Projecting the final bottom portion of the NHL’s overall standings prior to the season is akin to taking a multiple choice test. The best method of selection is to start by ruling out the least likely answers.
That is why it is so fitting to look at an upcoming season as a clean slate. At first glance, everybody looks like they are within lassoing distance of success or at least, depending on where they left off, improvement.
They are entitled to believe as much until the standings start taking shape deep into autumn. In turn, there are more teams that readily emit an “among the best” vibe than “among the worst.”
But upon striking the strongest-looking teams off the list and then eliminating the outstanding prospective welterweights, we are left with the 10 who, shall we say, are most likely to constitute the bottom one-third by mid-April. (Lucky for them, they have about seven months to prove otherwise.)
That unfortunate group is as follows in alphabetical order.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this slideshow were found via NHL.com.