The NHL thread (Buffalo, well at least you are not Cleveland)

Toujours Pret

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5 years 30 million for Zuccarello in Minnesota. Hate it for him, overpaid and for a franchise that really doesn't know what they want to be.

Will never begrudge anyone taking the highest check though.
 

05_never_again

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5 years 30 million for Zuccarello in Minnesota. Hate it for him, overpaid and for a franchise that really doesn't know what they want to be.

Will never begrudge anyone taking the highest check though.
I can't figure out Minnesota either. For the last several years, they've looked like a team that almost was on the verge of being really good but you couldn't exactly put your finger on why they weren't. A couple of those years they ran into a Blackhawks team in the midst of their dynasty.
 

Toujours Pret

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Not super surprised about Panarin, he's the best NYR skater since Jagr though I wonder if the kids are ready to compete at a playoff level. With the 3 young Russians its good to have a Russian vet on board though.

And hat tip to Marc Bergevin, ballsy move offer sheeting Aho and I'd have done the same.
 

Toujours Pret

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Finally time.

Tampa's got to be the favorite again, I'd put their division mates Boston and Toronto in the top 5, with Vegas. I'll take Dallas to round out the top 5, but there's really a top 4 and then a second group of about 8 teams following.
 

05_never_again

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Finally time.

Tampa's got to be the favorite again, I'd put their division mates Boston and Toronto in the top 5, with Vegas. I'll take Dallas to round out the top 5, but there's really a top 4 and then a second group of about 8 teams following.
I'm curious to see how much heat Cooper gets if TB doesn't make a deep run, like at least 2 playoff series wins. They are demonstrably the best team in the league for the second, arguably third, year in a row. That sweep last year is still one of the most inexplicable results in recent sports history. It became even more baffling when Boston was able to dispatch CBJ without an excessive amount of drama in the very next series. I see how you are unable to match your opponent's intensity for the first game of the playoffs perhaps, but four?

FWIW, ESPN makes a "bold prediction" for every team and Nashville's is winning the Cup. They absolutely have the talent to do it...can't you argue they are a better team on paper than last season or the season before? The only difference is subtract Subban (great on defense/have a lot of depth there anyway) and add Duchene (at a spot where they need some production). Hopefully Saros has a nice year and can spell Rinne pretty often.
 

Toujours Pret

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Turris will bounce back a good bit which will make them great down the middle, Johansen and Duchene aren't elite but still a rock solid 1-2. If Turris can be more or less what he's been through his career that's a top notch 3.
 

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