1. Anaheim Ducks (Pacific Champs) The Ducks may very well be the most balanced and dangerous team in the HFNHL heading into the season. They roll three scoring lines, play great team defense, and get solid goaltending from Pekka Rinne. Throw in the fact that they play in a relatively weak division, and they should be the favourites to take the West. 2. Vancouver Canucks (NorthWest Champs) The defending HFNHL Champs, the Canucks are back just as strong this year. They may have the best offense in the entire league and with Martin Brodeur in net, they shouldn't have any trouble keeping pucks out. That tough divisional schedule could hurt though. 3. Nashville Predators (Central Champs) I'm really not a fan of the Central Division this year, a lot of teams with serious holes (especially in goal). But the Preds have the strongest offense and defense in the division. Hopefully Kari Lehtonen steps up his game. The Henrik Sedin, Rick Nash, Corey Perry line could end up being the best in the league. 4. Calgary Flames The Flames probably have the third best team in the league on paper, but again the division is tough. They have a very solid team all around and will get good goaltending from Nik Backstrom. 5. Colorado Avalanche The acquisition of Jonas Hiller was absolutely key for the Avs to step up this season. With their goaltending shored up, the rest of their team can really focus on doing the things they do well. Offensively, this club can swing with the best of them. 6. San Jose Sharks With the benefit of playing in the mediocre Pacific division, the Sharks are a quality team. They have maybe the deepest offense in the league and can roll 4 quality lines capable of scoring. Their success wages on how much Marty Turco has left in the tank. 7. St. Louis Blues The addition of J.S. Giguere should help get this team into the playoffs, but it's no guarantee. This is not a Blues team we're used to seeing, with a dominating offensive and defensive presence. 8. Columbus Blue Jackets This could be a very dangerous team moving forward. The Jackets might just be a starting goaltender and another quality defender away from being near the top of this list. But without these additions, they may struggle to keep pucks out. --------------------------------------------------------------- 9. Los Angeles Kings The Kings are a young team on the rise. They've got quality youth at every position and will be very competitive in the playoff race. I'm just not sure they have enough top end talent offensively, and enough grit to get to the promised land. 10. Detroit Red Wings These aren't your dad's Red Wings! King Henrik will do his part to make this team competitive, but will the rest of the team be up to the task? The team's forward and defense units aren't terrible, they just aren't great either. 11. Edmonton Oilers If the Oilers could snag themselves a starting goaltender, they'd be in much better shape. But as it stands right now, the Oilers might have the worst goaltending in the league. While their offense is solid and their defense underrated, I'm not sure it'll be enough to compensate...especially in such a tough division. 12. Phoenix Coyotes The Coyotes were big spenders this offseason and are making strides to getting to the playoffs, but I'm just not sure the team is talented enough just yet. Goaltender Steve Mason is going to have to steal a lot of games. 13. Dallas Stars When do the Miikka Kiprusoff sweepstakes start? In all seriousness, this Stars team isn't that bad, but they could struggle without a lot of depth offensively. If the team is in doubt of missing the playoffs, they could start the world's largest bidding war for Kipper, considering the amount of teams in dire need of starting goaltending. 14. Chicago Blackhawks It looked like the Hawks were primed for a step forward this season, and with some really good high end talent, they aren't far away. But a lack of quality depth and solid goaltending makes this team a serious pretender. 15. Minnesota Wild Probably not the worst team in the league on paper, but playing in the league's toughest division doesn't help. They'll be hard pressed to find wins on a consistent basis when they play the Canucks, Flames, and Avs so often. Stay tuned for the Award Predictions!