Predict The Standings: Eastern Conference Seed #14

Toronto locked up #13 in our predictions, probably about where most would have predicted they'd end up BEFORE the season began, if I hadn't neglected my duties. I know some people, including me, thought they could compete for a 7 or 8 seed, but thought it was unlikely. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out. 


Final Poll: Who finishes 14th, and by default, who finishes dead last


The Japers' Rink Community Predicted Eastern Conference Standings

1) Washington Capitals (54-15-13, 121 points, 1st in the Southeast, 1st in the Eastern Conference in 2009-10)

Current cap payroll: $54,931,796. Cap space remaining (including bonuses) $5,318,204. 

2)  Pittsburgh Penguins: 47-28-7, 101 points, 2nd in the Atlantic, 4th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010

Current cap payroll: $57,717,312. Cap space (including bonuses) $1,682,688

3)  Boston Bruins(39-30-13, 91 points, 3rd in the Northeast, 6th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-10)

Current  cap payroll: .$63,108,332.  Cap space (after bonuses): $-3,087,771

4)  New Jersey Devils:  (48-27-7, 103 points, 1st in the Atlantic, 2nd in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010)

Current cap payroll: $63,108,332. Cap space (including bonuses) $-2,968,332

5)  Philadelphia Flyers:  41-35-6, 88 points, 3rd in Atlantic, 7th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010

Current cap payroll: $59,459,763. Cap space (including bonuses) $877,737.

6) Buffalo Sabres(45-27-10, 100 points, 1st in the Northeast, 3rd in the Eastern Conference)

Current cap payroll: $55,517,024. Cap space (including bonuses) $4,822,976

7) Tampa Bay Lightning:  34-36-12, 80 points, fourth in the Southeast, 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Current cap payroll: $53,034,416. Cap space (including bonuses) $10,820,584.

8) Ottawa Senators : 44-32-6, 94 points, 2nd in Northeast, 5th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010.

Current cap payroll: $59,220,833. Cap space (including bonuses) $604,167.

9) New York Rangers:  38-33-11, 87 points, 4th in the Atlantic, 9th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010.

Current cap payroll:  $57,751,667. Cap space (including bonuses) $3,260,833.

10) Montreal Canadiens(39-33-10, 88 points, 4th in the Northeast, 8th in the Eastern Conference)

Current cap payroll: $59,046,727. Cap space (including bonuses) $778,273.  

11) Atlanta Thrashers (35-34-13, 83 points, 2nd in the Southeast, 10th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-10).

Current cap payroll:  $46,466,666, cap space (including bonuses) $17,388,334. 

12) Carolina Hurricanes:  (35-37-10, 80 points, 3rd in the Southeast, 11th in the Eastern Conference)

Current cap payroll: $49,945,833. Cap space (including bonuses) $10,469,167

13) Toronto Maple Leafs30-38-14, 74 points, 5th in the Northeast, 15th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010.

Current cap payroll: $64,129,166. Cap space (including bonuses) $-274,166.


remaining teams:

Florida Panthers(32-37-13, 77 points, 5th in the Southeast, 14th in the Eastern Conference)

Current cap payroll: $51,155,000. Salary cap space (including bonuses) $9,520,000.

Key Additions: Steve Bernier (trade, Vancouver), Christopher Higgins (UFA, Calgary Flames), Nathan Paetsch (UFA, Columbus), Marty Reasoner (trade, Chicago), Dennis Wideman (trade, Boston)

Key Losses: Keith Ballard (Trade, Vancouver), Gregory Campbell (trade, Boston), Nathan Horton (trade, Boston)

New GM Dale Tallon takes over after serving as the Blackhawks GM from June 2005-July 2009. He inherits a roster that is surprisingly over $50 million considering the lack of "big name" players beyond goalie Tomas Voukoun. That salary figure starts to make sense when you realize a player like Rotislav Olesz signed a 6 year, $18.5 million contract after the 07-08 season, his reward for a putting up 26 points in 56 games as a 22 year old. Olesz followed that "breakout" season with 9 points in 37 games in 08-09 and 29 points in 78 games in 09-10. He's on the books through 2013-2014.

Still, the Panthers have some decent (albeit not All Star level) young talent on the roster. David Booth is only 25,Stephen Weiss is 27, and skilled blue liner Dmitry Kulikov averaged over 17 minutes a game as a 19 year old. They also have the aforementioned Vokoun in net, who gets a lot of well deserved love around these parts, and is sure to be a hot commodity around the trading deadline if the Panthers are out of the running for a playoff spot.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the Panthers are hovering around the playoff bubble at the end of February. Will the front office roll the dice as they did with Jay Bouwmester and shy away from a trade in pursuit of a playoff spot, or will they look to the future and trade their stud goalie for picks and prospects?

New York Islanders(34-37-11, 79 points, 5th in Atlantic, 13th in the Eastern Conference in 2009-2010)

Current cap payroll: $44,776,650. Cap space (including bonuses) $19,078,350.

Key Additions: Mark Eaton (UFA, Pittsburgh), Andy Hilbert (UFA, Minnesota), Milan Jurcina (UFA, Washington), Zenon Konopka (UFA, Tampa Bay), Nino Niederreiter (Draft), P.A. Parenteau (UFA, New York Rangers), James Wisniewski (UFA, Anaheim)

Key losses: Sean Bergenheim (UFA, Tampa Bay), Martin Biron (UFA, New York Rangers), Richard Park (UFA, Geneva-Severette, Switzerland), Freddy Meyer (UFA, Atlanta)

The John Tavares era began last season on Long Island. Tavares started the season strong with 19 points in his first 21 games, finished strong with 18 points in his final 13 games, but had a forgettable middle portion of the season. Overall, his 54 points in 82 games was respectable but not spectacular for a rookie, though his strong finish to the season should give Islander fans hope that he'll continue to progress this season.

Tavares, Kyle OkposoJosh Bailey and the awesomely named Nino Niederreiter give the Isles some talented young forwards to go with Doug Weight, who is retuning for a 19th NHL season. There is also Matt Moulson who came from nowhere to score 30 goals last season, and Mark Streit who had a solid all around year on the blue line, averaging nearly 26 minutes a game, adding 49 points and an even plus/minus on a team that got outscored by 42 goals last season.

If Rick DiPietro can stay healthy, and if the Islander's youth movement continues to progress, can this team surprise the NHL? Even if he is healthy, will DiPietro be anything close to the player he once was, after playing in only 13 games over the past 2 seasons?


If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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