  “We’re running out of options, but Abdelkader has been shown to be very effective in certain clinical trials, and we think a seven-year dose might be just the miracle cure we need.”

Now, however, a new day is dawning, and the Red Wings are ready to wipe the slate clean.  Just kidding!  The Wings have like six immovable contracts signed to mediocre players that will last well into President The Rock’s first term.  So their rebuild might be, let’s say, less than complete.  Luckily, we have just the man for the job.

  • Extend Ken Holland/

The Red Wings are the gold standard organization.  We heard it for years, and it’s still true today.  Even if there’s actually no evidence Ken Holland has known what he’s doing under the salary cap and, in fact, he actually has looked like a pretty bad GM since 2012...and even if his earlier success was probably based on dumb-luck draft hits, and spending twice as much as the league average...the Red Wings are the gold standard organization.

  • That’s basically it/

[lowers voice]

All kidding aside, the Red Wings are so totally screwed I’m not sure I could make their situation worse.  Seriously, look at their Cap Friendly page.  At this point I’m just waiting for them to trade Athanasiou for Dustin Brown or something.

Ahem.  Anyway, under the gentle care of Doctor Ken, I’m sure the Red Wings will begin another streak soon.  Of picking ninth in the draft lottery.