On the Eve of Revolutionby Che Guevara | November 24, 2015, 11:41 PM ET
After the excitement of drafting phenom Connor McDavid the Revolution continued on the path of making this team a competitor. The management team lead by GM Prozeller and A/GM Darryl Sittler went all out in UFA as they put their stamp on this team. Interestingly the team brought back some familiar faces in forwards Chris Higgins and Brian Gionta. Higgins on a 3 year term while Gionta only 1 year, they are expected to provide secondary scoring along with Thomas Vanek who was acquired at the trade deadline last year and Martin Erat who was signed as a depth player.
The defense was also given a big boost with the acquisition of highly sought after UFA Brent Burns on a massive one year contract with an anticipated extension in the works. In addition the team also signed Brian Campbell and John Michael Liles which is a serious upgrade to the defense core over last season. And the movements continued in nets with newly minted starter Jimmy Howard acquired at the trade deadline from Amsterdam Admirals, but didn't stop there as the Revolution picked up James Reimer and Richard Bachman off waivers to shore up the backup role alongside incumbent Antti Raanta.
This overhaul means the Revolution have 8 new roster players (10 if you include Howard & Vanek). Havana brass have pushed this team through a rebuild in a little less than 2 years since that deal filled week in January 2013 which saw the Conference finals squad from the year before disassembled. The rebuild hasn't come without controversy though as there have been rumours of purposeful tanking which GM Prozeller strongly refutes "We were the only team in the bottom 10 that made deals to get stronger at the trade deadline. Does that seem like purposeful tanking? I do not think so, we had good players last year and severely underperformed for whatever reason. We didn't want to be in that situation but since we were, absolutely we were delighted to have the first overall pick and McDavid on the team."
There was more offseason controversy in Havana when the team chose to qualify RFA and team captain Tyler Seguin instead of signing him to an outlined 4 year deal worth $9 million per year. Hoping to follow behind other first rate scorers such as Phil Kessel and others that made it through the process without being signed to large offer sheets, the Revolution weren't as lucky. The Stockholm Cougars (who fans now refer to as the Boooogars) tried to steal Seguin with a 2 year $20 million dollar offer sheet, which GM Prozeller matched. "We honestly were a little surprised an offer was made at that dollar amount, but we completely understand why other teams would want Seguin! In the end it only cost an extra $1M more than resigning, but we are very glad to have our captain back and under contract for the next 2 seasons."
With captain Seguin back and a fully revamped, strengthened lineup the Revolution look to take this 2015/16 season by storm. The expectations are clear from management that this team is expected to compete. The fans are ready for this season to see this new team in action, opening night is already expected to be close to a sell out but some tickets are still available at the brand new Cohiba Centre box office.
"The Revolutions real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present." ~ Albert Camus
¡Viva La Revolucion!
Words of Revolt
- Goaltending prospect Jon Gillies was named the NCAA Frozen Four most outstanding player last season
- Previous Mike Richter Award recipient Connor Hellebuyck is expected to be the starting goalie for the GHA Revolt this season
- Continuing on a goaltending note it is anticipated that Garret Sparks and Adam Wilcox will join the Revolt next season leaving the Havana organization with a gluttony of goaltenders.
- Anthony DeAngelo was the OHL and CHL defenseman of the Year in 2014/15, he is expected to play with the Santiago Revolt next season.
- Leon Draisaitl will spend the year with the Revolt and isn't expected to join the Revolution until next season at the earliest.
- Last years winner of the Bobby Smith Trophy, Red Tilson Trophy, CHL Scholastic Player of the Year, CHL Top Draft Prospect, CHL Player of the Year, IIHF U20 Gold medalist, and OHL and IIHF All Star Connor McDavid is recovering from a broken clavicle and expected to be playing again in January. He could join the Revolution as early as next season.