When Moose hits the VHL next season, it will be in the middle of the changing of the guard for Riga. They have been one of the best teams recently and with their stars beginning to depreciate, next season they will be only a shell of what they once were. Comparing S63 Riga, S64 Riga, S65 Riga and how S66 Riga is looking, is not only an entertaining topic, but is also very educational. The team's two main star forwards, Podrick Cast and Edwin Preencarnacion are already coming to the end of their primes and will have two more really good seasons under their belts, but whether they remain in Riga or not is the question. If the GM of Riga wants to play it safe and avoid a full rebuild, he will start the switchover process early, while he still can, by trading away both of these players before they retire. Once this has happened, it is safe to say Riga is severely weakened up front, with a remaining core that looks like this:
Crimson - Pajari - Randoms
Glover - Matthews - Shan
The sudden drop in talent is actually quite an eye opener and shows how much Riga really relies on two players. Without Edwin or Cast, the gap will have to be filled by moving Randoms and Pajari up, as well as calling up VHLM star forwards Teagan Glover and Anthony Matthews. Crimson provides a high-end scoring threat and Randoms can be dangerous, but the rest of the crew just doesn't have what it takes to contend. Now for the defense. Riga has a solid first pair in Shawn Glade and Ryan Kastelic that won't be going anywhere, but it is the second pair that may be a concern in the future. They haven't really been able to find anyone half decent to fill either of the spots on the second pair. Nguyen looked promising in S63, but hasn't seemed to have progressed much since his rookie campaign. He and McDragon filled the spots in S63, but McDragon was soon dumped. In S64, all-star defenseman Joseph Bassolino was a nice compliment to Nguyen on the second pair, but with his career coming to an end, Riga knew they needed someone else. Nguyen came to a big halt during the S64 season and Bassolino retired at the end of it. Ryan Sullivan Trophy winner in the VHLM, Bolt Vanderhuge was called up to fill the void, and while he hasn't been great, he has been solid for Riga. It is relatively likely that he is replaced with former teammate Basaraba Moose for next season.
Overall, it is clear that offense is much more of a problem for Riga than defense is at this point, so it would be smart to go after some high-end forwards in the coming draft, so they can continue being competitive.