MAKE YOUR PREDICTIONS

Well with the ’10-’11 season not getting here fast enough, and also the recent slow down in news/discussion, I figured let’s have a little fun.

I recently read an article in “Hockey: The Magazine” where 12 of their writers made some extreme predictions. Each “expert” ranked each team by conference, 1 through 15. Also Each predicted the Stanley Cup winner, the Presidents’ Trophy winner, as well as the Hart, Art Ross, Maurice Richard, Vezina, Norris, Calder, and Jack Adams.

The Overall Standings, as Predicted by the “Hockey: The Magazine” 12 experts were as follows:

Eastern Conference: Western Conference:

1. Washington 1. Vancouver
2. Pittsburgh 2. Chicago
3. Boston 3. San Jose
4. New Jersey 4. Los Angeles
5. Philadelphia 5. Detroit
6. Tampa Bay 6. St. Louis
7. Ottawa 7. Phoenix
8. Montreal________ 8. Colorado
9. Buffalo 9. Nashville
10. Atlanta 10. Minnesota
11. Toronto 11. Calgary
12. Rangers 12. Dallas
13. Carolina 13. Columbus
14. Islanders 14. Anaheim
15. Florida 15. Edmonton

Stanley Cup: Vancouver
Presidents’ Trophy: Washington
Hart: Sidney Crosby
Art Ross: Alex Ovechkin
Maurice Richard: Alex Ovechkin
Vezina: Roberto Luongo
Norris: Drew Doughty
Calder: Taylor Hall
Jack Adams: Guy Boucher

At the end, they invited “you” to make your own predictions and compare with the “experts”. I took the challenge and came out with the following

Eastern Conference: Western Conference:

1. Pittsburgh 1. Chicago
2. Washington 2. Vancouver
3. Boston 3. Los Angeles
4. Philadelphia 4. San Jose
5. New Jersey 5. Detroit
6. Tampa Bay 6. St. Louis
7. Montreal 7. Colorado
8. Ottawa_____________ 8. Phoenix___________
9. Buffalo 9. Calgary
10. Atlanta 10. Dallas
11. Rangers 11. Anaheim
12. Toronto 12. Minnesota
13. Carolina 13. Nashville
14. Islanders 14. Edmonton
15. Florida 15. Columbus

Stanley Cup: Montreal
Runner-Up: Los Angeles
Presidents’ Trophy: Chicago
Hart: Crosby
Art Ross: Crosby
Maurice Richard: Crosby
Vezina: Price
Norris: Doughty
Calder: Subban
Jack Adams: Boucher

Ok, So I’m not going to review each of my decisions, I’ll just talk about the more bold ones that may create a stir. First, I think this year is Crosby’s year, (I know it seems that way almost every year) but I mean he will absolutely dominate this season and make it a Sidney season across the board. I also think Chicago didn’t lose much if at all in this off-season. Aside from Byfuglien, there’s no one who can’t be “re-placed” in some respect. Strong core kept intact, and great depth to the Hawks.

Columbus won’t be last in the league bu i believe they’ll see the basement in the West and Edmonton will sneak by them purely based on the youth experiment.

Now the East is usually the main focus of this website which is why I’ll explain myself more here. The top 5 in the east is more or less a difference of opinion on ranking among the same teams. Afterwards is where things get sticky. The next 6 or 7 teams could rise or fall ANYWHERE and should all be battling within a point or two for those last 3 playoff spots. I think this off-season was glorious for Tampa Bay which will catapult them into the sixth playoff spot. To get the bottom three out of the way, i just don’t see them being strong enough to compete on a night in night out basis. Which leaves us with 6 teams to fight it out for 2 spots. Toronto will make big strides this year and could possibly crack the post-season but ultimately I feel their inexperience and being one of the youngest teams in the league will catch-up to them. Also the lack of team Chemistry will play into things as well. Atlanta I believe will benefit in the standings from playing in the weakest division in the NHL. Based purely on that is why I ranked them ahead of the leafs and Rangers. And Finally I believe this is indeed Price’s coming out party season. He’ll finally show the hockey world what he’s capable of. With the Habs having a year of experience together under their belts it will only increase the stats more of Price. Bringing the Habs into the 7th spot with 36 wins a .920 % and a 2.08 GAA he’ll bring home the hardware. Subban will also win the Calder with a 56 point season, 15 goals, 41 assists. And finally I chose the Habs to win the cup, yes because I’m a known Habs Fan, and honestly i could have went with a logical prediction, and chose Pittsburgh or Vancouver or along those lines. But if the Habs win i look like the genius who believed in my team……… or just the idiot who got dumb lucky on an absurd prediction…. either way I’ll take it !! haha…

SO HTR bloggers……. Have at it!….. let’s see your bold predictions and compare results…. Let’s have fun!


