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Season Preview

Predictions for 2016-17 season

NHL.com, NHL Network experts say Stanley Cup champion will be …

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Season Preview: Rapid Predictions

Season Preview: Rapid-Fire Predictions

NHL.com's Dan Rosen and Matt Waymire make some rapid-fire season predictions including best free-agent pickup, sleeper team, and scoring champ

  • 02:06 •

The predictions for the 2016-17 regular-season standings and 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs are in, and they paint an interesting picture, to say the least.

According to 20 voters from NHL.com and NHL Network, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup; half of those polled have the Lightning, the runner-up two years ago, as the last team standing this season. Perhaps, more amazingly, eight of those 10 voters predicted defenseman Victor Hedman would be the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Stanley Cup in June, were picked by two voters to repeat as champions. The Detroit Red Wings, in 1997 and 1998, are the most recent team to repeat.

Though the Lightning are considered the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, things are much less clear in the Western Conference. Seven different teams received votes as Western Conference champion and five received multiple votes. The Nashville Predators led the field with six votes, followed by the Los Angeles Kings (four), the St. Louis Blues (three) and Chicago Blackhawks (three). The San Jose Sharks, who lost to the Penguins in six games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, received two votes to win the Western Conference this season.

The Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs last season, but each of the 20 voters say they will return to the postseason in 2017, including one vote as the champion of the Atlantic Division.

Video: Picking 2017 Stanley Cup Champions

Here are the individual predictions:

 

Arpon Basu, Managing Editor, LNH.com

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Montreal Canadiens / 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: New York Rangers

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: Chicago Blackhawks / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: Los Angeles Kings / 2: San Jose Sharks / 3: Edmonton Oilers

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Anaheim Ducks

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Los Angeles Kings

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

 

Amalie Benjamin, NHL.com Regional Writer

 

Atlantic Division

1: Florida Panthers / 2: Tampa Bay Lightning / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Carolina Hurricanes / No. 2: Boston Bruins

 

Central Division

1: St. Louis Blues / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Chicago Blackhawks / No. 2: Arizona Coyotes

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: St. Louis Blues

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Tim Campbell, NHL.com Regional Writer

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Montreal Canadiens / 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Ottawa Senators / No. 2: New York Rangers

 

Central Division

1: St. Louis Blues / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division

1: Anaheim Ducks / 2: San Jose Sharks / 3: Calgary Flames

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Chicago Blackhawks / No. 2: Los Angeles Kings

 

Conference champions

East: Washington Capitals / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Nashville Predators; Pekka Rinne (NSH)

 

Brian Compton, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: New Jersey Devils

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: Dallas Stars / 3: Minnesota Wild

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Chicago Blackhawks / No. 2: St. Louis Blues

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Los Angeles Kings

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Nick Cotsonika, NHL.com Columnist

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: Detroit Red Wings

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Minnesota Wild / No. 2: St. Louis Blues

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Matt Cubeta, Director, NHL.com International

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Montreal Canadiens / No. 2: Buffalo Sabres

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: Anaheim Ducks / 2: San Jose Sharks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Calgary Flames

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Tom Gulitti, NHL.com Regional Writer

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: New York Rangers

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: Chicago Blackhawks / 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3:  Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Minnesota Wild

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Chicago Blackhawks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Mike Johnson, NHL Network Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Montreal Canadiens / 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: New York Rangers

 

Central Division

1: St. Louis Blues / 2: Minnesota Wild / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Chicago Blackhawks / No. 2: Dallas Stars

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: St. Louis Blues

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Tyler Johnson (TBL)

 

Adam Kimelman, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Philadelphia Flyers

 

Central Division

1: Chicago Blackhawks / 2: Dallas Stars / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Edmonton Oilers

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Winnipeg Jets

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West:  Dallas Stars

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Brian Lawton, NHL.com Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Boston Bruins

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Montreal Canadiens

 

Central Division

1: Chicago Blackhawks / 2: Dallas Stars / 3: St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Nashville Predators / No. 2: Winnipeg Jets

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Chicago Blackhawks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Chicago Blackhawks; Corey Crawford (CHI)

 

John MacLean, NHL Network Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: New Jersey Devils

 

Central Division

1: Chicago Blackhawks / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings 

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Colorado Avalanche

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: San Jose Sharks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

