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Is This Davos' Last Hurrah?

Fire Tortorella

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So, I went into writing this media spot fully expecting to write a 500 word fluff piece about how Davos seemingly (but not 100%) locking up the last playoff spot in the European Conference. However, as I was exploring the portal and looking at the finance page for the team, I didn't realize just how many players on the team do not have a contract for next year.


It's been an interesting season in Davos this year. Despite being one of the top half teams in the entire VHL, a playoff spot is far from guaranteed for the Dynamo. With the re-introduction of the European and North American conferences and the introduction of the divisions within each conference, it was a very realistic option that the fifth best team in the European Conference, a team that could have been one of the top 8 teams in the league, was going to miss the playoffs. With 14 games remaining, the Dynamo have a 10 point lead over the Moscow Menace, so it would take a collapse of epic proportion for the team to miss the playoffs. However, regardless of what happens during the playoffs this year...what's going to happen in Davos next year?


There are currently 12 players in Davos - 6 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goalies. Of those 12 players, 7 of them are not under contract next season. Forward Katie Warren retired. The remaining 6 players (Gritty, Jake Davis, John Madden, Charlie Paddywagon, Piotr Jerwa, Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen, and Finn Davison) make up a significant portion of the roster and of the top talent on the team. Does everyone come back? Can everyone come back and fit under the salary cap? There is only one prospect (winger Jerry Wang) expected to make the team next season, and it's very unlikely that Wang will be anything more than a depth piece next year. Jake Davis will see his skills depreciate in his last season of play. John Madden, Piotr Jerwa, and Finn Davison will see their skills start to fall off as they enter their 6th career seasons. One of the few players still under contract, Ryuu Crimson, will be in the same spot as Jake Davis. Will this team be good enough to "run it back" and compete? 


Will Davos general manager Shawn Glade even have the opportunity to run it back? While most of the players listed above have been drafted by Davos and have varying degrees of loyalty to the franchise, two of the players, Gritty and Piotr Jerwa, were mid-season additions to the team, and it's Jerwa's second go around with the franchise. While Jerwa has remained silent publicly, Gritty has already let it be known that he's not sure if he will be re-signing in Davos.


Maybe the team wins it all this year and the roster flux becomes a complete non-issue, as not many players willingly leave a team that has just won a cup. Maybe one or two players leave, and Davos is able to re-tool on the fly. Whatever happens though, it's certainly going to be an interesting off-season in Davos and around the VHL.

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