143 Responses to MAKE YOUR PREDICTIONS

  1. Leafs_the_word says:

    Does skating coast to coast before you put the puck in the net come into play?  So they're is only three elite players in the leage? He isn't Crosby, Ovechkin or Malkin, what a knock on him.  Getzlaf isn't a comparable, put it this why, if Anahiem called up NJ and wanted to trade Getzlaf straight up for Kovalchuk Lou would laugh in Murray's face.  Of course you'd take Kesler he's a Canuck, that would be like me saying I'd take Kadri over E. Kane. 

    Again you fail to acknowledge the role Atlanta ask Kovalchuk to play, he was expected to selfish, he was asked to play that way.  Scoring goals isn't just a fringe talent, it's the hardest thing to do it hockey, those that make the big show and can't have to refashion themselves as defensive pluggers, the beta men of the LNH.  So if Kovalchuk does become a bust, look for him to start back checking.

    Also have to factor in potential on size, Giroux is 5'11, 172lbs, hell I have twenty pounds and an inch on him.  Kovalchuk is 6'2, 230, he's a beast and as dynamic as anyone in the league. Compare that to Ovie's 6'2, 223lbs, Crosby 5'11 200lbs, Malkin's 6'3 195lbs. Size matters and this also set Kovalchuk apart from the Kessels of the league.

    Well you did say 'Claude Giroux will finish top 15 in league scoring. He just possesses an unbelievable skill set that only players like Crosby and Datsyuk can match.'  That's a more ringing endorsement that him just being a sleeper while saying of Kovalchuk 'Kovalchuk signing will be a total bust. He's such an overrated player. Sure he's skilled, but he's so one dimensional.' So will Kovalchuk crack the top fifteen while being a 'complete bust'? Or does Kovalchuk have to win the Hart to prove hims worthy of a 6.7 cap hit? 

    Anyways we'll ignore the reality that Giroux's over under is 20 goals and he's yet to establish himself as a top six foward. We have all season to see this play out.

  2. lafleur10 says:

    i was around watching my habs in the late90's early 00's during there brief ineptitude!

  3. Bure96 says:

    I'll tell you every single guy I'd take over Kovalchuk (at forward) without any basis on age, and declining seasons ahead.

    Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Backstrom, Stamkos, Morrow, Gaborik, Parise, Perry, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, both Sedin's, Marleau, Perry, Kopitar, Getzlaf, Nash, Thornton, Kane, Staal, Heatley, and St. Louis

    Anybody on that list either has produced at almost the same rate as him over the last 4 years, or comes close and is vastly superior in other aspects of the game that you aren't taking into consideration (faceoffs, hitting, leadership, defensive play, shot blocking, smart decision making, etc).

    Nobody in Atlanta said to Kovalchuk "we don't need you to pass". That's stupid. He played with Marian Hossa, and Marc Savard, and he looked the same then as he did now. He's just selfish. He's top 5 in the league blueline deep, but that's only a 3rd of the rink. Brings nothing in terms of leadership and heart. I don't have to be in the dressing room to know that. He's just like Marcus Naslund in his prime. They'll never win anything, and both don't bring anything besides goal scoring ability. He's big, but he plays soft generally too. I've seen him protect the puck well, but he's still a perimater player.

    You missed my point about Kesler too. For what he does he deserves 30 million over the next 6 years. He's close to an elite NHL player, and is an underrated player. He doesn't get the credit he deserves. Come on, i'm not comparing the two guys. I was making about more about dollars involved then comparing the two. That was unfair and biased on my part the way it was said.

    Kovalchuk scores goals. That's all he does. 41 goals in very good, but is 41 goals worth 100 million dollars? No. Hell even if he gets 50 (3 of the last 4 seasons he's gotten 41 – 43, so let's not get carried away and call him a 50 goal lock) is it worth it? I wouldn't pay Dany Heatley more then 6 million a year, how is he any worse then Kovalchuk? Dany Heatley brings a more physical aspect, and he's stronger on the puck then Kovalchuk. He can be a net presence too.

