NHL: Teams Most Likely to Tank in 2019

With the start of a new season, teams are given a fresh start a clean slate. Some teams are ready to give it another shot with the newly acquired pieces from the offseason, while some teams clearly aren’t ready to make a push for the Stanley Cup, which brings us to this list. This will ensure that these teams focus on brightening their future down the road with some picks and prospects. Some teams have already made it known that they are in a full rebuild.

Carolina Hurricanes

To start this list is a very obvious choice in Carolina. This team can never seem to get things done. They either come so incredibly close, but can’t seem to win crucial games. They went 36-35-11 in 2018. Last season was a disaster for their starting goaltender, Scott Darling, who couldn’t stop a beach ball throughout the entire season. He went 13-21-7 with his first season with the Canes and was supposed to be the goalie that helped them crack a spot in the playoffs, but that plan soon fell through quick.

In June of 2018, the Hurricanes made it known that they would be willing to trade anyone on their roster, except for their young star-in-the-making, Sebastian Aho, 20, who scored 65 points for his struggling Hurricanes. By making a statement like this, it is clearly evident that the Hurricanes want a complete start from scratch.

Carolina is in the business for netting a new goalie and to get Jeff Skinner teams will have to give up a pick and some young talent. Players like Justin Faulk and Scott Darling are available as well apparently. In addition, the organization appears to be keen on acquiring Buffalo Sabres’ center Ryan O’Reilly.

Carolina clearly needs to just tank and focus on their future.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks, the former ‘Three Cups in Six Years’ group, need to flip on the rebuild switch. Once the league’s most feared teams, they are now just a team of the past. The Blackhawks are slowly losing their star players such as Marion Hossa and Patrick Sharp to retirement, which means that their other star players are slowly approaching the same fate. They might as well counter it before it hits them square in the face.

Their starting goalie, Corey Crawford, was supposedly lost due to injury, but other fans are saying that he was on leave at a rehab facility. The 33-year-old is slowly losing his stellar game and the Blackhawks just need to accept the fact that their star players like Crawford, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews are getting old. They need to focus their young core, like they recently did with Vinnie Hinostroza.

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal has been on a progressive downhill-slope for years now and have yet to come to terms with it, but they need to. Throughout the years, their GM Marc Bergevin has made some questionable trades. Just recently, he traded one of his top young guns, Alex Galchenyuk, to the Arizona Coyotes, for Max Domi.

Now on paper, these two players are about the same, Galchenyuk is a year older (24), but stats wise, the Coyotes robbed Bergevin. The most goals Domi has scored in his three NHL seasons was 18 goals, whereas Galchenyuk, in his six NHL seasons, has notched a 30 goal season under his belt. So, not only did the Coyotes just get a more experienced player, but a bigger offensive piece to their roster. The interesting thing about this trade is that Montreal has been preaching that they need a center, yet they just traded one away.

Bergevin also traded PK Subban for Shea Weber, which has led to short-lived playoff runs. Also, Weber can’t stay healthy. Meanwhile Subban has been to the Stanley Cup Finals!

In this years’ draft, they currently hold the number three overall pick and are completely set on drafting a center, even if that means taking a lower-ranked player, which wouldn’t be the wise. Montreal just needs to focus on a complete rebuild.

New York Rangers

The Rangers were another one of those teams who you would see in the playoffs almost every year, but they missed it for the first time, last season, in a long time. Before the start of the season, they traded away one of their top-centers, Derek Stepan, and their backup goalie, Antti Raanta, to the Coyotes for young, right-handed defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft.

That was the start of their dramatic collapse. By the end of the season, the Rangers began trading their players for top picks and prospects such as: J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, and Michael Grabner. In the same season they brought up some young assets like Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson, who will probably play a near full 82 games next season. This proves shows that the Rangers are fully in on their rebuild.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators are just a mess, I’ll be straight up! Here’s the scenario over in Ottawa: They currently have an assistant GM who is currently being charged with sexual assault charges on a 19-year-old taxi driver and their owner has constantly been threatening to move the Senators out of Ottawa. Also, after the loss of their baby, Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda Karlsson, have just filed for a restraining order against Karlsson’s former teammate, Mike Hoffman and his girlfriend, who has been made crude remarks about their loss. A crazy show going on over there!

Hoffman was just traded to the San Jose Sharks, but then was flipped to the Florida Panthers just hours later! It is evident that the Senators are going to be trading away their top pieces to acquire some young prospects. It is almost clear, but not official, Karlsson is going to be out of Ottawa.

They just need to hit the restart button and try to clean up that huge mess that is stirring up in Ottawa before it gets even nastier!

So here is the list of teams that need to focus on tanking in the 2018-2019 NHL season. Who will go full in on the tank-a-thon? Only time will tell.

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