NHL Notes, Predictions, and more…

Just thought I’d write on all the happenings in the NHL right now, including my early predictions for next year- standings and awards.

NHL Notes:

-The Bryan McCabe situation is still thriving in the NHL rumor spotlight- and why not, there’s plenty going on here. Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple weeks, you know that Bryan is supposedly headed to Florida on September 1st. The only thing left to really speculate on is what’s the deal made of? Many think 29 year old Mike Van Ryn would be headed north of the border in the deal, and that Bryan would not be going to Florida alone. The best bets to head with him? Anyone not named Vesa or Luke, basically. Speculation has ranged from Nik Antropov to Ian White and everyone in between. My guess is either Ponikarovsky or White. And I’m not even getting into the wild fire talks of Jay Bo headed to T.O cause that’s when rumors turn into video game proposals- although I wish we could get him…

-How come everybody has seemingly forgotten Temmu Selanne? If Sundin had already signed somewhere, I’m sure this would make HUGE news. He’s all but forgotten Anaheim, and has shown that he would like to continue playing in the NHL…seems kinda like the opposite of Sundin if you ask me. The best bet for a Selanne landing place is…one of the front runners for Sundin that doesn’t get him… AKA Montreal, Vancouver or New York.

- Nikita Filatov better ready himself for one heck of a trip in Columbus now. If Stefan Legein truly does retire like reports, and Jackets front office say, then Filatov just got that much more important to the club…

-The latest spec. on Joe Sakic is that he is for sure back with the club, and is no longer considering retirement. If that’s so then what’s the hold up? I think Sakic and the Avs may be holding out because they have an outside shot at Sundin. Do the math. Sundin’s first team was the Nord’s, he played with Joe and is good friends with him, and the Avs are a playoff team, + Sundin and an instant Cup contender… seems like Sakic might be willing to take a pay cut if it meant reuniting with a friend and getting at chance at Cup…

-And I might as well get this out of the way I guess: Mats Sundin. The biggest hockey news this year. Seems kinda sad that we got THIS deprived of hockey- nothing against Mats. Let’s just let him make his own decision in his own time. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. So I might as well join in on the speculation. Let’s label Big Mats’ choices:

Toronto- Honor, Montreal- Cup, Vancouver- Money, Rangers- Cup/Money
Any other team- Any of the above, Retirement- Honor
I think it just comes down to that. Paint it blue, red, black, yellow, green, orange, that’s what it comes down to, and Sundin might as well get some dice. BTW Sundin to Flyers is about 0.01% chance.

-Rumor has it Pomminville is close to an extension with Buffalo. Good for Buffalo, they can’t let all their talent slip away. I’d expect the payout to be big.

-Who else thinks Chicago is ready for a playoff game?

-Seems like the Isles got a keeper in Josh Bailey; from NHL.com: “”I asked them straight up, ‘You guys are picking fifth, so what is your incentive to fly me down?'” Bailey told NHL.com. “Like any other team, they didn’t know what they were doing with the pick. They didn’t know if they were going to trade down, and sure enough they did and I was happy.” It’s that kind of fire and confidence that makes great hockey players.

-Sticking with the Isles, kudos to them for not going with Maurice as coach. Nothing against Paul, but the Isles were looking for “a coach to grow with the team”, and the only GM to say that about Maurice was a man named John Ferguson Jr. …

-Many people have now said that Radulov will probably have to lower his head in shame and trot on back to the Nashville Preds. And will then promptly be traded…

-Best of luck to Ladislav Nagy who has gone on a little trip to the KHL. He hopes to use the Russian league as leverage to get himself back to NHL form…or just be forgotten like so many other NHL to Europe-ies.

-Peter Forsberg’s days in the NHL seem just about to be over by some speculation.

-And finally don’t listen to those Gaborik to KHL rumors, Marian WILL be a Minnesota Wild for quite some time…

Predictions:

EAST:
1.Pittsburgh Penguins
2.Montreal Canadiens
3.Washington Capitals
4.New York Rangers
5.New Jersey Devils
6.Philadelphia Flyers
7.Tampa Bay Lightning
8.Toronto Maple Leafs
—————
9.Boston Bruins
10.Ottawa Senators
11.Carolina Hurricanes
12.Buffalo Sabres
13.New York Islanders
14.Florida Panthers
15.Atlanta Thrashers

WEST:
1.Detroit Red Wings
2.San Jose Sharks
3.Calgary Flames
4.Dallas Stars
5.Anaheim Ducks
6.Edmonton Oilers
7.Chicago Blackhawks
8.Colorado Avalanche
————–
9.Nashville Predators
10.Phoenix Coyotes
11.Vancouver Canucks
12.Minnesota Wild
13.Columbus Blue Jackets
14.St.Louis Blues
15.Los Angeles Kings

–xx–Note–xx–
I picked T.O to come in eighth because I am instantly reminded of last years Habs, and how everyone counted them down and out. Just had to point that out for the bashers, cause I know there will be…

Awards:
Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby
Vezina: Chris Osgood
Norris: Dion Phaneuf
Calder: Steven Stampkos
Lady Byng: Tomas Kaberle
Frank Selke: Henrik Zetterberg
Jack Adams: Michael Terrien
Masterson: Chris Chelios
Lester B. Pearson: Sidney Crosby
Conn Smythe: Joe Thornton
President Trophy: Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross: Sidney Crosby
Maurice Richard: Alex Ovechkin
William Jennings Trophy: Chris Osgood

and my very, very early Stanley Cup prediction: San Jose Sharks.


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