I don't think you can pinpoint a Cup window just yet. There are many good things going for us, but there are also many uncertainties that have to play out first. As we stand, I consider us a fringe playoff team with a ton of x-factor that could surprise some people if we catch a little fire (and have some luck, especially with injuries). I wouldn't be at all surprised if we fall short of the playoffs, or if we see the WCF. Of course, that seems to be the case every year.
As far as a Cup window goes, we have too many young players filling key roles and a defense that while decent, is injury prone and lacking a quality player or two in their primes. Several key contracts including Hiller's will be an issue come the trade deadline, and with our cap situation it's not clear that we should re-sign everyone or that we actually have solid replacements for those guys just yet. I don't see it as a huge problem, but it does complicate any hopes of a Cup run.
I think the Cup window opens when the blueline is solidified by either substantial growth from within, or by acquiring the missing pieces from outside. That is also assuming that this event falls within a certain time frame. Which includes:
-Maintaining strong goaltending
-Getz and Perry still being on top of their games and near their primes.
-The young guys still being affordable, before any need to be moved for cap reasons.
-Before the older players see a substantial drop in their play (or ability to stay healthy), reach the end of their contracts or retire.
Currently I'd put us somewhere between Emdonton of the last couple years and LA just before they won the Cup. We could go either way depending on how the kids pan out, and whether Murray is able to do what D. Lombardi did by making the key moves at the right time to get the roster where it needs to be for a serious Cup run.
I'm optimistic though, I think we are going to be a blast to watch and are very capable of making the playoffs this season. As others have said, once you're in anything can happen.
Edited by AustinDuck27, 16 August 2013 - 09:19 AM.