NHL rosters are due on Wednesday, and the 2010-11 season will get underway on Thursday night. Players are ready to go, coaches are prepared and fans are excited to finally see their favorite teams get back on the ice. Naturally, people can sometimes be overly optimistic about what to expect from their favorite teams, so here is a breakdown of what to anticipate from your favorite team this year.
Anaheim Ducks: In cost cutting measures, rather than have the coaches drawing up set plays on tablet computers (like the Leafs), they are expected to use Ryan Getzlaf’s head.
Atlanta Thrashers: Jeremy Roenick criticized Dustin Byfuglien as a defenseman, saying he could skate circles around him. Byfuglien took offense to that, and made Roenick cry by sending him a picture of his Stanley Cup ring.
Boston Bruins: Boston has hired a full time masseuse in anticipation of expected neck problems incurred by their scouting staff having to look far down the standings to see how the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing.
Buffalo Sabres: Management had a mix-up with their calendars and are probably unaware that the season is even starting. In fact, Darcy Regier is still waiting for July 1/free agency to start.
Calgary Flames: It’s not clear how the Flames will do this year, mainly because Darryl Sutter is waiting to hear back on various trade proposals offered around the league, including Robyn Regehr and Miikka Kirpussof for Sheldon Souray and Nikolai Khabibulin; Jarome Iginla for Brian Rolston and Bryce Salvador; and Jay Bouwmeester and Mikael Backlund for Michal Roszival and Todd White.
Carolina Hurricanes: Canes fans can expect to generate a lot more offense due to the expected emergence of some good young players, and Rod Brind’Amour retiring will result in fewer scoring chances being called offside due to his nose being over the blue line.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane was asked for his opinion on the upcoming season; he didn’t answer other than angrily saying “I’m not giving you my 2 cents”.
Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche have vowed to be better defensively which will hopefully reduce Craig Anderson’s workload to a more respectable average of 45 shots against per game.
Columbus Blue Jackets: The excitement is back in Columbus as prized young goaltender Steve Mason should be well rested after taking last year off.
Dallas Stars: There was an awkward moment between GM Joe Nieuwendyk and owner Tom Hicks which almost resulted in Nieuwendyk getting fired. Hicks thought he was being mocked when Nieuwendyk told him “we are going to make the playoffs Tom, you can take that to the bank.”
Detroit Red Wings: Fan support and attendance is supposed to be much better in Detroit this year due to the majority of their players buying tickets regularly for their wives, children and grand children.
Edmonton Oilers: Sheldon Souray is the consensus public enemy number one among the people of Edmonton. It could be worse for Souray; he could still be expected to play in Edmonton.
Florida Panthers: Win or lose, the Panthers will be loved in Miami by their loyal fan base, or as they’re more commonly known, “people who couldn’t get Miami Heat tickets”.
Los Angeles Kings: Dean Lombardi is lucky that no one in LA cares about hockey, otherwise some fans may notice that the guy with the #17 Kovalchuk jersey shoots left and looks strangely like Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Minnesota Wild: What’s the difference between Pat Burns and Minnesota’s playoff hopes? One was pronounced dead prematurely even though it is inevitable; the other was an NHL coach.
Montreal Canadiens: Apparently, the real reason Halak was traded is because the Habs wanted to increase scoring this year, and what better way to do that than to have the players shooting against Carey Price in practice.
Nashville Predators: Lots of optimism in Nashville. In 2007, they weren’t even close to getting out of the first round. In 2008 and 2010, they were kind of close to getting out of the first round. This year, the Preds are expected to take that next leap forward by pushing a first round series to a full 7 games before they lose.
New Jersey Devils: GM Lou Lamoriello always appears serious but he does have a sense of humor. This year, instead of the PA announcer announcing that fans should remove their hats for the national anthems, he will now say “please circumvent your caps”.
New York Islanders: Expectations are through the roof for this elite team, as Garth Snow enters year 5 of his 5-year rebuilding plan for the Islanders.
New York Rangers: A new NHL rule stating that goaltenders are not allowed to shoot in shootouts assures fans that at the very least Marian Gaborik will be shooting ahead of Henrik Lundqvist.
Ottawa Senators: In honor of the Save Spezza Rally over the summer, Jason Spezza will contemplate changing his number to 8, in order to commemorate the number of fans that showed up.
Philadelphia Flyers: I had a good joke, but Chris Pronger stole it.
Phoenix Coyotes: The bad news: Kyle Wellwood was released, depriving bloggers of jokes this year. The good news: by releasing him, the Coyotes will be able to sell tickets at a higher price and not have to discount seats in the lower bowl for having an obstructed view.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins were relieved when the NHL and the Officials came to terms on a 4-year agreement. Just imagine how confused everyone in Pittsburgh would have been if unbiased replacement officials came in and started calling penalties on Sidney Crosby.
San Jose Sharks: On a team full of passengers, it was encouraging to see guys like Thornton, Marleau and Pavelski step up in the playoffs and drive the bus for San Jose. Fortunately, Dany Heatley was not the one doing any of this so called driving.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues are still laughing at the fact that Pierre Gauthier doesn’t understand the acronym LOL; for example – “Hey Pierre, I’ll trade you Eller and Schultz for Jaroslav Halak, LOL.”
Tampa Bay Lightning: In an effort to build community relations, some teams send their players to deliver tickets to fans. The Lightning players don’t do that with the exception of Dan Ellis, who is a courier by day to earn extra cash.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Looking to raise the bar for the players; Brian Burke has established a team goal for the season – the number of Leafs wins in 2010-11 should be greater than or equal to the number of assistant general managers.
Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks expected big things from themselves, figuring they would win their division and be a Stanley Cup favorite this season. They immediately started to question that when Eklund projected the same thing.
Washington Capitals: Washington has proposed a rule change that would see a playoff series being decided by the first team to win 3 games, not 4.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.