Last week I challenged readers to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse – some sort of bet on this year’s hockey season that will ultimately make me look either silly or undeniably brilliant (or somewhere in between).
Well, citizens of the hockey world, you did not disappoint. So let me put on my flimsy transparent green Hunter S. Thompson visor and let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
I predict Sidney Crosby will get 130 points this year.
– Peter, via blackberry
I humbly disagree, Peter. No player has scored 130 points since the lockout and even before that you have to go back to Mario Lemieux (161) and Jaromir Jagr (149) in 1995-96. Sid the Kid’s best result to date was 120 points in ’06-07, a season in which he played 79 games. He’s currently on pace for 103 points, assuming he doesn’t miss any games, which is a big assumption.
The Blue Jackets will make the post-season for the first time in franchise history.
– Matthew Carulli
Matthew, I’d really like to see the Columbus fans have that glory this year, but the West is just too stacked. Figure every division in the West gets at least two teams in. In a best-case scenario, that means the Jackets need to finish ahead of either Chicago or Nashville in the Central and hope Dallas’s rough start in the Pacific becomes a season-long epidemic. I will agree with you on another of your propositions however; Jakub Voracek finishes in the top three for rookie scoring.
Steven Stamkos wakes up in time for the playoffs and helps Tampa advance a round in the post-season.
– Shawn Daly
Shawn, I love your enthusiasm for the Bolts. And I love this bet because I don’t think they’ll even make the playoffs. If they do somehow, I’ll be sweating, because they’ve got the vets such as Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis who have been there before, but this is no time for half-stepping. I’m in.
Carey Price wins the Conn Smythe Trophy.
– Justin Dickie
Oooh…tantalizing. This basically pre-supposes the Habs win the Stanley Cup, since losing goalies only win the Conn Smythe when their teams are big underdogs (i.e. Ron Hextall against the vaunted Oilers attack in 1987, J-S Giguere leading the West’s seventh-seeded Ducks against the Devils in 2003). If the Habs make the final, it won’t be a shock, so I’ll take the bet and hope if Montreal does make a run, Alex Kovalev scores 25 points along the way.
By mid-season, there will be whisperings of another possible work stoppage. By the end of the season, the owners and players will be saying that if things do not change in the next CBA, there will be a work stoppage. By 2011, the NHL will cease to be.
– Dan Doughty
For the sake of hockey’s future (not to mention my mortgage), I’m hoping I win this bet, Dan. The owners must know another lockout would garner no sympathy from fans for their billionaire’s club and with the economy taking major divots out of even the deepest pockets, those war chests won’t be nearly as impressive this time. Certainly the players won with the current CBA; let’s hope the next one gets written up in a smoother fashion.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in and if you don’t see your wager here, it may be because I agreed with you. And don’t forget, if you win your above bet, we’ll send you a to-be-determined THN prize, so check back later this season to see if if you won.
Ryan Kennedy is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey’s Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his column – The Straight Edge – every Friday, and his features, The Hot List and Prep Watch appears Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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