laist.com

 

I should note that these are just my predictions. What I say does not go. I’m stating my opinion – which may or may not be right. I’d like to read all yours, but if you disagree with one (or more) of my predictions please go about doing so in a respectable manner.

 

I should note that these are just my predictions. What I say does not go. I’m stating my opinion – which may or may not be right. I’d like to read all yours, but if you disagree with one (or more) of my predictions please go about doing so in a respectable manner.

 

 

So here we go!

 

1.Detroit Red Wings*– Detroit is always a major factor come playoff time, and this year it’s no exception. They didn’t add any big name players to the rosters, but did get some solid defence in Ian White and Mike Commodore and a reliable backup in Ty Conklin.

2.Vancouver Canucks*-  The Canucks were at the top of their game last year, until, of course, the Stanley Cup Final. They invited many older players to tryouts, like Manny Legace and Owen Nolan, which will add to their depth if signed.

3. LA Kings*- Los Angeles improved a ton this summer, adding scoring forwards Mike Richards and Simon Gagne, and Kopitar already on the team. With Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier in net, all they need is Drew Doughty and they can make a long playoff run. Plus they have Drew Doughty on the back end.

4. San Jose Sharks– Dany Heatley was traded to Minnesota for Martin Havlat in July, which may or may not have been a good deal. Heatley is the overall better player, but Havlat has never had any offensive help anywhere he has been, unlike Heatley.

5. Nashville Predators- Nashville suprised everybody last year with their great playoff run, and should be able to do it. With Ryan Ellis, Blake Geoffrion and Cal O’ Reilly, the Predators have a ton of new young talent to add on to their already strong team. Lack of offense will kill them.

 

6. Chicago Blackhawks- Andrew Brunette was the team’s big offensive signing, and while he may not be first line all season, he will defiantly make a difference. Their goaltending is a question mark, with Corey Crawford and Alex Salak. Ray Emery is on a try out.

7. Anaheim Ducks- The reason I ranked the Ducks so low was because of Jonas Hiller. Will he be healthy? If he is, Anaheim is the team to beat, with Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan. Selanne returns and will hopefully add some more offense.

 

8.Columbus Blue Jackets- The team may have finally found a center man for Rick Nash in Jeff Carter. Ryan Johansen is one of the leading Calder caniadates, and James Wisnewski increases the defensive capabilities of the Blue Jackets.

 

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9. Minnesota Wild– Heatley and Devin Setegouchi bring offensive ability the Wild has been missing since Marian Gaborik left. Talented forward Mikael Granlund needs a strong training camp to make the team, but it’s unlikely. Backstrom needs to shine.

10. St. Louis Blues– Jason Arnott and Jamie Lagenbrunner bring offensive depth to an already solid forward squad. Chris Stewart will be here for his first full season, and will make a big impact. Halak is looking for another strong season in net.

11. Calgary Flames- Calgary did not improve, but did get worse. Robyn Regher was traded to Buffalo to add salary, but all they got in return was Chris Butler and Paul Byron. Kippursoff is always solid in net.

12. Edmonton Oilers– The Oilers offense is finally strong, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky, to name a few. The defence is still weak, and the goaltending situation was left alone.

13. Colorado Avalanche- Paul Stasny has been a part of trade rumors for a while now, so who knows where he will be this season. Matt Duchene is the only offense otherwise. JS Gigiuere and Semyon Varlamov will now be between the pipes, a better tandem then the team finished with last year.

 

14. Phoenix Coyotes- Where do I start? Bryzgalov was replaced by Mike Smith, Eric Belanger was replaced by Boyd Gordon, and the top offensive signing was Raffi Torres. Turris wants out of Phoenix, leaving them with almost nothing.

 

15. Dallas Stars- The Stars are still ok up front, but their goaltending is still a huge problem.Richards and Lagenbrunner were replaced by Michael Ryder and Vern Fiddler.

 

 

Western Conference Stanley Cup Final Rep: LA Kings- I really like what they Kings did this summer, adding to their already great team.

 

Follow Me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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