Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Author: JACOB FORTGANG
Listen carefully, and you'll hear it — the squeaking of coat hangers, the scratching of polyester — the sound of people digging for sweaters. From Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, from Thunder Bay to Tampa Bay, from Banff to Boston, Zamboni motors are revving. That could only mean one thing: It's Hockey Season. Well not yet, but by golly, I can't wait.
It would not be right for me to start without saying congrats to all you Blues fans. Dead last in the NHL on Jan 3, the Blues had one of the most remarkable second-half runs on your way to Lord Stanley himself. But really, who deserves it more (**Henrik Lundqvist**) than a city that lost their beloved Rams in the worst way possible. First, they move to sunny LA, then they meet a new boy toy, pop a few pics on the gram to make them jealous and just when they think "ok fine, good for them, they found their place, let bygones be bygones" they make it to the Superbowl and...Tom Brady (enough said). Anyways congrats to the Molson smashing, puck bashing, board crashing Brett Hull and to all of St. Louis on the win. But now I digress.
This offseason was like so many offseasons before. It was about 6 hours long and ended with everyone nervous that there will be a lockout soon (You stay classy NHL). It all started with a few youngsters that made their way to opposite sides of the Hudson Bay. A few big-time moves like PK Subban being shipped to New Jersey from Nashville and somehow both teams winning the trade, or Sergei Bobrovsky ditching Chilly Columbus and John "I love dogs more than people" Tortorella for Sunny Florida and Couch Q. The Tampa Bay Rangers are back to their same old tricks scooping up Kevin Shattenkirk on a very promising 1-year deal. But like my girl Colette Tatou once said, "You have to hear the Bread" and Oh Mylanta, New York can hear it. Like the ping of an email from the front office, we can hear it loud and clear; the Breadman is setting up shop in NYC. With the added addition of Jacob Truba, coupled with a young core, my beloved Rangers have a chance to break my heart in early to mid-April instead of December this year.
All this said, this should shape up to be an exciting season. New faces in new places, and a fresh sheet of ice I'm excited to see where it takes us.
I'll keep this post short and sweet.
Here are my pre-season rankings and predictions as of now:
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS ( Stanley Cup Finalist)
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (Stanley Cup Champions)
ST. LOUIS BLUES
SAN JOSE SHARKS
NEW YORK RANGERS
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
DETROIT RED WINGS
LOS ANGELES KINGS