While success may mean a different thing to different teams, it’s clear that all teams have expectations where they want to be or where they want to go. For well-established organizations, success will be measured by the number of winning they make. For the others struggling to get established, success can be measured by the effort they make to attain a contender status.
Here are ten teams that are under pressure to attain both types of success.
(a) Team under Pressure to Win Championship
1. Tampa Bay Lighting
They have everything that it takes to win the Stanley Cup. They have a roster loaded with star players in the prime of their career. They will not rest until they get the Cup.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
They managed to become better in the offseason by adding Tyson Barrie in their roster. They have a bunch of talented players, but they are yet to show their abilities. They are obviously under pressure to do so this season.
3. Winnipeg Jets
They were favorite to win the 2018-19 season Championship but slowly faded out of the way. They have signed Patrick Laine and Kyle Connor to new contracts. The two deals are eating up their salary cap space. They are obviously under pressure to do better this season.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins have traded a productive player for a lesser player. They have acquired a depth player to a long contract, but they haven’t done much to improve a team that has been in flaws. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang have fewer years remaining, but they have done nothing to maximize them.
5. San Jose Sharks
Sharks are a Stanley Cup caliber team although Joe Pavelski’s exit will affect the offence for a while. Joe Thornton will be in the squad for at least an year, and there will be pressure to get him a Championship. They got what it takes to win the championship except for the goaltending abilities which they have not addressed.
Teams under Pressure To Get Better
6. Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks didn’t make it to playoffs last season. Now GM Stan Bowman is under pressure for the team to win. He still thinks he can win his current core. He has focused on a short term plan.
7. Edmonton Oilers
The new G.M. and coach will have to tether a little bit to get things going. They have not utilized Connor McDavid in three seasons. The player of his caliber can get Oilers started.
8. Buffalo Sabres
They haven’t made it to playoffs since the 2010-11 season. The scorched earth rebuild was meant to turn things around, but it produced nothing. Sabres fans deserve something better.
9. New York Rangers
They have added Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox and No.2 overall pick Kaapo Kakko in the offseason. They have improved their rebuild, which has heightened their expectations. The team still has some gaps, but will under pressure to be competitive mainly in the final year of Henrik Lundqvist.
10. New Jersey Devils
Devils have added Jack Hughes, Nikita Gusev, Wayne Simmonds and P.K. Subban. The team has now been transformed into a must-watch team. Despite making the addition, the team still have an unanswered question whether they can win and compete if they re-sign Taylor Hall. He is a star, but he has spent his career playing for losing teams.