    Kovalchuk has to be one of the top 5 players and in consideration for the Hart for him to not be a bust. Think about it. There putting the franchise in his hands. Not Parise, not Broduer, but Kovalchuk. He doesn't get them over the hump then this won't be a success. Unless the team is better then last year, the signing will be a failure, because you don't commit 100 million dollars to anyone unless you really think he can be "the guy" on a Stanley Cup winning team.

    Claude Giroux does have a top level skill set. Kovalchuk does too. Guroux also has more playoff points then Kovalchuk. He's a winner. He's battle hard. He's underrated because of his size. Everyone assumes the guy doesn't battle, and doesn't hit, but he does. Tsn.ca is a bit off. The guy is probably around 5'10, 180 – 185 pounds. Don't just read the scouting report, watch the guy play and you'll see he's a beast.

    Once again though, we'll ignore the reality that Claude Giroux has already established he can be a franchise player as he was arguably the Flyers best forward in the playoffs. Kovvalchuk has 1 playoff win. Rick Nash has zero, but he also got a gold metal. Any team Kovalchuk has ever played on has been a disapointment.

  4. reinjosh says:

    How in the world is Kesler close to elite? He had 75 points once. ONCE! And he did it playing behind the Hart and Art winner. Yes he can play a two way game but he isn't elite. Datsyul is elite. Kesler is not.

    Your argument is based really stupidly. Your basing it solely on what you think Giroux has. Points wise, Kovy has outscored Giroux in every way. In Kovy's first season, he outscored Giroux in his second season by 3 points in 17 less games. SEVENTEEN! THe only reason Giroux has more points in this past playoff, was because he played more games. Kovy had more than a PPG. Giroux had less. Kovy also plays a far more physical game as evidenced by his PIM every year. Giroux just simply does not play a game even close to to Kovy's right now.

    Now granted the key word is right now. Giroux could still develop a better game but its highly unlikely. He has to pass Carter, Briere, Richards to just get top ice time.

    AND HOW THE HELL HAS HE ESTABLISHED HIMSELF AS A FRANCHISE PLAYER? How is that a reality? He had one good playoff. Lots of players have that. Look at Fernado Pisani. Or RJ Umberger. Your also using the stupidest basis of logic as an argument. No one player will ever win a cup. Crosby didn't. Ovechkin can't. Gretzky didn't, neither did Lidstrom. Kovy spent time as the Thrashers franchise player and couldn't win because he didn't have any depth to the team. Kovy was the Devils best player this past playoff but that doesn't make him the only reason the team can go somewhere. Giroux was playing on a team with Pronger, Timonen, Richards, Carter, Gagne, Briere (who was actually far better than Giroux in the playoffs) and Hartnell. All players who were better than him.

  5. reinjosh says:

    Yeah except Boston has Savard, Krejci and now Horton. Nashville has a bunch of "maybe 30" guys. It is incredibly the talent they have for picking defenseman and goalies.

  6. Leafs_the_word says:

    Ok, I don't see why anyone should be interested in a list of your favorite forwards or how that makes a case against Kovalchuk.  It would be as silly as me listing players I rank ahead of Giroux, which would include half the league.  I love how 2nd rate superstars get a pass on being one dimensional though, like Kopitar, Marleau, Gaborik, ect… Put nearly anyone on that list in Atlanta and they do match Kovalchuk (I'd love to see Marleau on the Thrasher and have a 40 point year).

    I'll quote Gretzky in his prime on his attitude "When I'm on the ice, that's my puck, you get your own" so Mr. Teammate all time assist leader became the greatest player of all time by being a puck hog.  It's what is expected of elite talent, they get the puck and keep it.  Kovalchuk shouldn't be expected to play like an epsilon to win over the niche fans that fetishize a 'complete player'.  Oh and I suppose we need ignore his 40+ assists a year when saying he never passes the puck (derp).  As for his leadership and heart, you don't consistently get between 85-90 points a year with no supporting cast without heart.  As for leadership he was the guy that forced Malkin and Ovechkin to make nice for the good of Russian hockey, I can't think of a teammate that has bad mouth him in recent years, so again your mere opinion of him amounts to just that.

