Apparently I’m doing this whole boozing/cruising thing wrong as I’m not only not hungover, but up money at the casino (Ed Note: I guess it was a mistake to put that in writing so soon…whoops), AND up early before everyone else to the point that y’all get a season preview. So coming all the way from the middle of the ocean, here we go with the Eastern Conference:
New Jersey Devils –
The Good: They not only got Ilya signed to the type of deal that suited them financially, but successful screwed over the rest of the NHL GMs by getting cap circumvention fixed.
The Bad: Not enough money leftover for the nightly Martin Brodeur pie buffet.
The Expectation: They just got fined two Dan Ellis’ and some draft picks, yet I still expect Bill Daly to have both of Kovalchuk’s knees broken in what looks like an accident. Take that Lou.
Pittsburgh Penguins –
The Good: The Pens brought in Mike Comrie in hopes of getting Hillary Duff to sing the National Anthem during all home games.
The Bad: Now that Comrie only makes $500K, Hilary is going to ask for a divorce.
The Expectation: Pierre McGuire finally molests Crosby live on NBC and the world rejoices for him.
Washington Capitals –
The Good: The regular season is totally NOT the playoffs.
The Bad: Mike Green still hasn’t been told that just because you have a positive plus/minus rating due to outscoring your opponents, it doesn’t actually count as playing defense.
The Expectation: Ovechkin is on a breakaway to score the game winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals, when out of nowhere Jagr skates on the ice and cross checks him as revenge.
Tampa Bay Lightning –
The Good: Dan Ellis will have an extra 2.5 hours twice to three times a week to balance his checkbook and work on his finances since he’ll be sitting on the bench (Ed Note: since apparently Dan Ellis jokes are old now, my new "The Good" is that at least one of the Lightning Girls happens to be single, which is great since who wouldn't want to date a hockey blogger?...I said it was good, I didn't say for how many people).
The Bad: In 2005-06 when the Iowa Stars had Smith and Ellis as their goaltenders they barely squeaked into the playoffs and lost in the 1st round.
The Expectation: The Philadelphia Flyers Jr, end up making the playoffs and the Seen Stamkos crap finally pays off as he walks off with two pieces of hardware.
Florida Panthers –
The Good: No longer have to worry about severe head injuries or huge heel turn own goals thanks to the loss of Keith Ballard.
The Bad: Pretty much everything else.
The Expectation: Easily destroy everyone in the regular season, dominate in the playoffs, and walk away with the NBA Championship. Oh crap, the Panthers? Not the Heat? Well in that case Tomas Vokoun is going to get peppered with shots. Many of them. Lots are going to go in too.
Carolina Hurricanes –
The Good: One Staal away from 3-of-a-kind, which is a pretty damn good poker hand.
The Bad: Little known fact that Ron Brind’amor is now in charge of the team’s reconstructive facial surgery visual department.
The Expectation: Will try to recruit Kevin Weekes back from the NHL Network and Hockey Night in Canada.
New York Rangers –
The Good: Glen Sather overspent on only one free agent this summer.
The Bad: Not sure if I’ve ever seen someone get signed for $1.625 million a year that hasn’t scored a goal since January 7th…2006.
The Expectation: The only way this team wins a game is if Lundqvuist not only makes saves, but is also scoring goals. Good thing he has a twin that isn’t exactly signed to the NHL.
New York Islanders –
The Good: Four top 12 picks in the last 3 years that should start producing even more this season.
The Bad: Apparently that whole Sumo wrestler as a goaltender thing failed to work, not because they were slow and fat, but because they kept eating all of DiPietro’s new ACL’s over rice for breakfast.
The Expectation: Charles Wang names Dwayne Roloson the new team president because he is after all a better goaltender than Snow.
Buffalo Sabres –
The Good: Assuming it’s under the table deals involving 6-7 figures per player, Darcy Regier is obviously making a killing from his “drafting and developing talent, then letting them go to another team via free agency” plan.
The Bad: Even the Sabres won’t find out what their new jerseys look like until EA Sports gives them the jersey activation code. (Ed Note: Apparently they found out while I was gone, guess that means the new worst aspect is that while Dominik Hasek is being forced to pay to fix the damage caused to the championship cup, it isn’t the Stanley Cup)
The Expectation: Ryan Miller finally gets recognized as being a top end keeper in the NHL…Unfortunately, it’s just by some guy named Billy who clicked the wrong button on his Yahoo! Keeper league.
Atlanta Thrashers –
The Good: Don Waddell is no longer making the stellar trades that have built the Thrashers empire into what it is today.
The Bad: Don Waddell is now making even more important decisions for the Thrashers club leading me to believe he will make the Phoenix Coyotes debacle look easier than a Thrashers goaltender groin pull.
The Expectation: Gary Bettman will use Atlanta as a model of how relocating teams from the North to Southern US markets is a better idea than moving a team to Canada.
Ottawa Senators –
The Good: Negotiated a $5.5 million dollar deal per season in 14 minutes.
The Bad: Carrier Underwood Fisher is not enough for me to care about this team.
The Expectation: Pascal LeClaire will continue to under perform and Brian Elliott will continue to over perform. The result? Senator fans will be pissed at Jason Spezza.
Toronto Maple Leafs –
The Good: Can look forward to another excellent high draft pick.
The Bad: Brian Burke still has yet to find a way to get said pick back from the Bruins.
The Expectation: If the Leafs make the playoffs, Burkes McGurkes will hire Eric Cartman to repaint the inside of the Boston Garden to add insult to injury.
Montreal Canadiens –
The Good: The only way you could have a more definitive starting goaltender is if the backup was Vesa Toskala.
The Bad: After years of car burning, only 5 vehicles are still left on the road. Better chose your celebrations wisely.
The Expectation: That the Tomas Plekanec of 2011 is worth every penny of his new extension and not the Plekanec of, well pretty much any other year.
Philadelphia Flyers –
The Good: Chris Pronger didn’t get suspended for a single blatant elbow in the regular season or playoffs in 2009/10. You read that correctly!
The Bad: For the 11th year in a row they’ve opted to use the non-traditional 3 forwards defenders and 3 defenders approach.
The Expectation: Unless Jesus takes over at starting goaltender they don’t have a chance.
Boston Bruins –
The Good: Former Vezina winning goaltender Tim Thomas still has one year left on his contract.
The Bad: Peter Chiarello recently had a special “reserved for Timmy” name plate mounted to the end of the bench.
The Expectation: Will try to best last year’s season by winning a playoff series and then inexplicably forfeiting to let the team they beat move on to the next round.
As always, feel free to leave your comments, hate mail, and observations of what other jokes are outdated, or just stalk me on Twitter , because what better things do you have to do while at work?