Please anticipate moves, trades, and promotions from the minors and then count yourself an optimist, a realest, or a pessimist regarding the team's chances for making the post season next year.
Please try to avoid "dead horse beating",[for which I plead guilty]. We are talking about the future, but it is fair to point out past history if you believe that Mgmt. is likely to repeat past mistakes.
Below is a grading system and my own outline of possible grades.
(A) Optimistic - Mgmt. will resign Vanek and possibly Moulson to contracts. Viz will have a great season. We will acquire a top 4 Defenseman Two of our big Ds from Bpt will make the team.. Strome and Lee will become productive players. Grabner has a turn around season. The line of Okposo/Tavares/Nelson surpasses this year's edition. Another top 6 Forward will be added. We will acquire a 1A goalie Hiller or similar + a proven back-up like Scrivens. Outlook - favored for a play-off spot.
(B) Realist - Mgmt. will resign either Vanek or Moulson . One D from Bpt. makes the team. Viz has a very good season. Grabner returns to form. Strome does better and Lee has an up and down season. We acquire another top 9 forward .We sign a 1A goalie and either Nabby/Poulin is back-up. We are a bubble team
(C) Pessimist - We sign neither Vanek or Moulson. Viz has an ordinary season. The Defense situation remains a problem. Two big Dmen in Bpt. start the season but are sent back down. Strome is much improved but Lee is sent back down. Okposo does not repeat this year's numbers and the search for a second wing on the #1 line continues. New forwards acquired to fill the 3rd and 4th lines disappoint. A new goalie that is acquired turns out to be a good backup and we retain either Nabby or Poulin to back him. We are a lottery team at the end of the season.
Some may argue that a (C) result might result in the sale of the team and a new owner/GM taking over going into the move to Brooklyn. Then that result one might argue would be considered an (A)!