Hi guys, back again for some more MEDIA. This time, a discussion started, asking my thoughts on the worst 5-10 teams this season, and instead of just doing a list, I thought it would be more appropriate to group teams in tiers. Teams could fall into multiple groupings depending on what exactly I come up with for tiers, but please do keep in mind none of these are personal shots towards anyone specifically, just my opinion on the possibilities that this season may bring. Enjoy! (P.S. the teams are in tiers then sorted alphabetically, so you can try and guess how I rank them within the tiers ) Tier 1; The Cream of the Crop: Chicago Blackhawks Columbus Blue Jackets Dallas Stars These 3 teams for the most part share one common trait that no other team can match, and this is what sets them apart from the rest for me, and that is; High End Depth. Having star quality players on multiple lines makes these teams a headache to plan against no matter who you end up facing from their roster. I was a bit hesitant to group Columbus here, but there wasn't a lot of turnover from a roster that just won a cup, so I felt like they earned their place here, and no surprise seeing Dallas and Chicago amongst the top teams like always. __________________________________________________________________________ Tier 2; The Contenders: Colorado Avalanche Los Angeles Kings New York Islanders Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins San Jose Sharks Vancouver Canucks Vegas Golden Knights For me, I had a hard time drawing the line here as I wasn't totally sure how to define contender, but I settled on teams that I thought with their current roster, could all win a cup, but also all have a noticeable flaw. For example, Colorado appears ready to jump into that top tier, and maybe they are, but they have an extremely inexperienced d core, and are really lacking that top guy. Maybe they expect @D_SPORS_5 to step into that role, or maybe they think @NorrisWinner (Jonfromearth) takes that spot, but the other teams in the tier above them don't have that question mark in my mind. The Islanders d core is...questionable at best, but they have 2 extremely strong forward lines. Ottawa is lacking proven forward depth, they may be the safest team of this bunch but they will be asking a lot of forwards who haven't proven themselves in the NHL yet. San Jose doesn't have a true game 7 d man, let alone having 2, @Lazy Pedestrian is solid but I don't think even he would call himself a top guy for a d core to have. Pittsburgh, I've learned not to doubt Niner, but quality forward depth is definitely something this team needs to improve on, because their defense will be top notch, they just need to find either a gamebreaking forward to put this team squarely into the top tier, or fill out their roster with a bit better depth. Vegas doesn't have any top end d men themselves, they do have a very solid team overall, but the defense could be exposed come playoff time, as they will squarely fit into the playoff picture. Los Angeles fits into the same boat as Vegas, the lack of top end d men could hurt them come playoff time, but with the forward depth and number of above average d men across the board they (we) should see themselves in the playoffs come December. (Probably a bit high on my own team, but I’m an optimist at heart, so sue me) Vancouver finally rounds out my true "contenders" tier, as I think they lack the true top top end talent but overall have a quite solid team. For the rest of these, I will be a bit shorter with my explanations, and if you feel I need to clarify something, don't hesitate to ask. __________________________________________________________________________ Tier 3; Playoffs but Ringless: Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Calgary Flames Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens Toronto Maple Leafs These are teams that I see making the playoffs, but don't see as title contending teams with their current roster. Anaheim; Offense Boston; Defense depth Calgary; Lack of high end talent Minnesota; Good but not good enough- prove me wrong Montreal; Lack of quality depth (O and D) Toronto; Lack of quality depth (O and D) __________________________________________________________________________ Tier 4; Bubble Teams: Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers Nashville Predators New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers Washington Capitals These are the teams I see fighting for a playoff spot right near the very end and potentially squeaking in, but I can't see any of them at the end of the season sitting pretty and not worrying come games 75 and on. Detroit; Depth both fwd and d but mostly fwd Florida; no top end talent Nashville; very difficult division + d core NJD; lack of top end talent Philly; look at their forwards Washington; Look at their forwards __________________________________________________________________________ Tier 5; Not Happening: Arizona Coyotes Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes Edmonton Oilers New York Rangers St Louis Blues Tampa Bay Lightning Winnipeg Jets These teams I just can't see a scenario with their current roster where they wind up in a playoff spot. I don't think these teams are without hope (for the most part), but I just can't see a situation with the current squads where any of these teams are playoff bound 10 weeks from now. Arizona; Lack of talent, love the Morans as much as anyone, but counting too much on guys coming up and carrying Buffalo; Lack of NHL caliber talent Carolina; Quality Depth Edmonton; fwd depth + d core New York (R); defense St Louis; lack of NHL talent Tampa Bay; No high end talent + d core Winnipeg; D core + forward depth Please do keep in mind I don't dislike anyone and this is about as unbiased as it gets when it comes to outlooks on teams, so if you're upset that your team isn't rated higher, then improve it! Maybe this opens eyes to some management that don't see the holes in their rosters. (I didn't analyze goaltending too much, as I won't claim to be an expert on goalies) __________________________________________________________________________ Bonus Tier!! Ready to Explode; (Teams that could totally blow up) Winnipeg Washington St Louis New York Rangers Florida Detroit Arizona Los Angeles Montreal __________________________________________________________________________ Odds I make it through the whole season: 65% Hope you guys enjoy, I will try to keep the media coming on a consistent basis. Also, do note I wasn't around at all last season, so there are a few newer guys that I'm still learning and don't have a complete grasp on in terms of their skill level, so I may be a bit off in a few places, but this is my best prediction when it comes to the outlook of teams and the tiers they may fall in this season!