1. Severed Heads - 19. Go figure he picks his own team, right? Last year I picked the Personal Vendetta.
2. Great Whites - 18: Building a team the old fashioned way, from the goaltender forward, and through the draft. Team donut lacks an imposing centre presence, so as Brodeur and the Big M go, so will go the Fish.
3. Personal Vendetta - 17.5: I don't think he has any idea what it feels like the day after the draft to run everyone's teams backwards through the draft predictions and come up with something other than his own name. He's the draft Terminator. It just doesn't stop. Key is the telepathy he has with Forsberg and Gagne. If they Gretzky-Kurri on us, it's all over.
3. Knights Templar - 17.5: Tied for third in my predictions with the Personal Vendetta. Yeah I had to read that twice to myself too. Must upgrade on D, and get value from Roenick or the lack of depth could be fatal. Otherwise, the core group of scoring forwards; Hejduk, Richards, Naslund, and Bertuzzi, is excellent and will bouy the team. If Tuomo Ruutu takes another step forward he could join that core group and make the Knights truly scarey.
5. The Highlanders - 16.5: He has the horses in Thornton, McCabe, Crosby, St Louis, Jovo-Cop, etc. to pace with the leaders, but can he get them to pull in the same direction? Nabokov is part of the answer, or a whole 'nother question.
6. Barbarians - 16: Has stopped the bleeding the franchise had been going through, and is building a solid foundation around his frustrating megastar, Kovalchuk. Datsyuk, Guerin, Tkachuk and Theodore form an imposing nucleus to compliment the purest goalscorer in the game. Not all is good. The D is in worse than rough shape and needs to be overhauled, and Tkachuk needs to get his act together for them to move up as threats. Of course Theodore or Kovalchuk might go atomic and accomplish the same task.
6. The Bladerunners - 16: A strong top two at each centre and rightwing, but question marks everywhere else. Vokoun could be the difference. Finding a #1 defenseman or three is a must.
8. The Edge - 15.5: His left wing could be ridiculous. Ovechkin looks like the grand slam of FP selections alreay, Nash has already won a Richard trophy and he's just a P3, and Elias had 90 points his last full season. Currently, they are dinged up a left, but if they get on track no other team has a set of three that comes close. The team also has its characteristically strong defense, and is complimented by a solid if unthreatening set of right wingers. The problem is that at centre there is no room for error, Fedorov has to be a top flight producer, and in goal Manny Legace has to play well in more than just spurts. Trading for a pivot to slot in ahead of Fedorov and Jokinen would make them a contender.
9. The Wolves - 15: The right wing is among the best in the league, with Iginla a potential trump card. Kipprusoff must start moving in the right direction, and give us something more than flashes of the Sub-Zero-Man hero identity of the playoffs. If he starts to freeze teams up, the Wolves might have a backstopper to rival anyone. The D is steep but not deep, after Niedermayer and Blake and it could use another mobile puckmover. That said, who cares about defense depth when the left wing is a total horror show and needs radical surgery?
10. The Shadowmen - (14.5) I wrote the review for the Shadowmen team prior to the trade where he aquires Rafalski and Poti from the Dogs. S'what I get for trying to take a snapshot of the league, by the time I finish Bob's team he's already changed it. So I have upped my estimation of the Shadowmen to 10th place. The team has issues, but whatever team I comment on is already different by the time the thought has formed.
11. The Ramapithicines - 14.5: Turco, a handful of above average defensemen, and Palffy are just enough to keep the cavedwellers from facing extinction. The centre is so bad it is rapidly approaching the event horizon from which no light at all can escape. On life support.
12. The Dogs - 14: Serious problems at every position. Lacks FP strength. No solid core of offensive players. No help on the farm. Dale Purinton is official team mascot.