This will be how I think the standings will be I will start at the bottom and go to the top and I think this year for the central will be the exact same (competitive for points and very close)
7. Winnipeg Jets I say this because it didn’t seem like they got any better, or made any moves like the other teams did. They have a goaltending issue which can be good and bad with two potential starters. They still have a good offense and defense, but with how the other teams improved, I think they will miss the playoffs due to a competitive Western Conference.
6. Colorado Avalanche The Avalache are a good team and they will be a few points out because the Central Division will be competitive. Colorado improved their center core of Matt Duchene and Nathan Mackinnon by adding Carl soderberg. I think the reason they missed the playoffs is because of Mackinnon’s sophomore slump, and as a Wild fan, I was scared they were gonna beat us in this past year due to Mackinnon’s poor play. He had 38 points in 64 games and I expected like 45-50. They still have good goalies and defense but I don’t see it happening this year.
5. Nashville Predators They still have spectacular defense and goaltending, but their offense won’t be as good because players like Fisher, Ribeiro, and Nystrom are getting older. They also lost a depth player in Matt Cullen. I do think that they have improved their defense by adding Barrett Jackman. They will be led to the 1st or 2nd wildcard, depending on if Rinne’s healthy .
4. Dallas Stars They really improved this offseason by trading for G Antti Niemi from San Jose, and F Patrick Sharp and D Stephan Johns from Chicago. They also signed D Johnny Oduya to a 2 year deal worth 3.75 a year. They did trade away Garbutt and Daley but they got Oduya to replace Daley and Sharp to replace Garbutt. They received a potential top 6 defenseman this year in Johns. Their offense will improve a lot and I think this will be their top six: Benn-Seguin-Sharp Horcoff-Spezza-Nichuskin
3. St.louis Blues They will take third because of losing Jackman, a solid 2nd line defenseman and Tj Oshie, a second line player. They did get Troy Brouwer, who has playoff experience and will contribute more than Oshie did. They also need to figure out if they will stick with Elliot or Allen. One thing they could do is trade for/sign a good defenseman to replace Jackman. To get past the first round, they will need to spread out the scoring cause they can’t just rely on Tarasenko.
2. Minnesota Wild The Minnesota Wild did lose Chris Stewart who fit well here. We gave up a second round pick for him and gave him away. We do still have a good young offense with players such as Granlund, Zucker, Niederreiter and Coyle mixed with a few veterans such as Koivu, Parise, Pomminville and Vanek. Our defense is the same with Brodin, Spurgeon, Scandella, Dumba and Reilly, with Suter, Prosser and Strachan. And then there’s Dubnyk. If he’s like our other goalies, I’m not too excited because I don’t want another breakdown year to happen and have to fight through again.
1. Chicago Blackhawks They will be very good again even though they lost Oduya, Sharp, Raanta, Richards,Vermette and Saad. They added Daley, Garbutt, Anisimov, and Dano. They will all be good because you can send anyone to Chicago and they can make them better. Expect Crawford to play great once again. Started from the bottom now we’re here