The Season is over. Here are some questions to think about during the offseason.
1: How will the younger players develop? Columbus is still a really young team. how will those players develop? Will Anisimov continue to grow into a 2nd line center? will Johansen take a step forward to living up to his draft position? will Atkinson and Calvert develop into top 6 forwards? Will Prout continue to grow or Erixon or Murray? If they continue to get better and live up to their potential this could be a very dangerous team in 3-5 years.
2: How will Bobrovsky play? For years Columbus fans have gotten themselves excited for a #1 goalie only to be snake bitten in following years. Denis, LeClair, Norrena, Mason. Will Bobrovsky add to that list of stellar performances and then fizzel out? or will he finally be the Franchise goalie that columbus has been seeking for 13 years?
3: Will Gaborik Return to his 40 goal scoring self? Marion Gaborik was having an average year with new york before making his way to columbus. When coming to columbus he had a pretty decent showing in his limited time. Was a move an injection of energy for Gaborik? or is he now on the decline after having his best years in Minnesota and New York?
4: How much will Columbus be effected by moving east? For what seems like decades the Western conference has been reguarded as the stronger conference. with Juggarnaut teams like San Jose, Detroit, Nashville, Colorado (not so much the past few years but at the beginning of the decade) and Vancouver. Now they move east where it may help greatly with travel, but they are heading into a division with the Capitals, Penguins, and rangers. Not to mention the Emergence of Ottawa, and toronto, with perenial powerhouse in Boston. Also keep your eye on teams like Tampa bay, and Carolina. Who have much better teams than their records indicate.
5: What Kind of moves made this offseason will effect the Team? In just a few months thid years Free Agent class went from one of the deepest it has been in years to a fairly thin class, there are a few decent names out there like Val Filpulla, and Victor Stalberg. but i wouldnt consider many to be legitamte top 6 fowards. However the draft this year is reguarded as being one of the deepest in a decade. and with 3 1st round picks this offseason will be interesting to say the least. Will there be a trade to bring in some offensive help? Will they stay the corse and let some players develop? Are they looking to improve as much as they can as early as they can with no reguard to the future? or are they going to stay the corse and develop properly even if it takes 2,3 even 4 years? These are all some questions that we should be asking ouselves through out the offseason and even through next season. Reguardless of the answers we get it ought to be a fun season to watch.