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2021 NHL Regular Season


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It's time to kick off this thread as I believe a few teams start training camp tomorrow. The Minnesota Wild have announced Jared Spurgeon as their new captain after the departure of Mikko Koivu this off-season.

 

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https://www.nhl.com/wild/news/jared-spurgeon-named-team-captain-010321/c-319947108

 

I personally think this is a great move for the Wild. Suter and Parise were probably also in the running, but they almost traded away Parise last season. Both of their contacts are entering their 9th out of 11 seasons, and with the younger core up and coming, and younger captain like Spurgeon makes sense. He's also had a crazy path to the NHL, let alone an NHL captaincy. He was drafted in the 6th round by the Islanders in 08' but the released him, and signed with the Wild on an entry-level contact two years later. Good for him.

 

I feel like the top contenders this year are the Caps, Lightning, and the Stars. My sleeper pick is the Canucks though. They had a pretty decent regular season, and a fairly young roster. They also upset the Blues in the first round last year, so I think they've got a decent shot to go pretty far this year. Holtby and Demko seem like a good tandem in goal too...

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I keep forgetting hockey exists and then I'll see an Instagram post or a tweet and I'm like "oh yeah I love that sport." Not even during the 2012 lockout was I this removed from caring about hockey. 

 

Meanwhile, things are going great in Columbus. The Blue Jackets signed Pierre Luc Dubois to a two year bridge deal, which he demanded over a long term extension, and with the ink still wet he immediately turned around said he'd like to be traded. That'll be good for the dressing room. There is something about playing for this franchise, something that predates John Tortorella, that makes star players want to go anywhere else. I don't get it. 

 

Dubois' bridge deal has the double nut kick of being really bad timing with some of the other core guys whose contracts are expiring. Seth Jones, Elvis Merzlikins, Joonas Korpisalo, Boone Jenner, Nick Foligno, Max Domi (Oh yeah I forgot he's a Blue Jacket now) are all unrestricted Free Agents after 2022. Zach Werenski and Pierre-Luc Dubois are RFA after 2022. David Savard is UFA after this season, Oli Bjorkstrand is RFA after this season. Cam Atkinson and Gus Nyquist are basically the only core guys extended beyond 22 and they're both on the sad side of 30. They cleared cap space this offseason for Dubois and others, but that's a pile of guys to resign in two seasons and someone's gonna have to leave. And they still have an Artemi Panarin shaped hole in their forward group. 

 

This group could win this goofy division and they could finish last. I have no idea what to expect. 

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Although I am a bigger NBA fan than NHL fan, I was much more invested in the NHL bubble than I was the NBA bubble.  I want to see how this NHL season goes and how the league deals with the likelihood of postponed/canceled games.

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Probably should have put this here instead of in the offseason thread but...

 

So the "broke as *$%^" NHL, per The Athletic has sold the naming rights for the four divisions.  The divisions new names will be:

 

North: Scotiabank

Central: Discover

East: MassMutual

West: Honda

 

Rumors are the league is getting somewhere in the mid-seven figures from the deal.

 

OITGDNHL

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Prediction time?

 

NORTH

1. Edmonton 

2. Montreal

3. Toronto

4. Vancouver

5. Calgary

6. Winnipeg

7. Ottawa

 

EAST

1. Philadelphia

2. Washington

3. Boston

4. NY Islanders

5. Pittsburgh

6. Buffalo

7. NY Rangers

8. New Jersey

 

CENTRAL

1. Tampa Bay

2. Dallas

3. Carolina

4. Florida

5. Nashville

6. Columbus

7. Chicago

8. Detroit

 

WEST

1. Colorado

2. Vegas

3. St. Louis

4. Arizona

5. Minnesota

6. Anaheim

7. Los Angeles

8. San Jose

 

 

FIRST ROUND PLAYOFFS

1. Edmonton def. 4. Vancouver

2. Montreal def. 3. Toronto

 

1. Philadelphia def. 4. NY Islanders

3. Boston def. 2. Washington

 

1. Tampa Bay def. 4. Florida

3. Carolina def. 2. Dallas

 

1. Colorado def. 4. Arizona

2. Vegas def. 3. St. Louis

 

SECOND ROUND PLAYOFFS

1. Edmonton def. 2. Montreal

 

1. Philadelphia def. 3. Boston

 

1. Tampa Bay def. 3. Carolina

 

1. Colorado def. 2. Vegas

 

'CONFERENCE' FINALS (or whatever they're called now)

 

1. Colorado def. 4. Philadelphia

 

2. Tampa Bay def. 3. Edmonton

 

STANLEY CUP FINALS

 

Colorado over Tampa Bay

 

 

 

Very out of the box, I know.

 

 

   

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On 1/18/2021 at 12:44 PM, Brian in Boston said:

Thornton is the oldest forward to ever score a goal for the Maple Leafs. He is the second-oldest player to score a goal for the Leafs, behind defenseman Allan Stanley. 

 

I stand corrected 👍.

 

Also...Holy Valhalla!...I just saw Brent Burns on the latest episode of "Vikings"!

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