San Jose Sharks; Martin Jones (SJS)

 

Mike Morreale, NHL.com Staff Writer

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Carolina Hurricanes / No. 2: New Jersey Devils

 

Central Division

1: Chicago Blackhawks / 2: Dallas Stars / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Minnesota Wild / No. 2: Colorado Avalanche

 

Conference champions

East: Washington Capitals / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Washington Capitals; Braden Holtby (WSH)

 

Bill Price, NHL.com Editor in Chief

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Philadelphia Flyers

 

Central Division

1: Chicago Blackhawks / 2: Dallas Stars / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: Anaheim Ducks / 2: San Jose Sharks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Minnesota Wild

 

Conference champions

East: Washington Capitals / West: Chicago Blackhawks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Washington Capitals; Alex Ovechkin (WSH)

 

Dave Reid, NHL Network Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Montreal Canadiens / 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Boston Bruins

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: St. Louis Blues / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Nashville Predators / No. 2: Calgary Flames

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: San Jose Sharks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Tyler Johnson (TBL)

 

Shawn Roarke, NHL.com Director of Editorial

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Montreal Canadiens / 3: Florida Panthers

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Boston Bruins / No. 2: New York Rangers

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: St. Louis Blues / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Dallas Stars / No. 2: Winnipeg Jets

 

Conference champions

East: Pittsburgh Penguins / West: St. Louis Blues

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Pittsburgh Penguins; Kris Letang (PIT)

 

Dan Rosen, NHL.com Senior Writer

 

Atlantic Division

1: Florida Panthers / 2: Tampa Bay Lightning / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Buffalo Sabres

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: Chicago Blackhawks / 3: Dallas Stars

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Minnesota Wild / No. 2: St. Louis Blues

 

Conference champions

East: Pittsburgh Penguins / West: Chicago Blackhawks

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Chicago Blackhawks; Corey Crawford (CHI)

Video: Dan Rosen's 2016-17 Stanley Cup Predictions

 

Mike Rupp, NHL Network Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Columbus Blue Jackets / No. 2: Boston Bruins

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: Nashville Predators / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: Anaheim Ducks / 2: San Jose Sharks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Minnesota Wild

 

Conference champions

East: Tampa Bay Lightning / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Tampa Bay Lightning; Victor Hedman (TBL)

 

Dave Stubbs, NHL.com Columnist

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: Philadelphia Flyers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: New York Rangers / No. 2: Boston Bruins

 

Central Division

1: Dallas Stars / 2: Chicago Blackhawks / 3: Nashville Predators

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Los Angeles Kings / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Calgary Flames / No. 2: St. Louis Blues

 

Conference champions

East: Pittsburgh Penguins / West: Los Angeles Kings

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Los Angeles Kings; Drew Doughty (LAK)

 

Rob Vollman, NHL.com Correspondent

 

Atlantic Division

1: Montreal Canadiens / 2: Tampa Bay Lightning / 3: Detroit Red Wings

Metropolitan Division

1: Washington Capitals / 2: Pittsburgh Penguins / 3: New York Islanders

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Carolina Hurricanes / No. 2: Florida Panthers

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: Minnesota Wild / 3: Chicago Blackhawks

Pacific Division

1: Los Angeles Kings / 2: Edmonton Oilers / 3: Anaheim Ducks

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: St. Louis Blues / No. 2: Winnipeg Jets

 

Conference champions

East: Washington Capitals / West: Los Angeles Kings

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Los Angeles Kings; Drew Doughty (LAK)

 

Kevin Weekes, NHL Network Analyst

 

Atlantic Division

1: Tampa Bay Lightning / 2: Florida Panthers / 3: Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division

1: Pittsburgh Penguins / 2: Washington Capitals / 3: New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Philadelphia Flyers / No. 2: Ottawa Senators

 

Central Division

1: Nashville Predators / 2: Chicago Blackhawks / 3: St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

1: San Jose Sharks / 2: Anaheim Ducks / 3: Los Angeles Kings

Western Conference Wild Cards

No. 1: Minnesota Wild / No. 2: Winnipeg Jets

 

Conference champions

East: Pittsburgh Penguins / West: Nashville Predators

 

Stanley Cup champion; Conn Smythe Trophy winner

Pittsburgh Penguins; Sidney Crosby (PIT)

 
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