Friday, 4 October 2013

Predictions for the 2013-14 NHL Season

Records

Sidney Crosby will stun the hockey world by not only getting into a fight with Zdeno Chara but decisively defeating the Bruins' captain. Afterward, Crosby will develop a superstitious belief that he must thrash Chara before every game. When Chara tries to go into hiding, HBO sponsors a new hockey documentary that films Crosby as he, aided by the star of OLN's Mantracker,  stalks the towering Slovak to the ends of the earth. Crosby's 73 bouts with Chara sets a record for most fights in an NHL season. Meanwhile, Ray Shero reverses his position on fighting in hockey.

Patrick Roy's outbursts will set a record for most fighting penalties assessed to an NHL coach in a single season. The new bench boss of the Colorado Avalanche will initially target players and other coaches, but he'll soon drop the dry-erase board to fight Louie (the St. Louis Blues mascot) and S.J. Sharkie (the San Jose Sharks mascot). Fines for Roy's misconduct will exceed the GDP of most African nations. 

Franchise News

Prince will purchase his hometown team--the Minnesota Wild--and rename them "The NHL Team Formerly Known as the Minnesota Wild." Here's a sneak peak at their new purple uniforms.

The third jersey will feature a weeping-dove logo.

It's no coincidence that Tim Thomas' return to the NHL occurred in the same year that the US Government shut itself down. Thomas will seize on this crisis to declare himself "Dread Lord of Florida" and campaign to have the state cede from the union.

The full import of Martin St. Louis' appointment as captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning will be revealed later in the season when plans to relocate the franchise to Quebec City are revealed.

In an attempt to change their name to something that sounds less like a group of registered sex offenders, the Nashville Predators will rechristen themselves as the "Tennessee Toothy-Tigers."

Firings

Brian Burke will dismiss Jay Feaster before the trade deadline. Afterward, Burke will appoint himself interim General Manager just in time to appear on TSN's deadline-day coverage in his signature look: a disheveled tie. Following in the footsteps of SNL cartoon "The X-Presidents," Burke will assemble a staff comprising fellow fired GMs who will monitor hockey operations by day and fight crime by night.

Claude Noel will keep his job as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets for most of the regular season. His future in Manitoba will hinge upon whether or not the season ends with his team finally committing to the playoffs (like Ross and Rachel at the end of Friends) or breaking up definitively (like Kevin and Winnie at the end of The Wonder Years). Either way, fans will need a box of Kleenex to get through Noel's emotional roller-coaster.
  
Paul Holmgren and/or Peter Laviolette will be fired before the end of the season if the Philadelphia Flyers struggle. I'd be surprised if both made it to Christmas. There's no joke here; I seriously think that this will happen.

Lawsuits

Capitalizing on his unexpected stardom on NHL 24/7 as "Coach McEffbomb," Bruce Boudreay will file a lawsuit against HBO after Randy Carlyle or Mike Babcock infringes on his trademarked manner of cursing.

After being issued a cease-and-desist order empowered with the death penalty, I will stop pestering the LA Kings about my ideas for a cool third jersey. Since you'll never see Dustin Brown or Drew Doughty wearing these threads, I'll leak my idea in this post.

"King me!"

Sens fans who have become "Alfie apologists" will be hardpressed to defend the former captain of the Ottawa Senators when behind-the-scenes footage exposes some of the Swede's awful sides. In interviews held to promote the 2014 Winter Classic, Daniel Alfredsson will dish on the lurid secrets behind Erik Karlsson's beauty regimen (skincare products by Elizabeth Bathory). The Sens, however, will have the last laugh when they go deeper in the 2014 playoffs than the Red Wings.

Trades and Acquisitions

Prior to the trade deadline, Ryan Miller will be dealt to a team that is on the cusp of playoff contention. In true Miller fashion, the Sabres goalie will trash his former team under the premise that he's "just giving honest answers." Miller may reveal that former teammate Jason Pominville was born with the surname "Appleton," but he had it changed after being relentlessly heckled with Perfect Strangers references as a kid. 

At least one team will pick one player off waivers because they mistook him for another. For instance, the New York Rangers might mistake Capitals' defenceman John Carlson for Sens' defenceman Erik Karlsson.

Game Changers

Paul Bissonnette will become convinced that the NHL's ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes is proof that the team is nothing more than the hockey equivalent of The Truman Show. To support his conspiracy theory, Bissonnette will spend the entire season gathering evidence suggesting that the team, its opponents, and its arena in Glendale aren't real.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will win at least one game in the shootout. Head coach Randy Carlyle may torment Leafs Nation with puzzling personnel decisions--including the decision to bench both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier in favour of onetime goalie prospect Keanu "The Wall" Reeves--but the Leafs will return to the postseason in 2014.

After reading an interview with Dallas Eakins from an issue of The Hockey News, I'm convinced that Edmonton's new head coach will lead the Oilers into the postseason. The interview describes how Eakins suffered many sleepless nights as he agonized over ways to make under-performing centre Nazem Kadri realize his potential. Eakins may end up looking more sleep deprived than Vince Vaughn, but he will find a way to get more from the Oilers' under-performing personnel.

Conversely, John Tortorella's tyrannical leadership will reduce the Vancouver Canucks to a fragile group of panic-stricken insomniacs. They may make the playoffs based on sheer talent and fear of reprisal from their head coach, but the team's best years of Stanley Cup contention are now behind them. Once word gets out that Torts is more despotic than Mr. Tarkanian (the paragon of abusive bosses, played by Will Ferrell), unrestricted free agents will shun the Canucks.

By next July, we'll hear UFAs saying, "I'm not signing in Vancouver after Torts killed Ryan Kesler with a trident!"

Tragedies

After a weekend of partying with Tyler Seguin proves fatal for Jamie Benn, Seguin's attempts to trick everyone into believing that the Dallas Stars captain still lives. Along the way, Seguin will learn to reform his reckless ways, find true love, and help Benn (albeit posthumously) set new personal records for goals and assists in a single campaign. These events will be adapted into a third installment in the Weekend at Bernie's franchise.

To save on travel costs, the New York Islanders will charter a boat for travel to games against their new divisional foe, the Carolina Hurricanes. The team is lost at sea after the ship is hit by a tropical storm one night. Thereafter, they will be forever referred to as "Gilligan's Islanders."

Most Ridiculous Moment

In honour of the Montreal Canadiens' EGG line (Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk, and Brendan Gallagher), Pierre McGuire will cover each Habs game in character as Egghead, the least threatening nemesis of Adam West's Batman.

"Yolk-upov just tied the game up for the Egg-monton Omeletters!"

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