NHL Season Preview 07-08 - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:28 Thread Starter
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NHL Season Preview 07-08



Hockey season is almost here!!!


Training Camp Start Dates/Venues
http://tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11066&hubname=
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:29 Thread Starter
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The Atlantic Division

When it comes to player movement, no division changed as much as the Atlantic. The New York Rangers kicked things off by signing Scott Gomez away from rival New Jersey, and then adding Chris Drury from the Sabres. By re-signing Brendan Shanahan and Henrik Lundqvist, plus rising star Petr Prucha, the Rangers should be on the way up after finishing sixth in the conference last season.

Speaking of big-name acquisitions, nobody was busier than the Flyers. Philadelphia will be significantly better with a revamped roster that includes Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Joffrey Lupul up front, plus Jason Smith and Kimmo Timonen on the blue line.

After a breakout season which included a 47-point turnaround and a playoff berth, Pittsburgh locked up Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby to a five-year, $45 million extension. In addition, the Penguins retained their veteran presence by re-signing Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts. Pittsburgh also added veteran defenceman Darryl Sydor and forward Peter Sykora.

New Devils head coach Brent Sutter takes over a team that lost Gomez, as well as defenceman Brian Rafalski. New Jersey's biggest reinforcement is 60-point forward Dainius Zubrus, who signed from Buffalo. The Devils also retained 31-goal scorer Zach Parise, who was re-signed to a four-year deal.

The Islanders took the biggest offseason hit in the Atlantic, by losing Ryan Smyth to Colorado and Jason Blake to Toronto, as well as Viktor Kozlov, Tom Poti, Richard Zednik, and Sean Hill. Alexei Yashin's days on the island are also over, as he'll play in Russia after being bought out. Newcomers Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, and Ruslan Fedotenko will find their new team hard-pressed to return to the playoffs.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11225
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:30 Thread Starter
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The Northeast Division

The Northeast Division was raided during the offseason for some of its best talent. Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, and Dainius Zubrus of the Sabres and Sheldon Souray of the Canadiens all have new homes with other teams.

The President's Trophy-winning Sabres will still be an exciting team, but after losing two of its top three scorers, Buffalo's league-best goal production will definitely take a hit. The club was, however, able to re-sign young guns Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy to long-term deals, and they also retained veteran defenceman Teppo Numminen.

Buffalo and Ottawa still figure to be the class of the division. New Senators head coach John Paddock will have back the bulk of the team that went to the Stanley cup final - including newly re-signed Ray Emery.

Toronto missed the playoffs by a single point on the final day of the season. This summer, they signed 40-goal scorer Jason Blake to play on a line with Mats Sundin, and traded for San Jose goalie Vesa Toskala to provide competition for starter Andrew Raycroft.

Montreal signed veteran Roman Hamrlik from Calgary as a replacement for Souray, and added familiar face Patrice Brisebois to the blue line as well.

Over in Boston, new head coach Claude Julien takes over a team that had a fairly quiet offseason. The Bruins traded for a new No. 1 goalie by acquiring Manny Fernandez from the Minnesota Wild.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11222
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:30 Thread Starter
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The Southeast Division

All the big guns in the Southeast Division will be back with their usual teams in 2007-08. It's just their surrounding casts that have changed a bit.

Washington's pair of Alexanders - Ovechkin and Semin - combined for 84 goals and 165 points last year. But despite that, the Capitals still had the worst total offensive output in the division. To help out, Washington signed 83-point scorer and one-time capital Michael Nylander from the Rangers. They also acquired 25-goal scorer Viktor Kozlov from the Islanders.

Division winners Atlanta made only modest changes after appearing in the playoffs for the first time. The Thrashers big three of Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov, and Marian Hossa remains intact, but the team lost Keith Tkachuk to St. Louis and captain Scott Mellanby to retirement. Todd White was signed from Minnesota as an extra forward.

Florida's biggest improvement will be in goal, where Tomas Vokoun comes over in a trade from Nashville to replace Ed Belfour. The Panthers re-signed a number of its core players to long term deals this summer, including Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen and Josef Stumpel.

Both the Lightning and Hurricanes had minimal movement. Tampa Bay's superstar trio of Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and Vincent Lecavalier will eat up roughly half of Tampa's space under the salary cap, so it's possible that one of those players may be moved during the season to allow for more flexibility in acquiring new players.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11226
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:31 Thread Starter
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The Central Division

No division in the Western Conference has had as much change as the Central Division. The division has been a two-horse race, but one of those horses - the Nashville Predators - came up lame in the offseason.

In the midst of the drama surrounding a possible ownership change, the Predators gutted out most of the team's top players - Paul Kariya, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and deadline acquisition Peter Forsberg. And no players of note were willing to sign with the Predators.

The Detroit Red Wings will continue to be the class of the Central, with Brian Rafalski taking Mathieu Schneider's spot on the blueline. Kyle Calder and Robert Lang left via free agency, as did Todd Bertuzzi. But there's still plenty of young talent on this Detroit team. With the state of the division, the Wings should run away with the regular season title.

The busiest team in the schedule was undoubtedly the Chicago Blackhawks. Up front, Michal Handzus and Radim Vrbata are gone, with Robert Lang, Sergei Samsonov and Yanic Perreault in their place. On the backend, Andrei Zyuzin replaces Adrian Aucoin.

The St. Louis Blues were 27-18-9 under head coach Andy Murray, despite being the youngest team in the league for most of the season. More improvement is expected with the arrival of Paul Kariya and the return of Keith Tkachuk. Goaltender Hannu Toivonen gives the Blues and upgrade in net, while 2006 draft pick Erik Johnson could be ready to make an impact on defence.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are once again in re-building mode. The biggest change was in the front office with Scott Howson replacing Doug MacLean. Despite the recent signing of Michael Peca, this team stood pat most of the summer. Coach Ken Hitchcock will get a full season to implement his system and try to get more out of the underachieving Nikolai Zherdev.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11223
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:32 Thread Starter
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The Northwest Division

It didn't take Ryan Smyth very long to return to the Northwest Division. The power forward is by far the highest paid, highest profile acquistion among the five teams. He immediately puts the Avalanche back in the hunt for the division title. Smyth and newly-acquired defenceman Scott Hannan will give Colorado some much-needed grit.

The busiest team in the division was the Calgary Flames. Along with the signing of cornerstone players Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr, they also deepened their blueline with Cory Sarich and Adrian Aucoin. Perhaps their biggest move was the hiring of head coach Mike Keenan. The roster appears to be the perfect fit for Iron Mike - long on toughness and work ethic.

The Vancouver Canucks rode the brilliance of Roberto Luongo to the division title last season. And barring injury, Luongo will keep the Canucks in the hunt all season long again. They were the lowest scoring team to make the playoffs in the West last season, and have not addressed their lack of scoring depth in the offseason. In terms of offseason improvements, they were the quietest team in the division.

The Minnesota Wild were just as quiet - with the only significant move sending goaltender Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins for forward Petr Kalus. Nicklas Backstrom is now the main man between the pipes.

Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe made significant moves at the draft and in free agency to completely re-build this team from the ground up. Sheldon Souray, Joni Pitkanen and Dustin Penner were all on board in Edmonton. They also lost leading scorer Petr Sykora and captain Jason Smith along the way. The impact of these moves will be up for debate, but the Oilers will be hard-pressed to repeat the disastrous run of injuries that saw them win just two of their last 20 games.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11221
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:33 Thread Starter
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The Pacific Division

The Pacific Division produced the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions and teams with two of the top four point totals in the NHL during the regular season. But the division will have a very different look this fall.

The Anaheim Ducks have all but lost Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne, and Dustin Penner is also gone. In their place is Mathieu Schneider and the enigmatic Todd Bertuzzi.

The Los Angeles Kings were by far the busiest team in the division, with GM Dean Lombardi dishing out $40 million in contracts to forwards Michal Handzus, Kyle Calder and Ladislav Nagy, along with defencemen Brad Stuart and Tom Preissing.

The San Jose Sharks looked a team primed for a long playoff run in 2007, but an early exit at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings meant changes, and little additions. Contract extensions to Joe Thornton, Milan Michalek, Patrick Marleau and Craig Rivet were signed, and the Sharks added Jeremy Roenick for depth down the middle. The team parted ways with Scott Hannan, Mark Bell, Vesa Toskala and Bill Guerin.

The Dallas Stars also lost more than they gained, with Darryl Sydor and Ladislav Nagy leaving via free agency and no one having been added.

The Phoenix Coyotes continue to get younger with Curtis Joseph, Owen Nolan and Jeremy Roenick on the way out. Radim Vrbata was signed to add more offence, but the biggest addition could be a healthy Ed Jovanovski who missed 28 games last season.

Many believe the Pacific Division was the toughest in the NHL last year, but it may take a collective step back this season.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11224
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:34 Thread Starter
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2007 NHL Training Camps:

Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ice - Anaheim, California September 11
Atlanta Thrashers IceForum - Duluth, Georgia September 14
Boston Bruins TD Banknorth Garden - Boston, Massachusetts September 14
Buffalo Sabres HSBC Arena - Buffalo Sabres September 14
Calgary Flames Pengrowth Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta September 14
Carolina Hurricanes RBC Arena - Raleigh, North Carolina September 14
Chicago Blackhawks United Center - Chicago, Illinois September 13
Colorado Avalanche South Suburban Family Sports Center - Centennial, Colorado September 13
Columbus Blue Jackets Dispatch Ice Haus - Columbus, Ohio September 10
Dallas Stars Dr. Pepper StarCenter - Frisco, Texas September 14
Detroit Red Wings Center Ice Arena - Traverse City, Michigan September 13
Edmonton Oilers Rexall Place - Edmonton, Alberta September 13
Florida Panthers Bank Atlantic Center - Sunrise, Florida September 13
Los Angeles Kings Toyota Sports Center - El Segundo, California September 10
Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minnesota September 14
Montreal Canadiens Sportsplexe 4-Glaces - Pierrefonds, Quebec September 14
Nashville Predators Centennial Sportsplex/Sommet Center - Nashville, Tennessee September 13
New Jersey Devils Codey Arena at South Mountain - West Orange, New Jersey September 13
New York Islanders Tim Horton's 4 Ice Center - Moncton, New Brunswick September 13
New York Rangers Training Center - Tarrytown, New York September 14
Ottawa Senators Scotiabank Place/Bell SENSplex - Kanata, Ontario September 13
Philadelphia Flyers Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, New Jersey September 14
Phoenix Coyotes Jobing.com Arena - Glendale, Arizona September 13
Pittsburgh Penguins Southpointe ICEOPLEX - Canonsburg, Pennsylvania September 13
St. Louis Blues Scottrade Center - St. Louis, Missouri September 13
San Jose Sharks Sharks Ice at San Jose - San Jose, California September 13
Tampa Bay Lightning Ice Sports Forum - Brandon, Florida September 13
Toronto Maple Leafs Ricoh Coliseum - Toronto, Ontario September 13
Vancouver Canucks Bear Mountain Arena - Victoria, British Columbia September 13
Washington Capitals Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington, Virginia September 13
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2007, 05:40 Thread Starter
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My predictions:
Atlantic = New York Rangers
Northeast = Ottawa Senators
Southeast = Carolina Hurricanes
Central = Detroit Red Wings
Northwest = Colorado Avalanche
Pacific = Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Finals:
*Anaheim Ducks vs New York Rangers = Ducks in 6


* - subject to change aka only if Niedermayer is still around.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 04:24
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I say San Jose and Pittsburgh. SJ in 6

A little off the charts but I think the Sharks are due they really have all the pieces to make a run and I truly believe the Pens will go very far. They have offensive firepower everywhere and I think them making the playoffs last year was a learning experience.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 16:31 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by croatian batman
A little off the charts but I think the Sharks are due they really have all the pieces to make a run and I truly believe the Pens will go very far. They have offensive firepower everywhere and I think them making the playoffs last year was a learning experience.
I had this same feeling about them last year but they couldn't get it done and it was all because Nabokov sucked in the Wings series and yet they are stuck with him again this year. As far as the Pens go i still think their defense is nothing special and a team like the Rangers have more veteran leadership plus i like Lundqvist better then Fleury. Last year they took a loaded Sabres team to 6 games and now they have added Gomez plus Drury (one of the most clutch playoff performers) while they didn't really lose in free agency. Maybe i'm just falling for the Rangers media hype but i honestly think they have assembled a very good team made for the playoffs that should at the very least get to the Eastern Conference finals. Flyers will be another interesting team to watch with all they changes they made but IMO they're still missing a starting goalie.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 16:44 Thread Starter
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Selanne still undecided on his future
http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=218317&hubname=nhl

Quote:
Teammate Scott Niedermayer is also contemplating retirement, but has yet to come to a decision either.

