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NHL experts predict 2012-13 could be a wild season

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 5:00 PM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

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NHL experts predict 2012-13 could be a wild season
Twelve NHL Network and NHL.com staffers make predictions for 2012-2013 season.

If you choose to believe the assorted experts from the NHL Network and NHL.com, Sidney Crosby will leave Las Vegas with the Hart Trophy (MVP) in 2013.

Of the six NHL Network members (Kelly Chase, EJ Hradek, Mike Johnson, Barry Melrose, Kathryn Tappen and Kevin Weekes) and six NHL.com staffers (Arpon Basu, Adam Kimelmen, Dave Lozo, Corey Masisak, Shawn Roarke and Dan Rosen), eight believe the Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar will be the NHL's most valuable player.

Three of the remaining four chose Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with one lone wolf choosing Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins to win the award.

The prognostication of the Stanley Cup champion was far more varied.

The New York Rangers were pegged to win their first Stanley Cup since 1994 and second since 1940 by three experts, while the Penguins also had three backers to win the Cup. The Kings, Canucks, Flyers, Bruins, and Wild also received support from the panelists.

It seems the only thing our 12 experts agreed on was the Boston Bruins winning the Northeast Division.

The Wild made the biggest splash in the summer by signing defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise to 12-year contracts, and that has led to support from several of our predictors.

Kimelman, Roarke and Tappen have the Wild winning the Northwest Division. Melrose has the Canucks winning that division, but he sees the Wild going on a run all the way to the Stanley Cup. That would be quite the leap for the team that finished No. 24 in the League standings last year.

Only Masisak sees the Kings winning a second straight championship.

The rest of the predictions for this season are below.

Barry Melrose
(NHL Network)
Kelly Chase
(NHL Network)
Mike Johnson
(NHL Network)
Atlantic Division champion
Northeast Division champion
Southeast Division champion
Central Division champion
Pacific Division champion
Northwest Division champion
Eastern Conference champion
Western Conference champion
Stanley Cup champion
Hart Trophy winner
(Regular season MVP)
Steven Stamkos Sidney Crosby Sidney Crosby
       
Kevin Weekes
(NHL Network)
EJ Hradek
(NHL Network)
Kathryn Tappen
(NHL Network)
Atlantic Division champion
Northeast Division champion
Southeast Division champion
Central Division champion
Pacific Division champion
Northwest Division champion
Eastern Conference champion
Western Conference champion
Stanley Cup champion
Hart Trophy winner
(Regular season MVP)
Sidney Crosby Sidney Crosby Sidney Crosby
       
Dave Lozo
(NHL.com)
Dan Rosen
(NHL.com)
Adam Kimelman
(NHL.com)
Atlantic Division champion
Northeast Division champion
Southeast Division champion
Central Division champion
Pacific Division champion
Northwest Division champion
Eastern Conference champion
Western Conference champion
Stanley Cup champion
Hart Trophy winner
(Regular season MVP)
Tyler Seguin Steven Stamkos Sidney Crosby
       
Shawn Roarke
(NHL.com)
Corey Masisak
(NHL.com)
Arpon Basu
(LNH.com)
Atlantic Division champion
Northeast Division champion
Southeast Division champion
Central Division champion
Pacific Division champion
Northwest Division champion
Eastern Conference champion
Western Conference champion
Stanley Cup champion
Hart Trophy winner
(Regular season MVP)
Sidney Crosby Steven Stamkos Sidney Crosby


Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice