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28-In-28: Riders on the Storm

by SICHL Insider | August 23, 2015, 11:15 PM ET

Ok I spent the summer researching a little more about Reykjavik! It's the capital and largest city in Iceland with a population of 120K and over 200K in the capital region. It was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the decades. Well enough about that, just read Wiki for more info! We are off to do an in-depth analysis of the Riders, a team that finished 5th in the World Conference last season with 98 points and went all the way to the Conference finals only to lose to the Glads in 5. Pretty successful season in my books! Can they repeat that success in 15/16? Well let's see!

Finances:

RIders current cash position $100M Revenue:

  • The team had 86.5% attendance last season which is middle of the league.
  • Reykjavik generated a little over $63M in non-playoff revenue ranking them bottom 10 in the SICHL.
  • Their $3519 per seat places them in the 12th in the league.
  • Costulator predicts the Riders revenue to increase this this season, the team has a better quality product and room for growth.
  • Reykjavik had playoff revenue last season and Costulator is predicting they make the playoffs this upcoming season.
  • Expected Season Revenue $66M with anticipated playoff revenues

 

Expenditures:

Based on the roster here is the Costulators forecast of the Riders expenditures:

  • Current Roster 26.3M, Expected farm team costs 2.4M.
  • Franchise Player 6M, RFA resignings 11.5M.
  • There are limited to no roster spots that can't be filled within the Riders depth in rookies. Perhaps a UFA backup goalie is only signing needed.
  • Expected team expenditures in the $48-52M range.
  • Forecast Bank Balance for the Riders = $114M + anticipated playoff revenue.

 

Unrestricted Free Agents:

Not a lot of potential UFAs by two key ones in goal! Sylvain will have to let a goalie walk, and if I had to guess it would be Anderson that hits the open market. I think Miller is the better goalie overall. Briere and Timonen also walk which is no huge loss considering where they are at in their respective careers.

Restricted Free Agents:

There are 15 potential RFAs. Sylvain will most likely focus on resigning Faulk, Yandle and Stepan.

Strength/Weakness:

This is a super deep team all-round! A scary number of forwards. It looks like a top 9 which will include Voracek, Pacioretty, Monahan, Scheifele, Schwartz, Forsberg, Stepan, Nelson and Lee with a 4th line possibly made up of Bonino, Atkinson and Palmieri. Yikes! There are a number of depth players that will play in the GHA that could see time in case of injury in guys like Hodgson, Bergenheim, Jenner, Byron and Panik.

Defense is like wow! Ekman-Larsson, Yandle, Faulk, Demers, Weber (Yannick) and Wiercioch. Not too shabby at all.

Goaltending will be ok even after one of Miller/Anderson walks away as a free agent. The biggest weakness will be in the backup position. Neither Gibson nor Zatkoff are great options at this stage in their careers. If this is the only real weakness on the team, then that is one weakness I would love to have. Easily fixed via trade or free agency.

Sylvain is in a position to add a player or two and then would be easily considered a favorite in the World Conference!

In the System:

Top 3 prospects include:

1. Filip Forsberg - Very talented scoring winger who is also solid without the puck as well. Plays a complete 200ft game. Skates well and is very creative. Ready to play the top six with the Riders this season. Possible rookie of the year candidate.

2. Boone Jenner - Another talented scoring forward in the system. Injury last year slowed his development. Good size and offensive acumen plus leadership qualities. Will probably start the year with the GHA Rock.

3. Sonny Milano - Gifted offensive winger with speed to burn. Very creative playmaker with upside. Finished his OHL career with a 68 point season in Plymouth last year. Should see Milano with the Riders in 16/17 either at the GHA or SICHL level.

Sylvain has drafted well over the past eight years and his patience will be paying off soon! This is how you do it folks. Don't make 20 trades in a season! Ahem, cough, cough...Colonials!

Closing notes:

Sylvain has eight picks in the SICHL draft including the 18th overall selection as well as two 2nd round picks.

Not a man of many trades or words for that matter, Sylvain was brief and to the point when asked about his team: "The best is yet to come from the Riders. Youth is taking over."

Well ok then!

I asked a GM from the World Conference his thoughts on this Riders group who had this to say: "This is a deep team with the additional bonus of having $100M in the bank! The Riders have a great mix of vets and young guys that create a very well balanced team. Only question for them should be which goalie to give the FP tag to? If I were in charge of this team I would seriously consider spending some big bucks in free agency to bolster the roster with some all-star skill. I hear Hossa will be on the market, and I bet he can’t wait to get away from the team named after a beer glass!"

This team is now poised to make its moves to win the cup. Lots of assets that can be shuffled around. A crapload of cash in the vault, almost Krunchlike money! What will Sylvain do this offseason? We shall see soon enough! I see him nabbing a better backup in net possibly a shutdown defender to compliment the top 4. Not much needs to happen here.

With a scary team like this, the only thing safe for the rest of the GMs is to kick the team out of the league and hold a dispersal draft! Just kidding Sylvain :-)

Riders on the storm, Riders on the storm, Into this house we're born

Into this world we're thrown, Like a dog without a bone, An actor out on loan

Riders on the storm

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