The NHL season is in jeopardy—at least the start of it is—but we are going to suspend disbelief when it comes to labor problems.
We are going to believe that cooler heads will prevail and the lockout will end quickly. The league and players' association will negotiate a settlement, teams will report to training camp and the season will begin.
With that as a disclaimer, we're going to look at the top 10 teams in the league on paper. The best teams on paper don't always win the Stanley Cup. The Kings were the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and barely made the playoffs before dominating in the postseason.
Very few observers would have called them a top 10 team at the end of the regular season.
But as we prepare for the regular season, we'll handicap the top 10 teams based on talent level.