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List: Who’s under the most pressure in the NHL?

Oct 28, 2011, 1:10 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

The USA Today’s Kevin Allen has written a rather neat piece in which he ranks the players/coaches/GMs/teams that are under the most pressure in the NHL.

Here’s Allen’s list:

1. Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo

2. Columbus GM Scott Howson

3. Boston Bruins

4. Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov

5. NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan

6. Coyotes trade-seeker Kyle Turris

7. Montreal coach Jacques Martin

8. Nashville GM David Poile

9. Hurricanes forward Eric Staal

10. Red Wings teammates Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg

A few thoughts:

—-I’d push Bryzgalov to the top after last night.

—-No way the Bruins deserve to be on the list. Stanley Cup champs get a minimum one-year grace period. Being from Vancouver, I can tell you if the Canucks won the Cup they’d be able to play drunk the next season if they felt like it.

—-Savvy pick to have Poile on there. Talk about a tough situation. Defenseman Ryan Suter and goalie Pekka Rinne are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Sign those two and there might not be enough in the budget to keep RFA Shea Weber, who could become a UFA after the 2012-13 season. But don’t sign those two, and what are the chances Weber will decide to stay long-term?

—-I’d sub out the Bruins and add Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Whenever you play hardball in contract negotiations and end up getting what you want, you better prove you were worth it. Doughty was good last season, but he wasn’t great.

  1. bcisleman - Oct 28, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Two additions: Rick DiPietro and Josh Bailey. Montoya and Nabokov are playing very well and the NYI have several G prospects who are quite promising. If RDP doesn’t show he can stay healthy and play well enough to be a #1 G this year, I smell a buyout or a demotion to Bridgeport next year.

    Josh isn’t as high profile, but he is under s lot of pressure. The drafting of Ryan Strome, the elevation of Frans Nielsen to 2nd line C, the promotion of Casey Cizikas to Bridgeport, and the rising stars of prospects like Anders Lee and Brock Nelson really mean that Josh has to produce this year if he is going to maintain his place on the roster.

    • jpelle82 - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      RDP sucks. there’s no real pressure when you suck and you play on a sorry team with 3 goalies anyway

  2. sknut - Oct 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    I don’t get why Staal is on the list. Carolina has never been known for spending huge amounts of money so its not like there is a lot of depth around him, even with those limitations the Canes seem to be in the thick of things.

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