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NHL season preview: Predicting the West

Updated: November 16, 2011 10:36AM



IN THE RACE

1. San Jose Sharks

Martin Havlat and Brent Burns make up for the departure of Dany Heatley.

2. Blackhawks

A healthy Dave Bolland and full season of Michael Frolik could go a long way. But will all the new guys put the Hawks back on top?

3. Vancouver Canucks

A Stanley Cup hangover without winning? The runners-up will suffer a bit, but their weak division helps again.

4. Detroit Red Wings

Will this be the last good run for Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk?

5. Los Angeles Kings

They made some noise by adding Mike Richards and Simon Gagne to an already-talented lineup.

6. Anaheim Ducks

The health of goalie Jonas Hiller is crucial, but they still boast the NHL’s top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry.

7. St. Louis Blues

They’re more than just a bunch of brawlers now with a decent mix of youth and veterans. Jaroslav Halak will be decisive.

8. Nashville Predators

Coach Barry Trotz is one of the best, and his brand of hockey always seems to nab a playoff berth.

WORK TO DO

9. Calgary Flames

Veteran team should still be competitive. Jarome Iginla is still a stud.

10. Columbus Blue Jackets

Adding Jeff Carter and James Wisniew-ski won’t be enough.

11. Minnesota Wild

Will ex-Sharks Devin Setoguchi and Heatley surprise people?

12. Colorado Avalanche

The young talent is still in Denver, but will it take the next step?

13. Phoenix Coyotes

The departure of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov kills a team without offensive punch.

14. Edmonton Oilers

Give Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Co. one more year.

15. Dallas Stars

They were surprisingly good last season, but now Brad Richards is gone.



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