The first major preseason publication predicting the 2013-14 NHL season has hit the newsstands and if the Hockey News Yearbook is correct, the Blackhawks won’t be repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
While the Hockey News does predict the Hawks to win the Central Division, it picks the St. Louis Blues to capture the Stanley Cup.
“The St. Louis Blues have assembled an incredible array of young talents in the past couple years and that group is reaching its peak,” the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy wrote. “Following two consecutive body blows in the playoffs, the Blues will learn from the past and win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup after more than 45 years in the NHL.”
The magazine picks the Blues to finish second behind the Hawks in the new-look Central Division, but contends they’ll beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Hawks do get some love when it comes to the magazine’s list of the top 50 players in the game, garnering five choices in the top 38.
Jonathan Toews is sixth behind Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Erik Karlsson and John Tavares, which might be a little off in the thinking of some Hawks’ fans.
Patrick Kane is eighth and Duncan Keith 14th in the rankings. Marian Hossa checks in at No. 32 while Corey Crawford is at No. 38.
As for the organization’s top prospects, forward Teuvo Teravainen ranks first followed by forwards Ryan Hartman, Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill and Brandon Pirri.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.