The Definitive List Of NHL Teams That Have Died In 2015-16

MTL coffin


If you’ve been following along on twitter or in the hockey round-ups, I’ve been declaring teams dead left and right this year. People always come back and yell that their team isn’t dead. And when I say people it’s either Bruins fans or Devils fans. Devils fans…your team is so dead. Buried. I define being dead as a team that has ZERO chance to make it to the Conference Finals. If you make it to the Conference Finals a hot goalie or maybe a few key injuries to the other teams can take you the rest of the way. So here is the definitive list of teams that have died during the season.

“Angela’s Ashes” Division

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Toronto, Buffalo, Edmonton, Arizona. 

Young, pure, and giving people hope for the future just like little Margaret in Angela’s Ashes. Also, too weak to live and died just like Margaret. These teams are in various stages of rebuilding. They knew they were dead before the season started. This entire season is about young players gaining experience while still being bad enough to get another high draft pick. A race to the bottom. These teams never wanted to be anything but dead.

“First Guy Out Of The Boat In Saving Private Ryan” Division

Columbus Blue Jackets

I got suckered by the Blue Jackets. I’ll be the first to admit it. They finished last season strong after having more injuries than any team in the league, then they won the summer with the Brandon Saad trade. Turns out, they’re the biggest fraud of them all. They’re putrid and they’re leading the Auston Matthews derby.

“Weekend At Bernie’s” Division

dead weekend at bernies

Philly, New Jersey, Carolina, San Jose, Nashville, Minnesota

These are the group of teams with enough nice pieces to trick their fan bases into thinking they aren’t dead. Some of these teams will probably make the playoffs and might even take home some regular season hardware, but they’re all fatally flawed. They would be better off in the long run if they acknowledged that they were dead and became sellers at the deadline instead of lying to themselves and their fans.


“He Chose…Poorly” Division

dead poorly


Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins

The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Two teams that got comfortable with what they thought was their core, but the league, the salary cap, and age caught up to them. They both were contenders for several years, but DRASTICALLY misplayed situations with star players. Both teams came to a crossroads with their rosters and made poor decisions that set their franchises back years.

The Canucks couldn’t figure out what to do with Luongo and Cory Schneider, and they ended up trading both of them without much of a return. Luongo and Schneider are both legitimate Vezina trophy candidates and the Canucks are over-paying for Ryan Miller. Their leadership group of Kesler and Bieksa have moved on and they are just left with the Sedins and Burrows. Not exactly the type of guys you want leading the locker room.

The Bruins looked like they were set up to be contenders for a long time after they won the Cup in 2011 and returned to the Finals in 2013. But then the Bruins couldn’t manage Seguin and had to trade him to Dallas for 30 cents on the dollar. The Bruins have great centers with Krejci and Bergeron, but they don’t have the gamebreaker type offensive talent like Seguin that they desperately need. They aren’t a fast team anymore. Chara was an iron-man defenseman for the Bs, but he’s slowed down some with age. When the Bruins went to Cup Final in 2013, Rask was probably a top 3 goalie in the NHL. He’s still very good, but he’s probably in the 8-12 range. No longer a dominant goalie. I don’t think the Bruins window with Bergeron, Krejci, and Rask is necessarily closed because those guys have prime years left and the Bs did a great job rebuilding for the future last summer, but they should stay on that rebuild path and trade Erickson at the deadline. The Bruins need to get younger, faster, and they need to overhaul their D in a hurry because the window is closing.

“Rebel Without A Cause” Division

Colorado, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Calgary

These teams are young, they play fast, they’re fun to watch, but they are reckless and it either has already caught up to them this year(CGY, WPG), or it will sooner or later(COL, OTT). Edmonton plays Ottawa tonight. I’m going to watch, I’m going to love every second of it. Those teams will produce highlights and hit overs. They don’t play winning hockey. All of these teams have bright futures, but in 2015-16 they got caught playing a game of chicken and went right off a cliff.

“I Had One Terrible Weakness” Division

David Ferrie

New York Islanders, Saint Louis Blues

You simply can’t win in the playoffs with Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot. Those guys can win you regular season games, keep your head above water as you beat up on weaker teams, but everyone is good in the playoffs and almost everyone has a goalie that’s better than Halak and Elliot.

“Outbreak” Division

The Montreal Canadiens

Nobody knows how this virus started. Maybe it was Carey Price. Maybe it was Markov and Plekanec regressing a bit with age. Maybe Galchenyuk isn’t what they thought he was. It’s tough to say what happened to the Habs exactly because they were good last year and started so hot, but whatever it was, it killed them. It spread rapidly through the team and the fanbase. And unlike Outbreak, there isn’t an antidote for their disease. They’re dead.


Hope Is A Great Thing Division

That leaves ten teams that still have a legitimate shot to get to the Conference Finals. Washington, Chicago, LA, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Anaheim, Florida, Rangers, and Pittsburgh. Obviously some of those teams are stronger than others, but I think those teams have the core in place, and if they pick up a need at the deadline they could find themselves in the Conference Finals or even the Stanley Cup. And since there’s 20 dead teams in the league, there should be lots of sellers at the deadline. These remaining teams have hope. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.