- Colorado: Going into the season with Budaj and Raycroft as your starting goalies doesn't bode well for a return to the post season.
- Minnesota: The losses of Rolston and Demitra will be hard to replace. While we don't underestimate the coaching abilities of Lemaire, it might be a tough season in The 'Land O Lakes'
- Ottawa: For those like us who were keeping track, the Senators after the first 2 months last season, played below .500 hockey. With the loss of Redden, and Gerber now the #1 goalie, we could see this team miss the playoffs entirely
3) In addition to those, several teams that struggled a bit last season will probably continue to not excel next season:
- Toronto: We believe that even WITH Sundin this team would struggle to make the playoffs, but without him they are all but assured of watching hockey next April.
- Vancouver: Sundin could still be the wild card here, but without him we don't see their team having the fire power to stay in the top 8 even if Luongo plays at the top of his game
- Buffalo: Another big loss of a big time player in Campbell. The younger players like Vanek, etc and Miller in goal will have to carry the load, but we are dubious that have what it takes to get back to the elite 8 in the East
4) Of the remainder we can see Edmonton as seeing an improvement over last year, and perhaps even compete for what we believe will be a relatively weak NW division. Montreal in the NE despite relying heavily on some aging vets and a second year goalie should be right back in the chase for the division title along with the Bruins. Overall though at this juncture we would be surprised to see a team from these 2 divisions representing their respective conferences in the Finals next spring. Certainly we would NOT have said such a thing a few months ago. A slide indeed!