    You want to talk dollars, you won't find a better deal than 6.7 a year for Kovy, given that he left 10 per on the table.  As for Kesler, all I ever here is how he's the most complete player in the league, who is under valuing him (other than his own GM when it came time to re-up? Curious).

    Ovechkin is the only player to consistently score 50 goals a year, their is one guy in the league that can do that and he make 9 million a year for it. So to insist that Kovalchuk is a bust because he only hits 50 the odd year while being money for 40 is assine, especially given that he does it for the bargain of 6.7 per.

    Heatly? Really? This one is easy, which was the star between the two while they were teammates?  Heatly, talk about leadership and character huh. He is Canadian I suppose…

    Yep, Lou committed 100 million, such an inept GM, what has he ever done?

    Again, you see something in Giroux's game, ok… that doesn't make him one of the most talented players in the game.  Giroux played more playoff game than Kovalchuk, I wonder which of the two would be on the top line if they played on the same team (hint no really wonders that)? 

    Far be it for me to consult TSN for someone's height and weight, I didn't realize your privy to Giroux's daily weigh ins.  Hey, maybe Kovy is actually 240, making stuff up is fun. 

    I watched Giroux throughout the playoffs, good young player, nothing more.

    When did he establish he's a franchise player?  When you decided it was so?  I don't recall his name being dropped in the discussion for Conn Smyth, perhaps you overestimating his potential? 

    Rick Nash played on Canada, the most stacked team in the Olympics, again we fault Kovalchuk (who did lead Russia to a world championship) for not playing on a stacked team.  I suppose Nash would have been a difference maker for either the Atlanta Tharshers or the Russians…. I'll take Kovy's 40 goals at 6.7 over Nash's 30 at 7.8 like anyone with half a brain would.            

  7. Leafs_the_word says:

    Brief? Since they last won the cup during the OJ trial they've had one good season. 

  8. mojo19 says:

    Did anyone else catch Greg McKegg's goal vs the Blackhawks tonight? Sweet hands.

    Best player in the game in my opinion was Bradley Ross for Toronto. I think I'm gonna like this guy.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Nice picks Josh. Slightly rearranged but I have the same 8 teams making it in the West as you.

  10. reinjosh says:

    I wasn't able to catch it but I saw the live blogs up. I'm excited for Ross. I have a feeling that he is going to be a huge fan favorite in the time to come.

  11. FlamingHomer says:

    His biggest obstacle will be that many of the voters won't have seen him play much due to his location. If he continues to develop at his current rate he should win it.

  12. Leafs_the_word says:

    I came across this today and thought it relevant, it's a list of the playoffs points based on the 3 stars after each game.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/threestarsstandings.htm

    Giroux surprisingly did sneak into the top ten with 60 points for twice being a game's top star.

  13. futurebruin says:

    hahahaha.  Dude, the Bruins aren't going to miss the playoffs unless they get hit with even more injuries than they did last year.  They improved significantly with the additions of Horton and Seguin.  Campbell on the fourth line is a solid additoon and will bring a little extra veteran presence to the locker room.  The benefit of having Seidenberg play with Chara all year will go a long way.  They have some killer chemistry.

    1. Washington                                          1. Chicago   
    2. New Jersey                                           2. San Jose
    3. Boston                                                 3. Detroit
    4. Pittsburgh                                            4. Vancouver
    5. Philadelphia                                         5. Los Angeles
    6. New York Rangers                                  6. Colorado
    7. Atlanta                                                 7. Phoenix
    8. Tampa Bay                                           8. Anaheim
    9. Ottawa                                                  9. St. Louis
    10. Montreal                                             10. Dallas
    11. Buffalo                                               11. Calgary
    12. Carolina                                             12. Nashville
    13. New York Islanders                              13. Edmonton
    14. Toronto                                              14. Columbus
    15. Florida                                               15. Minnesota

  14. futurebruin says:

    Dude, Alexandrov won't be an X-Factor this year.  He looked out of place at development camp.  I'd say the X-Factors will be Colborne, Caron, Knight if he's signed, McQuaid, and perhaps even Penner.

  15. futurebruin says:

    Honestly, I think Hall's teammate will get the calder.  What's his name again?  Something like Paajarvi-Svenson?

