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Ranking the top two centres on each team in the NHL's Western Conference

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 12:25 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Ranking the top two centres on each team in the NHL's Western Conference

Ranking the projected one-two centre punches in the NHL's Western Conference:

1. Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter

The Stanley Cup winners set the gold standard in the West.

2. Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler

Kesler's addition gives the Ducks the size they need against L.A.

3. San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton and Logan Couture

If Thornton stays, the Sharks are still stacked down the middle.

4. Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza

Spezza makes Dallas much more than a one-line team.

5. St. Louis Blues: Alex Steen and Paul Stastny

So many good centres, a couple will have to play on wing.

6. Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon

Losing Stastny hurts, but MacKinnon gets to shift to natural position.

7. Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews and Brad Richards

Getting Richards solved Blackhawks' biggest off-season need.

8. Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund

Wild are strong on the wings but no slouches at centre.

9. Phoenix Coyotes: Martin Hanzal and Sam Gagner

Gagner is small, but Coyotes upgraded by dumping Mike Ribeiro.

10. Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin and Nick Bonino

If Bonino continues to develop, Canucks will be just fine.

11. Nashville Predators: Mike Fisher and Olli Jokinen

It will be up to Peter Laviolette to maximize Predators' talent.

12. Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl

Draisaitl is the future, even if he's not the present.

13. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan and Matt Stajan

Young Flames would love No. 4 pick Sam Bennett to be ready soon.

14: Winnipeg Jets: Bryan Little and Mathieu Perreault

It'll be hard for Jets to keep up in Central Division.

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp