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The NHL season officially gets underway tomorrow with the reigning Stanley Cup champions playing the Caps, a rematch of the dramatic playoff series with Sharks-Golden Knights and two all-Canadian matchups. Most teams get underway on Thursday

The final rosters are due today so you might see some intriguing players put on waivers or some last minutes trades but so far nothing of note has happened

ATLANTIC
Probably the least competitive division in the league with the three who made the playoffs last season once again the favorites to be in the top 3 with the Panthers and possibly the Canadiens fighting for a wildcard spot. The remaining teams are very much in rebuild mode, especially the Wings and Senators

- Lightning once again are one of the more talented teams in the league but they will be judged on the playoffs and will look to rebound from that embarrassing sweep last season in the 1st round. They added veterans such as cup winner Maroon and Shattenkirk on a good contract but they will entirely be judged on their playoff performances
- Bruins coming off a disappointing Game 7 loss in the cup final didn't do much in the offseason and have an aging core but enough talent to finish in the top three again. Out of the three they seem the most likely to fall out into the wildcard spots
- Maple Leafs are coming off three straight 1st round eliminations and you would expect that a deep run is required by Babcock to justify his big contract and the fact the Leafs' cap situation means their window to win isn't probably long. Not a fan of their goaltending and their blueline and it's hard to see this ending in a success
- Canadiens probably overachieved last season and almost made the playoffs but they have some good young forwards and if Price has a good year they could sneak into the playoffs this time
- Panthers made the big name coaching hire in Quenneville and added Bobrovsky in the offseason so expectations are high (as much as a hockey team in Florida are :D). On paper they have a good team but they did so last season too and disappointed
- Sabres hired Ralph Krueger in the offseason who for those who don't know worked with Southampton the last few years so he's been completely out the game but has had success with limited skill coaching hockey in Europe. They have some decent young pieces, especially in the blueline and added some offensive punch with Johansson if he can stay healthy but probably still outside the playoff picture
- Red Wings brought in Yzerman as the GM but Blashill remains as coach despite consecutive seasons well outside the playoffs, have some decent young pieces but are in rebuild mode
- Senators, yikes this team is bad on paper but who knows with little to no pressure, promising young players and the few veterans they brought in on the cheap maybe they can hit 70 points :rastgele:

METROPOLITAN
One of the more competitive divisions in the league but simply because there is no stand out team, the teams who missed the playoffs seemed to have improved while the teams who made the playoffs really didn't add much to their squads in the offseason and have some question marks

- Capitals didn't do much in the offseason and have an aging core of players, certainly a playoff team and probably the favorites in this division again but hard to see them being legit cup contenders
- Islanders probably overachieved last season with the best goaltending duo in the league and the best defense. They swapped Lehner with Varlamov but its hard to see them replicate last seasons defensive numbers so they will need a vast improvement on offense to make the playoffs
- Penguins another aging team on their last legs probably but they added Galchenyuk to the team to freshen things up, most media expect a down season but they are still the Pens and until otherwise they are a team expected to make the playoffs
- Hurricanes made a fantastic run to the Eastern Conference finals with an "us against the world" type mentality but this year expectations are high and teams won't overlook them. Concerned with their goaltending and feel it will be hard to replicate last season
- Blue Jackets went all in last season and while they finally won a round in the playoffs were left losing a lot of players in free agency. Despite this, they still have a decent team on paper, especially in the blueline and their top line forwards, however their goalies are a concern and eventually Torts wears off on the players. Latvian goalie Elvis Merzlikins will make his NHL debut, he has opened eyes everytime he played for Latvia in these international tournaments but he's never played outside of Europe.
- Flyers will hope to have stability in goal with Carter Hart as they went through 6-7 last year and new coach Vigneault tends to get his teams into the playoffs. They should be better than last season and probably are a playoff bubble team
- Rangers accelerated their rebuild with the acquisitions of Panarin and Trouba but still a team with not much depth and depending a lot on youngsters to improve. They will be more competitive than last season but hard to see them in the playoff picture
- Devils were busy in the offseason bringing in Subban, Simmonds and Gusev + they will ice top #1 overall picks in their lineup this season. The big question mark is their goaltending which mostly struggled last season with Schneider probably over the hill and Hall's contract situation.

CENTRAL
Another competitive division, I would say outside the Wild every one of these teams have ambitions to make the playoffs though I sense a step back for the Blues, coming off a grueling Stanley Cup victory and possibly the Jets as well who lost a lot of pieces on their blueline. Blackhawks could be a sleeper team after a poor season last year

- Predators one of the more exciting teams in the league but disappointed in the playoffs last season, added much needed offensive punch with Duchene but due to their cap situation were forced to trade Subban for relatively little return
- Jets could see a massive drop off with them, lost four key defensive pieces in the offseason (Trouba, Myers, Chiarot and 'Buf') while the relationship with Laine seems to be iffy.
- Blues reigning Stanley Cup champions are off a grueling season where they needed a run in the 2nd half of the season just to make the playoffs and played 26 games extra to win the cup. I'm sure there will be a let off as its hard to repeat, though still should be competitive with their style and Berube as coach
- Stars brought in Perry and Pavelski but this is an aging team with not much depth
- Avalanche one of the 'sexy' picks to win them all, in fact Vegas odds has them as high as 5th favorites. Fantastic young, explosive offense with a Calder Cup candidate on their blueline. One question mark is maybe Grubauer in net, great stats but he's never been the #1 before.
- Blackhawks have some nice young pieces and added veterans to their blueline which should help. Lehner will also be a solid #2 for them.
- Wild are an aging team who will be competitive but their window to win is probably shut and will need to rebuild soon

