Grading the offseason: Metropolitan Division

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Over the past couple years, the franchises in the Metropolitan Division have been moving away from long-tenured, respected and entrenched bosses like Jim Rutherford, Glen Sather, Paul Holmgren, George McPhee and Lou Lamoriello, and moving toward a new generation of general managers. The results are starting to show. 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 a power in the Eastern Conference 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 as he takes over as full-time GM.

Which of these teams rises to the top of the Metropolitan Division the quickest will depend partly on who among this newest batch of managers learns the fastest.