This time of the year is when I start to break out of my depression from hockey deprivation. It is the final stretch of the long, hot summer dog days, and on the horizon are those crisp fall days and hockey training camp, my favorite time of the year.
NHL training camp will open about a week earlier this year because of the Olympics. Most camps will start opening September 10th, less than a month away. The official NHL season will open up in Europe late September.
I personally like to get my standings predictions in before training camp and preseason starts because for some reason it clouds my judgment if I try to make my predictions in the midst of preseason or thereafter.
Most impact free agents are settled in with their clubs, and most teams look ready to rock, so that means I'm ready to go.
Up first are my Eastern Conference standings predictions.