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An all-hockey March Madness bracket

Crazy? You bet. But what would happen if the best hockey teams from around the world clashed in a 64-team tournament? Anything can happen in one game...
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

We are not immune to college basketball’s March Madness here at The Hockey News. In fact, it’s a big thing at the office. But since our primary passion is puck, I thought it would be fun to make up an all-hockey bracket, featuring the best leagues in the world. What would it look like? You can find the result here, but what follows is all the first-round matchups based on my personal seedings.

Obviously, all 30 NHL teams qualified because that circuit is heads and shoulders above everyone else. From there, I gave six seeds each to the American League, Kontinental League and Swedish League, followed by four for Finland’s SM-Liiga and the NCAA; three for major junior (based on the CHL’s rankings – sorry, Quebec League) and one each from the United States League, Canadian University and the domestic leagues for Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Naturally, the youngest teams took the lowest seeds – as skilled as they are, you can never discount “man strength” in these games – and an effort was made to keep AHL affiliates away from the NHL parent clubs for the first few rounds. The tournament happens now, so injuries will be a factor, as will the current state of the team (lost nine in a row coming in? That may hurt you).

I’ll update the bracket as the real Final Four tournament goes on, but for now: Who do you think gets upset in the first round?

(1) St. Louis Blues vs. (16) Guelph Storm

(8) Edmonton Oilers vs. (9) Manchester Monarchs

(5) Dallas Stars vs. (12) Brynas

(4) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (13) Donbass

(6) New Jersey Devils vs. (11) Toronto Marlies

(3) Minnesota Wild vs. (14) SaiPa

(7) Nashville Predators vs. (10) Grand Rapids Griffins

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (15) U. of Alberta

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (16) Waterloo Black Hawks

(8) Buffalo Sabres vs. (9) Skelleftea

(5) Vancouver Canucks vs. (12) Farjestad

(4) Columbus Blue Jackets vs. (13) Zurich Lions

(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) Tappara

(3) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (14) Sparta Praha

(7) Florida Panthers vs. (10) Frolunda Indians

(2) Los Angeles Kings vs. (15) Portland Winterhawks

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (16) Union College

(8) Metallurg Magnitogorsk vs. (9) Karpat Oulu

(5) Washington Capitals vs. (12) St. John’s IceCaps

(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (13) Lulea

(6) Winnipeg Jets vs. (11) Ak Bars Kazan

(3) Montreal Canadiens vs. (14) U. of Minnesota

(7) Calgary Flames vs. (10) Dynamo Moscow

(2) Colorado Avalanche vs. (15) Ferris State

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (16) Hamburg Freezers

(8) SKA St. Petersburg vs. (9) Texas Stars

(5) Detroit Red Wings vs. (12) Lev Prague

(4) NY Rangers vs. (13) Lukko Rauma

(6) Ottawa Senators vs. (11) Vaxjo Lakers

(3) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (14) Boston College

(7) NY Islanders vs. (10) Springfield Falcons

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (15) Kelowna Rockets


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