Grading the offseason: Metropolitan Division

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Over the past couple years, the franchises in the Metropolitan division have embarked on an evolution from long-tenured, respected and entrenched bosses like Jim Rutherford, Glen Sather, Paul Holmgren, George McPhee and Lou Lamoriello, to the new generation of general managers. The results are starting to surface. Washington’s Brian MacLellan has put his stamp on the Capitals, reshaping an impressive core built by McPhee and adding the final touches that look to make Washington an East power this season.

Ron Francis has been patient in his Carolina rebuild and faces critical decisions regarding Eric Staal and Cam Ward. Jeff Gorton was already an influential voice in the Rangers organization and soon we’ll see what a Gorton-led team will look like with him as full-time GM.

The newest managers with the fastest learning curve will influence which of these teams rise to the top of the Metropolitan division the quickest.