It’s not too early to start thinking about the upcoming NHL season! With the New Jersey Devils signing Zach Parise to a one-year deal and also trading forward Brian Rolston to the New York Islanders for forward Trent Hunter, things are in motion for some upgrades, but not enough to place the Devils in an important position to win. this next year
Will the Boston Bruins repeat? Of course it’s hard to do, but even more so with the Bruins owned by Delaware North. Of course, all that has to happen is for Marc Savard to warm up again and we go.
Who is the best team? It would be easy to defend Alex Ovechkin and the capitals of Washington. Defender Karl Alzner re-signed, as did C Mathieu Perrault. They also chose veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who took a discount so he could play in a Stanley Cup contender. Plus, the Capitals are poised to win for a long time. They are not one-shot wonders. They’re overdue for a win, and Washington DC is overdue for a winning sports team.
Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning are a case in point, but they seem to have ups and downs from season to season. They signed Teddy Purcell and center Tom Pyatt, but the loss of Chris Drury to the New York Rangers leaves a huge hole in the lineup. I’m thinking that next year, even though Florida will be hot, the Lightning won’t catch fire like it did last year.
The Vancouver Canucks are a fan favorite. Jannik Hansen, last year’s unsung hero is back. Of course, his most exciting signing is veteran Andrew Ebbett, most recently from the Phoenix Coyotes. It’s not exactly the difference maker, but then again, the Canucks don’t really need anyone. They are already so good. However, look for them to return to the final.
It’s always good to see the Pittsburgh Penguins, with their new stadium, up and running. Sidney Crosby will return and Evgeni Malkin is making a special effort in Moscow to prepare for the season.
On the other hand, the New York Rangers have signed former Dallas star Brad Richards and are also looking to be in great shape with the addition of Chris Drury. But are you ready to make the leap to the big time? I do not think.
The great thing about the NHL is that at the start of the season, 1/3 of the teams are legitimate contenders and 2/3 of the teams have a chance to catch lightning (not the Tampa Bay kind) in the bottle. But this year, I will be conservative and pick one of the top three teams going into the season. I pick the Washington Capitals to win the Stanley Cup in June 2012 in a 6 game final against the Vancouver Canucks.