  16. Boston_Bruins says:

    Rookie camp just starting up eh? Knight came in at over 200 pounds! He put on 15 pounds since the draft and that's after he sent out this workout video to NHL teams after he got snubbed from the combine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM2ludeR0BM

    Gotta love that work ethic. And apparently he's been sniping like crazy in practice so far.

    Can't wait for the double header against the Islanders. They have Knight with Seguin and Arniel, Colborne with Caron and MacDermid and Sauve with Spooner.

    And speaking of Spooner I got a chance to see him play against Oshawa (exhibition) and he looked like the best player on the ice. He can dangle, snipe, and set guys up. They have him playing with first round pick Austin Watson and likely top 5-10 pick this year Matt Puempel so I think we might be seeing 80+ points out of him in the OHL this year.

  17. Boston_Bruins says:

    Apparently on the ice he was excellent but conditioning is a problem. If they get him on some kind of program, and get accustomed to the NA game in the AHL he could make an impact. Guys like McQuaid and Penner will likely be the first call-ups but I don't see the upside there like Alexandrov has. That's more what I'm going for with the x-factor.

  18. Leafs_the_word says:

    It's spelt Eberle.

  19. Leafs_the_word says:

    I almost put Backstrom for the Art, then gave up my conviction, nice dark horse pick.

  20. mojo19 says:

    haha, word come one, you really think Kyle Wellwood… I mean Jordan Eberle will win the Calder? Give me a break. Paajarvi-Svenson maybe.

  21. mojo19 says:

    come *on*
    sorry for typo

  22. mojo19 says:

    He seems to be a big physical kid. Can skate, hit, has a great shot, can handle the puck. I think he's got all the tools to be a solid NHL'er. Here's hoping he turns into a star.

  23. Leafs_the_word says:

    Heh, size queen.

  24. mojo19 says:

    hahaha.

    These Oilers are all pretty small team. The only forwards who can be considered locks who are over 6'0" are Fraser, Hall, Horcoff, Jacques, MacIntyre, and Penner. Most of the significant guys they're going to need to perform well to be succesful like Brule, Cogliano, Eberle, and Gagner are all under 6'0", and Hemsky is just at it.

    I think this will be a skilled team, but look at some of the "fringe teams" like Phoenix for example: Pyatt, Bisonette, Picard, Tihkonov, Wolski are all 6'2"-6'4", plus Doan is 6"1 and plays a big game, and of course Hanzal is a monster at 6'6". The smallest guys on the Coyotes are Fiddler, MacLean, Prucha, Turris, Upshall, and Vrbata, all of them are 6'0"-6'1". The only forwards under 6'0" that have a chance to make the team are Hollweg, Boedeker, and Ray Whitney. Edmonton is all Ray Whitney.

  25. hockey_lover says:

    hahahahahaha …… dude.

    Ok. Duely noted.

    Perhaps its just wishful thinking on my part then.

  26. reinjosh says:

    Hanzal is a beast. He is really consistent too. Three straight seasons of 10 goals and 30 points.

  27. SeguinCalder says:

    East                              

    Capitals – x                                                                            
    Devils – x
    Bruins – x
    Penguins – x
    Lightning – x
    Flyers – x
    Sabres – x
    Rangers – x
    Canadiens
    Senators
    Hurricanes
    Islanders
    Thrashers
    Maple Leafs
    Panthers

    West

    Canucks – x
    Blackhawks – x
    Kings – x
    Sharks – x
    RedWings – x
    Coyotes – x
    Avalanche – x
    Ducks – x
    Stars
    Predators
    Flames
    Blues
    Oilers
    Blue Jackets

    Stanley Cup: Boston
    Runner-Up:  Vancouver
    esidents' Trophy: Washington
    Hart: Crosby
    Art Ross: Ovechkin
    Maurice Richard: Stamkos
    Vezina: Rask
    Norris: Doughty
    Calder: Seguin
    Jack Adams: Boucher

  28. Boston_Bruins says:

    Welcome to the boards! Things are definitely falling in place for the B's. We might not be a favourite but I definitely thin we're a contender now and in the future.

    Rask and Seguin definitely have the talent to take home those awards but I don't know if they'll get the playing time. I think Seguin is more likely than Rask though.

    I also hope Bergeron gets a nod at least as a finalist for the Selke too. I think he should have been in there over Staal last year.

