Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2017 predictions and beyond

So what's going to happen this season in hockey? Glad you asked. Here are some predictions. Some are safe bets, others are just guesses. So here goes!

Lets get straight to the number one question: Who will win the cup?
Marc-André Fleury, the Stanley Cup, and Sidney Crosby (3637923651)
By Michael Righi from Pittsburgh, USA
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 I would like to say the Penguins for a "three-peat". What grabs me the most here isn't so much that. It's more what the two biggest names in the NHL will do:
  • Sidney Crosby will lead in goals 
  • Connor McDavid will lead in overall points
With that being said, there is a caveat. They must both remain healthy for the majority of the season. Given their history, that's easier said than done.

Shane Doan retired, August 30th 2017. So whats next for him? My guess is he will end up being a commentator back up in Canada, eh?

Golden Knights - 28th or 29th overall. Ouch! Edging out the Avalanche.

Speaking of the Avalanche, I predict last place again. They were so bad last year that they lost at losing. That's what happens when you have only one 20-goal scorer on the whole team. Can you guess who? Nathan MacKinnon - 16, and Matt Duchene - 18 (more later on him). You say Gabriel Landeskog? Nope he had 18! The correct answer is Mikko Rantanen with 20.

Who will win the Matt Duchene lottery? No one! He will continue on the Avalanche. Why you say? His asking price is too high. I have heard several different versions, and all seem a bit steep.

Jagr Czech1
By s.yume.
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
#JagrWatch Where will the legendary Jaromir Jagr end up? He will not get signed, and instead play again in international play. So, I guess he will be setting himself up to retire for the third time from international play in his career.

Detroit.. oh Detroit... good news! You have a brand new stadium. All the rest is bad news. One of main issues is the bad contracts they currently have. They have 10 contracts with some form of "no movement" clause. Most of these players are 30 years or older. They are, as of right now, over the cap by approximately 3 million. The solution is Andres Athanasiou. Without him in their lineup, they might clear the cap. Also looming with their future is Henrik Zetterberg, already saying he will retire in the near future. Thus leaving the team on the hook for even more financial issues. So, expect a second year of missing the playoffs.

What will happen with the LA Kings? They will miss the playoffs. Lets start off with Anze Kopitar coming off the worst season of his career. Then, there is Drew Doughty. His contract goes until 2018. Then, he is an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Yes, it's far off. He is so important to the Kings, it's hard not to see how any uncertainty with him would not negatively effect the team. He will be near impossible to replace. Jeff Carter will have another good season. My guess is he will get near 30 goals. Here is another safe bet: Marian Gaborik will NOT play more then 60 games this season. He will then retire mid season, due to health.

Gagarin Cup - Kazan
By Липунов Г.А. The original uploader was GennadyL
at Russian Wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
BONUS Round. Now this is not NHL related per se, but here are two more predictions. The KHL will lose one more team in the league. SKA wins it's third Gagarin Cup. Why do I care? Well, remember former NHL superstars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk? This is the team they play for in the KHL. They are currently 6 wins and 0 losses this season.

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