With the Ottawa Senators out of the playoffs for the first time in 11 years I figure now is as good a time as any to begin looking toward next season and like many GM’s have to get all the ducks in a row prior to the Entry Draft as well as July 1 free agency.
In the next few days I will begin a short series involving teams in the NHL’s Western Conference. One may think as the season is drawing to a close that it would involve the playoffs, but not this time. Over the course of a few days I will be outlining a small sampling of Western teams that are more “down” that I will be throwing my support behind and becoming my Western team and backup favorite. The Ottawa Senators will remain my team and I will always throw my support that direction in the unlikely event that the two ever meet up...but how sweet would that be? Now when I began throwing around some teams the Blues and Blue Jackets looked like they were going to miss the playoffs and had the potential to be a lottery pick but after an unlikely run they have basically made the playoffs but are still on the short list. I wanted to keep it to the down and outs so there would be no accusing of a bandwagon jumper. St Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes, L.A. Kings, or Nashville Predators. The other teams in the West are either too established or teams that don’t interest me. Even though Edmonton fits the bill I just can’t justify them just for being a Canadian team and as for the Colorado Avalanche they just seem as a team that has been good for too long and maybe with Joe Sakic out and all the injuries, arn’t as bad as they appeared this year.
So look forward to this series to begin probably early to mid week next week. Please feel free to weigh in as there is a tentative ranking going in but nothing is set in stone yet and a good case could sway the final decision.