Every year, the NHL season begins with all of the hype and excitement of any professional sport. Records are gone, stats are reset and every team has a chance to win the...
Sorry. But I can't continue with the lie. Not everyone has a chance to win the Stanley Cup this year. In fact, most teams won't come anywhere close.
There are some teams that will sneak into the postseason, and some might even make it to the second or third round of the playoffs. But the simple, harsh reality is still true: They won't win the Cup this year.
Here are the 14 teams that have a 0.00 percent chance of hosting a parade in June.
Kudos to the Sens for putting their chances of winning the Cup, or making the playoffs, on the front of their new alternate sweaters.
They can't get rid of Jason Spezza's contract fast enough, they've already dumped Nikita Filatov on the AHL and poor Daniel Alfredsson is stuck babysitting a franchise stuck in neutral. It's ugly in Ottawa.
Hey, remember that time Jarome Iginla had a legit center next to him?
Yeah, I don't, either.
They made a couple bold moves this summer, but they have clearly not done anywhere near enough to get over the hump.
They're losing money, and they have a goaltender that hasn't been good in a couple years. Rick Nash is a great player and a solid captain, and he'll have a really good year with Jeff Carter as a wingman, but there are too many holes on the roster for the Jackets to be a playoff team this year.
There's a lot to be excited about in Winnipeg. They have a hockey team again and all is right with the world.
There are some players to build around, like captain Andrew Ladd, but the Jets have a lot of work to do to compete in the Eastern (or Western) Conference. They're at least three scorers and a couple defensemen away from being a five or six seed. And they currently lack an elite goalie.
Sorry, 'Peg. No Cup for you in 2012.
They are starting to assemble the foundation for a decent team, but they aren't there yet. John Tavares needs help, their blue line needs work and they need some of the money back from the black hole they call the goalie position to pay for improvements on the roster.
Dale Tallon spent a lot of money this summer to make the team respectable, and he accomplished his goal of getting to the floor. They'll compete more often, but they might not finish in the postseason hunt.
With a good mix of veterans and youngsters developing, they're on the right path. But this year? Not yet.
They're off to a hot start and have some good young pieces. But they have a rough track record of having players miss time.
The future is bright in Colorado, but they aren't deep enough to make a four-round run through the postseason. Not yet.
Why not them? Why not now? Two words: Nikolai Khabibulin.
Their best player is now Dany Heatley, who is in Minnesota because he's regularly taken April and May off the last couple years. This year, he might be able to stay true to that form, but this time his teammates won't be playing games around him.
There just isn't enough of anything on the Leafs' roster to get past teams like Buffalo, Boston or even Montreal this year.
This season is Armageddon in Nashville.
Will Shea Weber be in a Preds sweater next year? Will Ryan Suter? Will Pekka Rinne?
Will any of them be gone when the trade deadline arrives?
There are a lot of decisions to be made in Nashville this year, and they'll impact the next decade of the franchise. As the team stands today, they aren't deep enough on paper to win the Western Conference. Of course, Barry Trotz has done a great job of getting the most out of his players, but what players will he have when the regular season ends?
If you know someone willing to waste money on a team losing money, please forward their contact information to Gary Bettman's office as soon as possible.
If you know someone that can play goalie for the Coyotes, please forward their information to...who would you even send that information to? The owner? OK, then send that to Bettman's office, too.
Look at the seats. The empty seats.
The Stars are overwhelmed in bad debt and can't draw 10,000 people for an early-season game while the team is playing well and in first place. What happens when the wheels fall off and the standings aren't so kind?
If you know of two people that would like to invest in an organization that's losing money, please forward the second name to Gary Bettman's office.
As long as Roberto Luongo is in net for the Canucks, they're going to have an enormous monkey on their collective back.
But beyond the confidence issues displayed by their No. 1 netminder, the Canucks haven't replaced Christian Ehrhoff and are struggling to win games to begin the season. Other teams in the Western Conference have improved, while the Canucks have not. They may have lost their best chance at the Cup last year.