  29. TimTheBone says:

    Drew doughty is a beast of a defenseman as well….. The guy is light years beyond his age…..

  30. Bure96 says:

    Alright .. relax. You have your opinions .. I have mine. I never said I wouldn't want Ilya Kovalchuk on my team .. I just don't truly believe he'll be "the guy" for New Jersey .. which he should be considering he just got a 100 million dollar deal. I also never said Claude Giroux is better then Ilya Kovalchuk .. all i'm saying is don't be surprised if he leads the Flyers in points and has a breakout year.

    We'll see how the season goes, how about that ?

  31. DannyLeafs says:

    I have to agree. It's hard to not like what the Bruins have in their organization in terms of assets. They have 4 guys that could be at the very least a #2 center on any team that isn't Pittsburgh for this upcoming season. They have a couple of good prospects in the system, they have a good core of young forwards already on the team, and 2 first round picks in this years draft. They could use a couple of high end defense prospects (or at least a couple of offensive minded ones), but all in all, their current assets are pretty good.

    Their cap management may not have been stellar, but that is something that can be fixed going forward. Savard  Thomas and Lucic's contracts are likely the only ones that could really haunt them. Savard's and Thomas because they will likely be difficult to move, and moving them may become a priority in the next season or so. Lucic's because of it's size, and because when it comes time to re-up he is due for a raise. If he cant' score more then 20 goals soon, Boston could be looking at having to pay an enforcer with upside upwards of 4.5 million a season. But, at the same time those issues could be dealt with, and this team will still be good even if they don't have ideal solutions.

    The only pressing issue is the Bruins trying to sort things out so they can really stike while the iron is hot. They may really want to go for it all while Seguin is on an ELC, and before players Krejci, Lucic and  Rask are due for significant raises. It will be interesting to see if Chiarelli goes for broke and really presses to move out some of his undesirable contracts in the next little while, or if he just goes a simpler route and just does minor maintenance and makes sure the team just stays competitive for as long as possible, and hopes they catch some breaks somewhere down the road that puts them over the top. Either way, if the most pressing need for your team is trying to get rid of a center who will likely be a point per game producer, and a goalie who has a .918 save percentage in the NHL, then things aren't really that bad.

  32. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think all he'll do is tinker with the lineup a bit. He's made it pretty clear he doesn't want a one-time deal. He wants to build a winner now and in the future so I think he'll make moves to try to make that happen.

    I still can't see Savard's contract being that much of a hindrance. Say he doesn't bounce back from his injury. I still think it's safe to assume that he'll put up around 60 poimnts which is fine for a $4 million cap hit. And he's on one of those "cheap" deals that allows him to retire and come off the cap.

    I understand Thomas' deal being a hindrance but it might not be so bad this year because he'll provide some insurance in case Rask stumbles.

    Lucic might be overpaid right now but honestly I'm not upset with that deal at all. He may not rack up points but he provides alot of stuff and has come up big in the playoffs every time.

    Overall I love what Chiarelli's done with the team. It seems like only yesterday that the team was rotating through plug after plug. McEachern, Scatchard, York, Langfeld, LaCouture, Moran, Tanabe, Tenkrat… *shudders*

  33. DannyLeafs says:

    By in large I think he has done a great job. He has made mistakes, but every GM does. I do think that Savard's deal will be something they want to move down the road, as I don't think his production will be that valuable to the team given their depth at center. Sure, he could provide decent value for 4 million a season, but is it necessary? It's kind of similar to Semin on Washington. Take away his 44 goals last year and you still have the highest scoring team in the league. What difference does it make if the score in your wins is 5-1 instead of 3-1? That being said, I think Savard will also not be that difficult to move later on. Now that his contract is officially been approved, teams won't be as wary. I also think it's likely that he plays well this year (even if it's only 60+ points), and teams will start to become more interested.

    I disagree about Lucic's contract. I think he is overpaid, but it's not just that. It's the fact that he is unnecessarily overpaid, and his contract doesn't even take him to UFA status, which means to retain his rights, Chiarelli has to offer a 10% raise at the end of the contract. I think Lucic could prove worth it, but I just think it was a knee jerk reaction to the Kessel deal. He wanted to prove to the fans that he wasn't about to let all of their young talent force their way out. My problem is that he signed him to too much, even though he had lots of time left to negotiate and get a more workable deal done. It's not like Lucic was in a position to play hard ball. He was coming off a 17 goal season, if it had gone to arbitration this off season he would likely have gotten a 2.5 million dollar deal, so it seems silly to sign him so long before that to a 4.1 million dollar deal.

