It’s never easy predicting anything in life. If we were all experts at looking into the future everybody would be retired by now after picking the winning lottery numbers. When it comes to predicting what’s going to take place in the NHL in 2015 we’ll start with the second half of the current season and the playoffs. We can try to guess which players will succeed as trophy winners and how the teams will fare in the postseason and can also take a quick look at the coaching situation, possible trades and the league in general.
There are always new expectations when a new year rolls around as NHL teams are looking at different ways to improve as well as achieve their goals. Most teams aim high, but with Connor McDavid being available in this summer’s draft some clubs will actually be aiming in the other direction. There are numerous franchises and individual players who are happy with the status quo, but others are hoping to make changes. With the year 2015 upon us it’s an ideal time to make a few bold predictions for the NHL.
Some of them may come true and it’s also possible that none of them do, but it’s always fun gazing into the crystal ball and trying to predict the future. The first prediction was actually for Randy Carlyle to be fired and that rang true before the ink had even dried on this article. But now that he’s out of a job, we’ll predict that he won’t be offered a new one until next year at the earliest. Below are the top 10 bold predictions for the NHL in 2015.
10 Randy Carlyle Remains Unemployed
Thousands of Toronto Maple Leafs fans are wondering how former coach Randy Carlyle managed to escape 2014 without being fired. The majority of them believe he should have been sacked at the end of last season after the Leafs derailed down the stretch and missed the playoffs yet again. They finished 12th in the East with a record of 38-36-8 and it looked like a similar ending was in store this season before he lost his job on January 6th with a record of 21-16-3.
9 Las Vegas Awarded NHL Franchise
There have been rumours abound regarding NHL expansion with cities such as Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec, and Toronto being named as recipients of franchises. Yes, it’s arguable that Toronto already has one, but Canada’s largest city could find itself with a second team to cheer for in the near future. It’s possible two or all of these locations could find themselves with an expansion team by 2017, but we’ll go out on a limb and predict Las Vegas will be the first to receive confirmation and it will come in 2015.
8 Jonathan Bernier Finishes Top 3 in SV%
7 New York Islanders win first Playoff Series in over 20 years
The New York Islanders will bid farewell to Long Island and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in style as the club will win its first playoff series in 22 years in 2015. The Islanders, a former dynasty a few decades ago with the likes of Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Clark Gilles in the lineup, will be moving to Brooklyn and playing out of the new Barclays Center starting in the 2015-16 campaign.
6 Boston Bruins Miss the Playoffs
The Boston Bruins were sitting on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs were concerned a week into 2015 with a record of 19-16-6 after 40 games. The Bruins were sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference just a point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, but even though they’ve got half a season to recover, it looks like the Bruins may miss the dance this season, which would be the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.
5 Anaheim Ducks will win the Stanley Cup
It may not be too bold to predict that the Ducks will hoist the Stanley Cup in late spring of 2015, but considering who they’re going to have to beat to get out of the West, it’s still considered to be going out on a limb. Anaheim sat atop the NHL standings a week into 2015 with 58 points from their 26-9-6 record. They’ve got good depth with a couple of stars in Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and everybody else is chipping in on a nightly basis.
4 Pekka Rinne wins Vezina Trophy
3 Last Place Team Loses Connor McDavid Sweepstakes
2 Philadelphia Flyers Fire Craig Berube
1 Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Captain Dion Phaneuf
With yet another new era starting in Toronto under a new head coach the team will continue to play inconsistent hockey. The Leafs’ upper brass will finally figure out that no matter who coaches this squad the results aren’t going to change until the leadership core is changed first. This means captain Dion Phaneuf will finally be shipped out of town much to the delight of most Leafs fans. It’s going to be tough to find takers for the overrated defenceman due to his seven-year $49 million contract, but with a slightly higher salary cap being introduced in 2015, Phaneuf will find himself with a one-way ticket out of Toronto before 2015 is over.
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