The Central was an absolute wagon this year with 5 of its 8 teams making the playoffs and of course the Blues of St. Loo came home with the Cup. No easy games in this division (even the Wild may have some fire under thier ass) and it’s tough hockey; hard hat, lunch pale, no pass watching or floating in the neutral zone in this division.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Hawks are far from their glory days of Toews and Kane leading them to cups. As much as it is hurts me to go against the greatest American hockey player of all time in Patty Kane, but I’m fading this Chicago team.

Central Finish & Outlook: 6th, Misses playoffs, Kane and Toews can’t carry this young team far enough in the Central.

Colorado Avalanche

The Av’s are loaded this year. Need goaltending to elevate to ensure a lengthy cup run but this team has all the talent to bring a title to Denver. Nathan MacKinnon is my pick for the Hart Trophy (NHL’S MVP Award), so hammer the Avalanche this year.

Central Finish & Outlook: 2nd, Makes Playoffs, Poised for a bog run if they can find consistent goaltending.

Dallas Stars

Stars had a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs to the Blues (Game 7 Jamie Benn you lost me so much $$$ on missing that overtime wraparound) last season but added Joe Pavelski to bolster the offense. People are talking about this team like they’ll be the Blues of last year but it’s a bit early to tell. They’ll be in the postseason with a chance to make noise.

Central Finish & Outlook: 3rd, Makes playoffs, Has the offense and goaltending to win the Cup, need D to play great not good in playoffs to make real noise though.

Minnesota Wild

New GM in town but he’s inherited a BAD roster that the old one left him. This team is gonna struggle but maybe all the heat the organization has caught will light a fire under the boys. If you’re gonna fade Chicago, then double fade Minnesota.

Central Finish & Outlook: 7th, Misses playoffs. Wild are in total rebuild year and being in the Central doesn’t help speed that process up either.

Nashville Predators

This team won the Central last year but busted out early in the playoffs against Dallas. But adding all-star Matt Duchene keeps this team atop of the division and one of the favorites in the West. That barn (arena for you non-hockey folks) is always rocking, Roman Josi is a ROCKET. Gimme the Preds in the Central.

Central Finish & Outlook: 1st, Makes playoffs, Strong contender to win West and the Cup.

St. Louis Blues

The Cup champs had a long summer filled with playoff hockey and then the summer Cup bender that every club goes on once they hoist Lord Stanley. This team will make the playoffs but won’t be the red-hot Blues we saw from December on last season.

Central Finish & Outlook: 4th, Bubble Team, Makes playoffs but leaves the party early.

Winnipeg Jets

I don’t like the Jets this year. I know they have some snipers up top but I’m not thrilled about the backend or the goaltending. Or maybe they get the magic back from 2 years ago and I’m a bozo, but I think this team misses the playoffs.

Central Finish & Outlook: 5th, Bubble Team, Misses playoffs, Not good enough to make it in the Central unless they pick it up.