Silver Nuggets: Outrageous Predictions

The new NHL season is upon us, and as such, I make some ridiculous projections that probably won't come true.

We've been making our Sterling Predictions here, which are fun, and we all take seriously because bragging rights matter. However, they're all a little boring. Just a tad too realistic. Here's a quick list of 10 predictions that are a little more out there. Make sure to add your own in the comments!

  • Erik Karlsson will be the first defenceman since Bobby Orr to win the Art Ross Trophy. It's unlikely, but there's really no other defenceman you'd bet on to win it.
  • Craig Anderson finishes top-five in Vezina voting. Ottawa's starter hasn't got a lot of credit for being a rock-solid starter in Ottawa pretty much since the trade that brought him over from the Avalanche. I say this year he stays healthy, and actually enters the conversation for one of the best goalies in the league. Before his numbers crater next year.
  • Nikita Kucherov will score more points than Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko finished last year with 73 points and signed an eight-year, $60-million contract straight out of his ELC. Kucherov had a 65-point year on the Lightning's Triplets Line, and is entering the final year of his ELC. I think Kucherov will have the better season of the two. (If one of these predictions comes true, I'd be on it being this one.)
  • The Florida Panthers will finish top-three in the Atlantic Division. I think Florida has a bunch of young guys just ready to burst into the top levels of the NHL. Plus Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo are no slouches. I think they should make the playoffs, and might even make it out of the first round for the second time in franchise history.
  • Both Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi are with the Stars for training camp next season. The Stars enter the season with $10.4-million wrapped up in goaltending. I think both will play well for stretches, but not enough to garner a trade market. Rather than biting the bullet on a buyout, Jim Nill will be prepared to enter next season with the same two-headed monster in net. Especially since both are over 30, so both may have issues staying healthy for a full season.
  • Nail Yakupov gets 60 points. The Oilers have a lot of firepower, with Connor McDavid joining Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Newcomers Cam Talbot in goal and Andrej Sekera on defence have gained attention. Mostly lost in the shuffle has been 2012 first-overall pick Yakupov. There's no denying he has talent, and I think this year he could put it all together and push for respectability.
  • Carl Hagelin outscores Corey Perry. Given the chance to thrive in Anaheim, Hagelin makes the Rangers look ridiculous for trading him, putting up more points than his Hart-winning linemate.
  • The Avalanche trade Matt Duchene. With new deals needed for Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon, and too much money wrapped up in veterans, the Avs shock the hockey world and deal Duchene. I considered adding "or Gabriel Landeskog" to the bet, but I think the two-years age difference leads to Duchene being the one shipped out of town.
  • The Senators have eight 20-goal scorers. Last season, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris, and Erik Karlsson all completed the feat. This year, I think Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, and Milan Michalek all join them. Or maybe Alex Chiasson does. But anyway, I'm calling eight.
  • Karlsson finally gets a hat-trick. Nuff said.

Sens Links:

  • The Week Ahead is back, which means hockey starts this week! [Silver Seven]
  • We're starting a prediction contest on the site. Check out the instructions for participation. [Silver Seven]
  • The next edition of the Chet and Luke Podcast is out! A must-listen for any Sens fan [Silver Seven]
  • By popular demand, Trevor's follow-up piece of five reasons for pessimism in 2015-16 [Silver Seven]
  • Varada makes sure you know how to talk about the Sens this upcoming season [WTYKY]
  • worsteverything looks at four things to look forward to this year, and four things not to [WTYKY - good, WTYKY - bad]
  • Capital Gains with a great piece combining Colin Greening with Donald Trump [Bonk's Mullet]
  • Chirp on some preparations for the season opener [SensChirp]
  • A repost from Chirp, chronicling the Sens' amazing run to the playoffs. You cannot relive this run too many times [SensChirp]
  • Nichols' thoughts on Greening's demotion and Hammond's groin (tweak) [6th Sens - Greening, 6th Sens - Hammond]
  • The latest Sens Callups podcast, featuring guests Stuntman Stu, In-Game Host Lauren Fine, the Senators' DJ Alex Marchand, and Sales Manager Dan Julien [Sens Callups]
  • Peter Levi's thoughts on Greening and Hammond, among other news [Eye on the Sens]
  • A few Ottawa Citizen pieces, on Hammond's approach to his return, Karlsson's second year as captain, and Hoffman's resilience despite losing his arbitration battle [Hammond, Karlsson, Hoffman]

Other Links:

  • The Canadiens' Zack Kassian has been placed in the NHLPA's substance abuse program following a car accident. Here's hoping this is the help he needs. [Ottawa Citizen]
  • There may be a lot more starting goaltenders than starting goaltender spots available in the NHL [Ottawa Citizen]
  • Raffi Torres was suspended 41 (!!) games for a hit on Jakob Silfverberg. I know Torres is the repeatiest of repeat offenders, but that's still a huge number of games. Gotta think this could be the end of his career. [NHL]
  • A fun Q&A between long-time journalist Jonathon Gatehouse and Leafs' coach Mike Babcock [Maclean's]
  • Jen LC with a detailed explanation of what advanced stats people mean by zone entries, and why some are more effective than others. Great for people will all levels of knowledge of advanced stats. [Jen LC]

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