''I try not to think about what Scotty is doing, he has a very similar situation,'' Selanne said. ''Obviously if I read the paper and Scotty is going to play one more year, for sure it would affect me a little bit. But I try not to think about it.''

Selanne, an unrestricted free agent, said retirement loomed as the more likely option in the immediate aftermath of winning the Cup.

''Earlier this summer I thought for sure I was done, but I still wanted to make sure the decision was right,'' Selanne said. ''As the season started getting closer and training camp started getting close I had the feeling to go and play again. But obviously after 15 years when you win the biggest dream you have, you're so satisfied you can't even think about playing again, especially at my age.

''The decision is way harder than I thought.''

The Ducks are allowing both Selanne and Niedermayer to take their time deciding.
Anyone else think they will pull a Forsberg? i bet you any money they will probably sit out most of the season and then comeback fresh right before the playoffs since they already know the team is good enough to make it.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old September 16th, 2007, 18:20
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I think the Ducks take the cup again, Bertuzzi more than makes up for Penner's loss, and Selanne's possible retirement opens the door for Bobby Ryan. The Moen-Pahlsson-Rob Niedermayer line that shut down my Sens is still in tact. Getzlaf is gonna step into the elite this year and Matt Schneider will contribute on the PP. Scott Niedermayer or no Scott Niedermayer, they are still the class of the NHL.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old September 16th, 2007, 20:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRager
I think the Ducks take the cup again, Bertuzzi more than makes up for Penner's loss, and Selanne's possible retirement opens the door for Bobby Ryan. The Moen-Pahlsson-Rob Niedermayer line that shut down my Sens is still in tact. Getzlaf is gonna step into the elite this year and Matt Schneider will contribute on the PP. Scott Niedermayer or no Scott Niedermayer, they are still the class of the NHL.
My great grandfather is healthier then Bertuzzi.

I think they will have cup hangover this year.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old September 16th, 2007, 20:31
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Atlantic = New Jersey Devils
Northeast = Ottawa Senators
Southeast = Atlanta Thrashers
Central = Detroit Red Wings
Northwest = Colorado Avalanche
Pacific = Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup
Detroit over NJ Devils in 6

I still think the Devils will be good despite losing Gomez and Rafalski
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2007, 20:52
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I have to agree with HS on this one.

R.I.P Ari
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old September 18th, 2007, 16:49
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i dunno, i think that maybe the Leafs win the cup...LOL.....just kidding.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old September 19th, 2007, 03:06
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Who's everyone suprise team?

I'm going to go out on a limb. But hell why not the Blackhawks.

They have two good scoring lines. The most important thing though is staying healthy. Plus if Yanic Perrault can be half as good as last year they will have a solid third line.

The defense is a question mark but they're young and are bound to improve. I look for Cam Barker to have a good yea.

And most important Nikolai Khabibulin has to play well but if he doesn't Lalime is good enough to carry the team for some stretches I think the combination of the two they can get it done.

And also their division isn't too good. The Blues and Blue Jackets still aren't very good and Nashville has definetly taken several steps backwards.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old September 19th, 2007, 03:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croatian batman
Who's everyone suprise team?

I'm going to go out on a limb. But hell why not the Blackhawks.

They have two good scoring lines. The most important thing though is staying healthy. Plus if Yanic Perrault can be half as good as last year they will have a solid third line.

The defense is a question mark but they're young and are bound to improve. I look for Cam Barker to have a good yea.

And most important Nikolai Khabibulin has to play well but if he doesn't Lalime is good enough to carry the team for some stretches I think the combination of the two they can get it done.

And also their division isn't too good. The Blues and Blue Jackets still aren't very good and Nashville has definetly taken several steps backwards.

According to Sutter the Hawks are going to play a more skillful posession game I'll believe it when I see it.

R.I.P Ari
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old September 21st, 2007, 21:57
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Well, we won't win the Cup this season, that's a fact

I don't understand Nonis his moves this summer ... we have added absolutly no offence, we even lost some depth

It will all depend on the Twins, Nazzy and Louuuuuuie I gues ...

#23 François Sterchele || 14/03/1982 - 08/05/2008

"Ręve comme si tu vivais éternellement, vis comme si tu mourais demain ..."
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