PACIFIC
Like the Atlantic this one seems predictable with a few teams who missed out last season looking to possibly break into the top three which seems established. However like the Atlantic, this division has some real bad teams in rebuild mode

- Flames am a big fan of Peters as coach but their goalie situation isn't the best and they are probably at the point where making the playoffs isn't a success anymore, need more
- Sharks are still one of the better teams in the division but lost Pavelski and will be judged on what they do in the playoffs
- Golden Knights pretty much the same team from last season, should have done more last season and the expectations are again to make a deep run
- Coyotes added Kessel to the team and if it wasn't for their injuries last season could have been a playoff team
- Canucks are a young team to look out for and they should vastly improve from last season
- Ducksare kind of in no-mans land, some decent young players combined with guys way past their prime. Little expectations and Dallas Eakins gets his second chance, from what I read a good coach
- Oilers should improve a bit under Tippett but far from a playoff team. Looks extremely weak on their blueline and goaltending, all this despite having some of the most talented guys in the league on their team which are going to waste
- Kings team in transition, aging core well past their prime which they hung on to for too long but have some good young prospects, McLellan though was not an inspiring coaching hire
 

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NHL kicks off tomorrow, thank goodness, I started liking hockey ever since I started making rad money with it. NHL = semi-easy to tough $$$, I'm in again this year after this month has coalated the trends, stats, strengths etc etc. 馃榾
 

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Discussion Starter #4
NHL kicks off tomorrow, thank goodness, I started liking hockey ever since I started making rad money with it. NHL = semi-easy to tough $$$, I'm in again this year after this month has coalated the trends, stats, strengths etc etc. 馃榾
Out of the North American sports the NHL is tricky to bet on, probably baseball because of the amount of games and even the best teams take a week off at times :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In NHL the Islanders but when I was living in NJ I followed all three local teams closely (Rangers, Islanders, Devils) and went to about 6-7 Devils games a season because I was only about 30 minutes away and the tickets were much more affordable than the NYC teams, especially when the Devils were bad, they would have like 30% discounts. Its tougher to follow the sport in Florida because it's not a popular sport here and most cable packages don't even offer the NHL Network so I rely on mostly the nationally televised games + online reports. I do watch the Lightning on TV here and although they are a very good team its hard to get invested in a team you have no passion for. At least its the Lightning and not Panthers who play in front of like 500 people a night :D I was pretty much spoiled living in the NYC area as all three teams were on TV while here I only get Tampa games. Also doesn't help that both the Florida teams in the league are 2 hours away so I can't even watch them live.

I might try to catch some ECHL games in Orlando this season but that's a very low level of hockey but better than nothing I guess
 

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NHL kicks off tomorrow, thank goodness, I started liking hockey ever since I started making rad money with it. NHL = semi-easy to tough $$$, I'm in again this year after this month has coalated the trends, stats, strengths etc etc. 馃榾
Out of the North American sports the NHL is tricky to bet on, probably baseball because of the amount of games and even the best teams take a week off at times
Hajduk, NHL is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated stat-wise like NFL and MLB. If you'd like I'll post my winning picks when I'm fully engaged and all-in with the bookie cash, we'll win together. 馃榾
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
NHL players by birth countries, though some are 'deceptive' such as Bulgaria, UK, Estonia where the players were born there but don't represent them at the NT level



- Canada still dominates of course but less than half the league is Canadian which must be a NHL low
- 31 for Russia seems low, it is, but the KHL doesn't help. Many mid/low-level players who could be in the NHL are staying in Russia where they make equal or more money than what they would make in the NHL
- Slovakia massive decline last few years, Switzerland has surpassed them as a hockey nation I feel
- France will have 3 once Roussel returns from his injury
- The Bulgarian is Rangers backup goalie Alexander Georgiev, born in Bulgaria but moved to Russia as a kid and plays for Russia
- The player from Britain is Brendan Perlini, born in England but moved to Canada as a kid
- The 'Estonian' is Leo Komarov, born in Estonia to Russian parents but represents Finland at the national team level :drunk: He played in Finland before going to the NHL
- The Ukrainian is Dmytro Timashov who represents Sweden as he played there as a youth player
- The lone Norwegian and Slovenian are actually all-star level players (Zuccarello and Kopitar) which is impressive for their standards
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sharks off to a 0-4 start to the season, some rumors that De Boer could already be on the hot seat. Boston, Carolina, NY Rangers, Edmonton and Anaheim still at 100%, still early days but you would suspect the NY Rangers and Anaheim to drop off eventually, don't think Edmonton can keep this up either

James Neal with a four goal game yesterday for the Oilers, he already has 6 which means he needs one more to match his season total from last year :drunk:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some coaches on the hot seat already

- Boudreau survives a change in GM and while the Wild weren鈥檛 expected to compete this season they will probably make a change if they continue to struggle this badly
- Hynes, while I think the hockey media overhyped the Devils this summer there are still expectations to improve and be more competitive, devils have yet to win a game and are giving up a scary amount of goals and have blown multiple goal leads twice at home. Hynes did sign an extension last season but that doesn鈥檛 mean much
- Montgomery? Probably not so soon into the season but the Stars are off to a poor start as well. I would put deBoer of the Sharks, probably not yet but if the results don鈥檛 improve then his seat will get warm
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Reports that Taylor Hall isn't going to resign for the Devils so that's one big name on the trade block most likely, especially considering the Devils aren't in real playoff contention. He has however struggled a bit since his MVP season, he missed most of last season with an injury and this season while averaging a point/game he only has 3 goals
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So Don Cherry was fired for his anti-immigration comments on HNIC, the crazy thing it was fairly tame from some of his previous rants
 
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