    But I agree overall with what the Bruins have done. Some of the pieces were already in place, but Chiarelli did bring in Chara and Savard who were huge reasons for the quick turn around. He also drafted Kessel, Lucic, Seguin, Hamill, and Colbourne, as well as trading for Rask. These are some solid moves for any GM. I think the Horton deal was also a good one. Horton is a solid point producer with size, and considering many Bruin fans were talking about dumping Wideman's contract for nothing as a positive move, turning him and a middling first into Horton is a pretty solid deal, especially considering Burke couldn't manage to turn Kaberle into top six forward.

  34. Boston_Bruins says:

    For Lucic I actually do think he was in a position to play a bit of hard ball. He is easily the most popular Bruin since the Neely/Bourque era. That might seem to be a bit of a stretch to say that gave him leverage but ultimately as a business your goal is to make money, and letting the fan favourite go is not very wise. Couple that with what you said about  just losing an exciting player in Kessel and you do have to pay Lucic a hefty amount. I acknowledge he's overpaid right now (although technically we don't know yet because the contract starts this year) but when he's on his game hammering people and dropping the gloves you can just feel the energy he gives to the fans and the team.

    And for Savard as it stands right now he pretty much is the powerplay. The PP collapsed with him out and he's a safe bet to log 5+ minutes on the wall threading passes cross-crease a night. Even if you look at it that oh they have 3 (4 including Seguin) centers to turn to, I don't think that powerplay production is even close to replaced if Savard leaves.

    Interesting that you mention Hamill there. Obviously he can't be considered a bust yet but he hasn't impressed at all in my opinion. Decent in the AHL last year but not what you'd expect from a top ten pick. And he was randomlly invited to that top 23 prospects thing earlier this summer (what the hell?). I also don't see where he fits in for Boston either. Seriously, where would he play? Maybe he'll have success somewhere but I don't think it will be with Boston.

    I love the Horton trade. Watching all the Bruins games, Wideman was easily the worst player on the roster over the course of the year (including Ryder). Although he did pick it up at the end, I don't think I could stand another year of his ridiculous turnovers and him falling all over the ice. It got to the point where it was laughable where you're just like "Yep, of course he did that." And to turn that player into a first line scoring winger with size and strength is pretty incredible. Yeah it would have been nice to have a mid-first in a deep draft (and even nicer seeing as Fowler and Gormley slid to around there), but you don't pass up a young guy with that talent and production who clearly was never happy or motivated where he was playing as well.

  35. Leafs_the_word says:

    Nah, you won me over, Brodeur is overrated too, all he does is stop pucks he's so one dimensional.

  36. DannyLeafs says:

    I think the thing with Lucic is that it was so early for an overpayment. It just came across as somewhat desperate, and I think if had given it a little time he could have gotten a better deal done. All in all, it's not a big deal, he is a good young player that is important to the team, and every team has at least some money spent in slighly overpaid players, at least with Lucic it's a fan favourite which is important since when overpaid players aren't fan favourites, it usually gets ugly.

    With Savard, I think the real mistake has been shopping him. I don't see anything wrong with keeping him for the next year or so. I can see wanting to move him before the 7 years is out given their current center situation, but I agree about the powerplay and overall team offense. There isn't a defensemen in the organization that figures to run the powerplay in the next year or so, and no centremen that is likely to be a point per game player next season. So I think they would miss his offense. But they will likley look to address these short comings in the not to distant future (well with the centre, they will likely just let one of the current centremen grow into the #1 role). I still think the best option is to let him rebound this year and increase his value. I have always said that I think a soft trade was a bad idea, but if they can get decent value from trading him in a year or two, then it would be a good deal.

  37. SeguinCalder says:

    dump thomas'salary and resign satan…

  38. 911Flyers says:

    Agree with Giroux, Stamkos and Datsyuk, Niemi, Kovalchuk and Brodeur. 

