Over the next few days, I will be looking at each team n the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch.
Chutes: The Calgary Flames as a team. The Flames will be without not one, but two faces of the franchise, who have left town. Through retirement (Miikka Kiprusoff) and trade (Jarome Iginla) the Flames will begin a rebuild that will likely see them hit rock-bottom this season.
Ladders: Sean Monahan. With the lack of any top end centre on the roster, 6th overall pick in 2013 Monahan should be able to crack the lineup and even play a top 6 role. And after the year his junior team, the Ottawa 67′s,just had, he knows all about playing a big role on a bad team. Monahan could be a rookie of the year candidate based solely on the opportunity he will receive.