NHL Pre-Season Predictions for 2013-14

Twas the night before NHL teams kicked off the regular season and all through North America hockey fans were giddy with anticipation for their favorite teams and favorite players would be taking to the ice for a full NHL season.  No lockout, no more exhibition games, the puck drops tomorrow as the NHL begins its 97th season.  Yes it is true the 2013–14 NHL season will be the 97th season  (96th season of play) of the National Hockey League.  On the last night pre-Obamacare in the US when the government shuts down for the first time in 17 years, fans of the National Hockey League are hoping for the best for their teams.  Excitement is in the air for to drop the puck for the 2013-14 season.

2013/2014 NHL Season Highlights

The 97th season in NHL history will feature a number of key changes:

  • Six outdoor games including:
Date Visiting Team Home Team Location
01-Jan-14 Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
25-Jan-14 Anaheim Ducks Los Angeles Kings Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
26-Jan-14 New York Rangers New Jersey Devils Yankee Stadium, New York City
29-Jan-14 New York Rangers New York Islanders Yankee Stadium, New York City
01-Mar-14 Pittsburgh Penguins Chicago Blackhawks Soldier Field, Chicago
02-Mar-14 Ottawa Senators Vancouver Canucks BC Place, Vancouver


  • 2014 Olympic games from Russia
  • NHL Realignment
  • a number of rule changes including:
    • player jerseys must now be tucked in
    • hybrid icing
    • shallower hockey nets
    • a decline in the height of goalie pads
  • some new third jerseys for the following teams:
    • Calgary Flames
    • Buffalo Sabres
  • Updated jerseys for:
    • Dallas Stars
    • Carolina Hurricanes
    • Minnesota Wild

The Hockey Fanatic has already previewed both the Eastern and Western Conferences and now it is time for us to make our pre-season NHL predictions.

2013/2014 NHL Predictions

Pacific Division Leader:  San Jose Sharks

Central Division Leader:  Chicago Blackhawks

Metropolitan Division Leader: Pittsburgh Penguins

Atlantic Division Leader: Boston Bruins

President’s Trophy Winner:  Chicago Blackhawks

Most Improved Team – Western Conference: Winnipeg Jets

Most Improved Team – Eastern Conference: Tampa Bay Lightning

Hart Memorial Trophy – Most Valuable Player: Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

Vezina Trophy – Best Goaltender: Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks

James Norris Memorial Trophy – Best Defenseman: PK Subban

Calder Memorial Trophy – Rookie of the Year: Seth Jones – Nashville Predators

Ted Lindsay Award – Most Outstanding Player as Selected NHLPA Members: Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

Frank J. Selke Trophy – Best Defensive Forward: Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks

Jack Adams Award – Coach of the Year: Joel Quenneville – Chicago Blackhawks

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy – Sportsmanship and Gentlemanly Conduct: Pavol Datsyuk – Detroit Red Wings

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy – Perseverance, Sportsmanship, Dedication to Hockey – Teemu Selanne – Anaheim Ducks

Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award – Leadership On and Off the Ice: Ryan Smyth – Edmonton Oilers

Maurice Richard Trophy – Most Goals Scored:  Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning

Art Ross Trophy – Most Points:  Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

First Coach to Be Fired: Ron Rolston – Buffalo Sabres

First Major Player to be Traded: Braydon Coburn – Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference Champion:  Pittsburgh Penguins

Eastern Conference Dark Horse: Ottawa Senators

Western Conference Champion:  Chicago Blackhawks

Western Conference Dark Horse: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Champion:  Chicago Blackhawks

We are excited for the NHL season to start.  We think that there are some strong teams that have a legitimate chance at winning the Stanley Cup, the St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins should be considered early season favorites.  We do expect some disappointing seasons for other teams including the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes.

Buckle up hockey fans it is bound to be a season of ups and downs.  Go Oilers!