Krunch Krushing Kompetitionby Kirk MacRae | December 1, 2014, 1:40 AM ET
After years of being a bottom dwelling team, the Kansas City Krunch have finally emerged and currently sit 2nd in the World Conference and 1st in the American division.
"Many people around the league questioned our ability to ice a competitive team this year," commented GM Kirk MacRae. "Just ask those jabronis who run the Power Rankings. Are any of them even in a playoff spot?"
"Goaltending was something that needed to be addressed this off-season and we started at the draft by getting a bunch of promising young guys. After the draft we pursued many options for a new starting goaltender. The one guy that was always #1 on our list was Rinne. We knew we'd have to give up more than just cash to get him, but he was the best option long-term for our club." continued GM MacRae.
But Pekka Rinne alone is not enough to explain the success the Krunch are currently enjoying. Looking deeper into the stats you will see that the Krunch have the #1 special teams in the league right now. As well as being the toughest team in the league, being #2 in PIMs and having 5 players in the top 50 for hits makes playing the Krunch very difficult for opposing teams to handle.
Moving forward the Krunch are only going to get better, with a young core of great defensemen (Cam Fowler, Ryan Murray, Nick Leddy, Radko Gudas) and up and coming studs like Aaron Ekblad and Xavier Ouellet expected to join the big club soon they are set for years on the backend. Up front you can expect guys like Anthony Duclair and Kevin Hayes to start making contributions as early as next year.
All in all it's great to see a team having success without mortgaging their future or breaking the bank, the Krunch sit at a very low $36 million payroll and are expected to have over $120 million in the bank before any playoff revenue starts rolling in. You can expect that if they continue having this kind of success management will be more willing to spend next off-season.