    Don't know enough about Nashville to comment on either of those predictions. 
    Indifferent with the Morrow prediction. I don't know the West as well as I know the East.
    Disagree with the Blues and Canadiens predictions. The Blues and Canadiens both had disappointing seasons and I believe they will bounce back (Boyes and Berglund had bad offensive seasons for the Blues, Cammalleri, Markov and others missed significant time with the Habs).
    As for the debate about Giroux. Think about it this way:
    Jordan Staal has now had 4 seasons and 4 playoffs to develop and, apart from when they had Hossa, has been the Pens' #3 forward, behind only Crosby and Malkin. I'm not trying to bash him at all, he is a brilliant player, but he has never eclipsed 50 points and has only once averaged more than a point every other game in the playoffs. All this despite power play time, occasionally playing wing with Crosby or Malkin and occasionally being the 2nd line centre when Crosby or Malkin is injured. No doubt, he will be a Selke candidate for years to come, but after his promising rookie season and last season where the player taken immediately after him (Toews) won the Conn Smythe and was the Olympic MVP and the player taken 2 spots after him (Backstrom) scored over 100 points, it's not unfair to say that Staal has not completely filled his expectations.
    Contrast that with Giroux. To earn a top-6 spot on the Flyers, he had to get through Richards, Carter, Briere, Gagne, Hartnell and fellow prospect van Riemsdyk. The Result…in just 1 and a half seasons with playoffs Giroux is now a fixture on both special teams, nearly matched Staal's career high for points in one season, led his team in scoring in the playoffs in 2009 and <B> despite playing in less than half as many playoff games Giroux has 2 more career playoff points than Staal and is nearly a point per game player in the playoffs. </B> I should also add that Giroux accomplished that while mostly playing on the 3rd line.
    I'm not trying to compare the 2 players they are both very good in different ways, but given what Giroux has done with the situation he was given in Philly, there is very good reason to expect a huge improvement from Giroux.
    Still, bold predictions. I like them.
  39. 911Flyers says:

    1. Washington

    2. Boston
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Philadelphia
    5. New Jersey
    6. Buffalo
    7. Tampa Bay
    8. Ottawa
    9. Montreal
    10. New York Rangers
    11. Carolina
    12. Atlanta
    13. Toronto
    14. New York Islanders
    15. Florida
    1. Vancouver

    2. San Jose
    3. Detroit
    4. Chicago
    5. Los Angeles
    6. St Louis
    7. Colorado
    8. Calgary
    9. Phoenix
    10. Nashville
    11. Anaheim
    12. Dallas
    13. Minnesota
    14. Edmonton
    15. Columbus
    Hart: Crosby – Ovechkin, Stamkos
    Art Ross: Crosby – Ovechkin, Backstrom
    Rocket Richard: Ovechkin – Stamkos, Crosby
    Vezina: Lundqvist – Miller, Rask
    Selke: Richards – Staal, Kesler (please not Datsyuk again!)
    Norris: Keith – Doughty, Pronger
    Calder: Hall – Pietrangelo, Eberle
    Bold Prediction: Despite picking them 8th, I think Ottawa has the most potential to surprise/disappoint. I could see them returning to their dominance with solid seasons from Spezza, Gonchar and Kovalev, but I could see them finishing in the bottom 5 in the East if they don't click.
  40. Leafs_the_word says:

    This reads like a template of how thing are expected to shape up.  Safe picks, not there is anything wrong with that.

    Though I picked him for the Norris, I have second thoughts.  I think Pronger will probably coast through the regular season during the season despite being the league's best defenseman.

    Solid list, though NJ is finishing better than Philly.

  41. 911Flyers says:

    Hmm, the Flyers are an interesting team. I don't think they've finished above 5th in the past 3 years, but they have two trips to at least the final four and the only other year was a tough series loss to the eventual champs. 

    I actually think they are a better team than the Devils or the Penguins and the main reason I have the Caps and Bruins as 1 and 2 is because they have weaker divisions. However, I would not be surprised to see the Flyers place as low as 6th, but I placed them above NJ since Brodeur is aging, the team's record after the Kovalchuk trade wasn't that good if I remember correctly and they are currently over the cap, so they need to shed some salary.
    Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see NJ finish above Philly, but I would be surprised to see Philly out of the playoffs before NJ. As you said (or implied more than said really) Pronger ups his play come playoff time and so do Richards, Briere, Hartnell, Laperriere and if he keeps developing Giroux too.

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