Due to the fact that I am from Saskatchewan, the Manitoba contingent of Illegal Curve saw fit to exclude me from the morning predictions. Basically, they are the UN and I am Israel. In the face of their demagoguery and elitist policies, I will nevertheless summon the courage to post my predictions.
Stanley Cup Champion– The Ottawa Senators. Cue the suicide watch on Bay Street.
Eastern Conference Champion – The Ottawa Senators of Kanata. I don’t foresee a major hangover here. They are still a deep and talented team, now with bonus experience. I think the Penguins finish first in the East, but Ottawa takes them out in the playoffs.
Western Conference Champion– The Detroit Red Wings. They play in a weak division and I feel they will have the benefit of coasting through the regular season and remaining fresh for a long run. I see the Sharks as the Senators of a few years ago, all hype no finish.
Art Ross – Vincent Lecavalier – plays in a weak division and I feel he has something to prove.
Calder Trophy– Sam Gagner. I really like Toews and Kane, but they are going to have to do it all in Chicago. MacTavish has turned a corner philosophically, and will put Gagner in a position to succeed.
Most Surprising – Martin Gerber has a big rebound (no pun intended) year and bounces Sugar Ray from the starting position.
Disappointing – Flip a coin between Gomez and Drury. Actually, take Gomez. Too much money for this guy. It will weigh him down.
Most Surprising Team – Edmonton Oilers. Already written off for dead, they will not be the pushover/Phoenix clone everyone is expecting.
Most Disappointing Team – The New York Rangers. Jaromir is not going to like sharing the puck or the spotlight. Watch for a step backwards in Manhattan, despite the near constant fellating of this team by a few media types. I think Calgary will blow too, but I am never disappointed when that happens.
Prospect Pulse will return tomorrow with a look at another standout from the USHL’s Fall Classic Tournament.
News You Can Use Late in the Day:
-The sale of the Predators is in trouble.
-A preview of the #1 ranked University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
-Good turnout for Bill Wirtz’s funeral.
-A preview of the Southeast Conference. Note to the NHL, could you please rename these divisions? There are many deserving hockey luminaries who could lend their name to the divisions. Orr Division, Gretzky Division, Richard Division, Howe Division, Harvey Division and the Morenz Division. Discuss amongst yourselves.
–Denis Gauthier is a victim of the salary cap in Philadelphia. Mike Rathje is also placed Expect this to become commonplace.
–Mirtle with a list of youngsters who have made their respective clubs.
–Patrice Brisebois is back skating.
-The AHL suspends Steve Downie for one month.
–Mark Bell has been reinstated by the NHL.
-Former Leaf is Borje Salming is now art. Who says Illegal Curve offers no culture?
–The New Jersey Devils claim Sheldon Brookbank off the waiver wire.
-The Dallas Stars are still unsure where their goals will come from.
-Senators prospect Jim O’Brien has joined the Seattle Thunderbirds.
-An in-depth look at the Penguins from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
-Illegal Curve favorite Toby Petersen was cut by the Dallas Stars. He will report to Iowa.
–Jeremy Roenick says he is ready to be a cheerleader for the team. I wonder if they will be able to hear him from the restaurant he is eating at?
-The Red Wings are prepared to go with youth. Watch for Chris Chelios to tell the youngsters to stay the hell off his lawn.
–Bobby Holik is the new captain of the Atlanta Thrashers.
-Not to be outdone, Pavol Demitra is the new captain of the Minnesota Wild.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior