Season Preview Rankings feat. Drake: #30 to #26
For the past five months, I’ve been working really hard to assemble this feature, so please respect these rankings like Brian Burke respects a no-trade-clause.
Three quick points I want to make before getting into it…
- I managed to interview Steve Yzerman and get his input, thus adding instant credibility to the rankings!
- Drake was also selected to help me because: 1) he’s Canadian and soundsacts like he took his fair share of Evander Kane-like right hooks, so you know he knows the game; 2) he’s really popular with the younger generation and also friends with LeBron James, which means he must be like a super cool guy.
- These are, simply put, the best rankings ever created. Other “experts” don’t know what they are talking about unless they copy these rankings word for word.
#30 – New York Islanders
Biggest offseason story: The one where TSN’s Darren Dreger was made to look dumb.
Best case: Matt Moulson proves he’s not 100% dependent on Tavares, only 95%.
Worst case: Tavares gets injured causing Moulson to get sent to the AHL and Rob Schremp becomes the go-to-guy on offense.
Why they’re #30: When one of your goalies is 41 years old and the other one has a body of a 93-year-old, it makes it hard to put you in at #29.
Steve Yzerman says: “Blades, suck my c*ck, you c*ck sucking a**hole!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Islanders:
Bout to roll me a blunt with my list of regrets
burn it all, burn it all, I’m starting fresh
cause half the time I got it right, I probably guessed
Final verdict: They’ll play as good as they look on paper.
#29 – Florida Panthers
Biggest offseason story: Made the mistake of thinking their acquisition of the Big 3 (Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier, Dennis Wideman) wouldn’t get overshadowed in the Miami sports world. When it was, they hastily hired someone to do their marketing; a 15-year-old kid from Iowa, who they met while playing NHL 10 on xBox Live.
Best case: Michael Grabner has a breakout year and finishes the season with 30 goals, 20 assists and only a minus-25.
Worst case: Panther fans start thinking how different things would be if they had someone like Rob Schremp on their team.
Why they’re #29: Because they’re always #29.
Steve Yzerman says: “Hey, Blades. How many f*ucking Stanley Cups have you won, a**hole?”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Panthers:
Look at where I landed
You would think I planned it
I’m just doin’ me and you could never understand it
Final verdict: Vokoun and their defensemen will make them better than the Isles, which is, um, awesome, I guess.
#28 – Anaheim Ducks
Biggest offseason story: Played a very fun game of “let’s piss off our 23-year-old two-time 30-goal scorer” all summer long.
Best case: They end up with a top-5 pick in the 2011 draft, who should compliment their top-5 pick from the 2010 draft, Cam Fowler.
Worst case: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf realize they’re underpaid, form their own union, and go on strike.
Why they’re #28: After Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan (possibly), you have a team which consists of too many players who are either aging or injury-prone or castoff journeymen. Or in the case of Andy Sutton, all three.
Steve Yzerman says: “What’s that, Blades? You’ve won ZERO Stanley Cups? Sh*t, with the way you flap your gums, I would have thought that number would have been much higher.”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Ducks:
Emotions in this game run deep
done a lot of sh*t they never get to do
so before they say this to me in my sleep
I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure
reppin’ to my last second, dude
Final verdict: Not even Scott Niedermayer returning in the middle of the season can save this team.
#27 – Edmonton Oilers
Biggest offseason story: Found out what the rest of us already know: it’s hard working with a drunken Russian.
Best case: If they keep signing enough goalies, eventually one may go on a run like Michael Leighton did in May… which will be an awesome two weeks for Oilers fans.
Worst case: Amidst a 20-game losing streak, the team launches a workplace sexual harassment investigation, where they learn that Khabibulin has been sneaking vodka into the dressing room and corrupting the youngsters.
Why they’re #27: Because I like to be different from every other site who will have them at #30.
Steve Yzerman says: “Classy, man, making fun of alcoholism and Russians. You’re a bi*ch, Blades!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Oilers:
man, they treat me like a legend
am I really this cold?
I’m really too young to be feeling this old
it’s about time you admit it, who you kidding, man
nobody’s ever done it like I did (ugh)
Final verdict: While it looks like it’ll be another long year in Edmonton, I can see this team climbing a bit higher in the rankings. Either way, Edmonton fans can take solace in that someone other than the Grim Reaper finally got to benefit from Dany Heatley’s douchiness.
#26 – Minnesota Wild
Biggest offseason story: The huge-dollar contract extension given to Mikko Koivu sparked a spirited debate between diehard Minnesota Wild fans and those who actually have a brain.
Best case: Given that he’s such an amazing defensive center, there’s a good chance that Koivu’s negative +/- rating last season was a one-off. If he gets back in black and posts 70+ points again, he’ll only be slightly overpaid.
Worst case: *yawn*
Why they’re #26: I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’d rather take the Leafs’ forwards over their Wild’s, which means I may be a little generous with this ranking.
Steve Yzerman says: “You sh*thead! The Dan Snyder reference in the last ranking was absolutely tasteless. If I ever see you in person, I swear to God… ARGH! F*CK!”
Let’s hear what Drake has to say about the Wild:
this is me
still the same
they want the hits
I play the game
no auto tune, but you can feel the Pain
it all comes spilling out like I hit a vein
Final verdict: The only time you should concern yourself with the Wild this year is if you have trouble falling asleep. Think of them as a cheaper alternative to an Ambien prescription.
This concludes the first part of the season preview. Stay tuned for ranks #25 to #21 which will be posted sometime soon (hopefully before October). In the meantime,don’t forget to follow me on Twitter ’cause I’m *this* close to living out of my childhood dream of having 1000 followers. Granted, I always envisioned having to start a cult to get to that number; never imaged a hockey blog would do the trick.