Central Division

Standard

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

The defending champions didn’t have to dismantle what they’ve built and another Cup run seems likely.

2. Dallas Stars

Not having Tyler Seguin for a large portion of the year could come back to hurt them. Thankfully their defense is their bread and butter.

3. Carolina Hurricanes

If they can get a consistent goalie during the playoffs, they’ll be tough to beat.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Just when you think they won’t be contenders they always find a way.

5. Florida Panthers

If goalie Sergei Bobrovsky can regain his Vezina trophy winning form, they should be a playoff team.

6. Nashville Predators

It looks like the days of ‘Smashville’ are just about over.

7. Chicago Blackhawks

There is no denying that they are rebuilding now and for the foreseeable future.

8. Detroit Red Wings

The growing pains will continue with some veterans being stopgaps for the prospects this season.

Head Coach: Jon Cooper

Key Position: Defensemen

Key Acquisitions: None

Head Coach: Rick Bowness

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: None

Head Coach: Rod Brind’Amour

Key Position: Goaltender

Key Acquisitions: F Jesper Fast (NY Rangers)

Head Coach: John Tortorella

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Max Domi (Montreal), D Michael Del Zotto (Anaheim)

Head Coach: Joel Quenneville

Key Position: Goaltender

Key Acquisitions: F Anthony Duclair (Ottawa), F Patric Hornqvist (Pittsburgh), F Alex Wennberg (Columbus), D Radko Gudas (Washington)

Head Coach: John Hynes

Key Position: Forwards

Key Acquisitions: F Erik Haula (Florida)

Head Coach: Jeremy Colliton

Key Position: Defensemen

Key Acquisitions: F Mattias Janmark (Dallas), D Nikita Zadorov (Colorado)

Head Coach: Jeff Blashill

Key Position: Everything

Key Acquisitions: F Vladislav Namestnikov (Colorado), F Bobby Ryan (Ottawa), D Jon Merrill (Las Vegas), D Troy Stecher (Vancouver), D Marc Staal (NY Rangers), G Thomas Greiss (NY Islanders)

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