This beats me. As I look at teams and start to predict them, a trend is very common. I hate talking about bad hockey teams. It sucks, which is why this will be brief.
Canada has almost no good hockey teams. It’s unbelievable! The country where the sport was first played and invented has no good teams, at least in the NHL.
This is the same case with soccer in the USA. The best players don’t play in the MLS, because the best leagues and players are in Europe. That’s why America doesn’t play attention to it. The skill level isn’t there. The sport of hockey is huge in Canada and northern area of the U.S. This is where players are developed at young ages.
Looking at the Eastern Conference, the Senators and Maple Leafs aren’t great, though Toronto is a interesting team, but they aren’t certain a playoff bid. Obviously, the Canadians are stacked and should be considered contenders for the conference. But up in Ottawa, the closest team to hockey’s invention, the Senators are terrible. Expect to see them at the bottom of the conference.
Moving West, the Oilers, Jets, Flames, and Canucks are not great either. Those four teams finished in the bottom four of the Western Conference last year. The Jets could be interesting, but I’m not willing to take them yet. The Canucks are in total rebuild mode. They traded Ryan Kessler, one of their best players, to one of the best teams in the Conference in Anaheim. Who else does that?
I’m also skeptical about the Oilers. They have a ton of young guys, and if they don’t step up, it could be trouble for their coach and front office. They haven’t done anything for years. There is hope, however.
Out of Canada, the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabers are the bottom tier in the East. The Sabers traded Ryan Miller to St.Louis and got back multiple prospects and picks. There is really no hope this year. It’s total rebuild mode. The Panthers also have a similar fate. They brought in some guys, which people have hope about, but not I’m ready to put them any higher yet.
Out West, the Nashville Predators are the only bad team not in Canada. It’s to bad. This squad used to be a consistent and a sometimes scary team, though multiple bad decisions in front office and firing their coach over the past years has plagued them. Don’t expect much this year.
This column is relativity short, mostly cause I don’t want to spend many words on bad teams. I feel pretty confident these teams will be bad though. Surprises could include Winnipeg and Toronto.
Sucks To Be You!