Chicago – Two Stanley Cups in four years after a massive overhaul after the first Stanley Cup in 2010 showed and proved that the team is resilient to change and it doesn’t take much for them to piece back a broken team. After a few lacklustre seasons for Patrick Kane he really stepped up his game and it showed as the team went on a long ride at the start of the season where they had points in 30 games. Looking to continue on a great season and possibly follow up with another doesn’t look too impossible especially with a very similar team.
Colorado – With the first overall in the pick in the 2013 draft, the Avalanche selected Nathan Mackinnon, a dynamic forward with size could give the Avs just what they need to make the next step into the playoffs, With a boat load of young players developing nicely the Avalanche will be strong in the years to come, i see a possible playoff birth.
Dallas – Making some trades at the deadline might have hurt the Star’s chances for the playoffs in 2012, but for the future it could definitely be advantageous, dumping a few older players and letting the youth into the system could pan out with proper guidance. Star Jamie Benn has been looking forward to working with an all star centre and return to his proper position on the wing, Tyler Seguin could possibly be that man. The Stars will look to make a playoff push.
Minnesota – A season after signing blockbuster players in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter the Wild were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, it’s possible that spending money on two players didn’t leave room for the all important depth players that a team needs to go deep into the playoffs. With some time to grow and the steady play of Niklas Backstrom Minnesota could have a steady season. Only time will tell if they make the playoffs.
Nashville – A depressing 27th place made for an interesting off season, the addition of Victor Stalberg should add some much needed skill and speed to this unproductive offence. The Signing of Seth Jones should eventually replace Ryan Suter as the offensive defence men and get Shea Weber back on his game. Not looking for a playoff appearance next season but the excellent goal tending of Pekka Rinne could always surprise.
St.Louis – The Busy offseason of the Blues is going to result in a real benefit next season, Derek Roy, Jay Bouwmeester, Jordan Leopold and Magnus Paajarvi just to name a few will only bolster the season and playoff performance this team is going to have. The rookie season of Vladimir Tarasenko was astonishing and hopefully he can follow that up with a great sophomore campaign. Look for this team to push for a division title.
Winnipeg – A new addition to the western conference will see Winnipeg face a different competition, to be honest a harder division. A similar looking squad heading into the 2013-2014 season, small additions of Michael Frolik should add some depth to the third or fourth line. Hopefully the team can contend for the wildcard spot, all depends if Evander Kane is ready to take that next step and become the superstar every Jet fan is waiting to see, that also goes for Mark Scheifele.