That’s right, it’s the return of my annual non-predictions. I’m pretty sure I skipped it last year (I think I forgot about it), but for those who are new to the blog, here’s some background:
Although I’m a member of the sports media, I am one of the world’s worst sports prognosticators. I’m the guy who’s always in the bottom 10 percent of my NCAA basketball pool, despite supposedly knowing something about what’s going on. Therefore, I am painfully aware of the futility of trying to predict what’s going to happen this season with the Everett Silvertips or the WHL.
Therefore, my way of getting around my ineptitude is to predict what’s not going to happen. I’m not sure I’m any more successful going about it this way, but it’s worth a shot, right?
Anyway, here we go:
– I predict the goal in the east end zone at Comcast Arena will not allow a puck to go clean through the net this season. They’ve got to fix that problem eventually, don’t they?
– I predict the Tips will not miss Tri-City’s Brendan Shinnimin. Seriously, how many points did that guy score against Everett last season anyway?
– I predict Portland defenseman Seth Jones will not receive a warm reception from the Comcast Arena crowd when the Winterhawks first travel to Everett on Dec. 1. I also predict goaltender Mac Carruth will not be greeted warmly, either, should he be returned to Portland from the pros.
– I predict the Seattle Thunderbirds will not be asked to represent the lollipop guild in the stage version of The Wizard of Oz. Do they have the tallest team in the league every year or what?
– I predict Everett will not keep its forward group intact the entire season. GM Garry Davidson seems serious about the rebuilding process, and the Tips are a little old up front for that.
– I predict Everett’s three 16-year-olds, Ty Mappin, Dawson Leedahl and Tyler Sandhu, will not be limited to the 12 points the Tips received from its 16-year-olds last season. They’ll at least quadruple that total.
– I predict Everett captain Ryan Murray will not win any of the league’s postseason awards or be named to any of the all-star teams. The NHL has to get its act together, and when it does Murray will be gone for good.
– I predict Everett will not have three players listed when the NHL Central Scouting Service comes out with its midterm rankings, as it did with the preliminary rankings. By that point there will be more Tips who have earned their way onto the list.
– I predict the U.S. Division will not be as spread out this season as it was last season. The teams will be much more clumped together in the standings.
– I predict the Tips will not see their playoff string come to an end. I think Everett is probably still a year away from contending for anything, but I think the Tips will be good enough to make it 10 straight years in the postseason.
– I predict Tri-City will not repeat as U.S. Division champions. Portland, despite being young, looks like it has the talent to pass the Americans.
– I predict Kamloops will not have to wait any longer to return to WHL prominence. The much-storied Blazers haven’t been a true factor in the playoffs since 1999, but they’ll be the team that emerges from the Western Conference this season.
– I predict the Edmonton Oil Kings will not repeat as WHL champions. I know the Oil Kings are the big favorites at the start of the season, and I agree that on paper they are the best team. However, it’s hard to repeat, even if you’re still the best team, as the Kelowna Rockets learned in 2004. I don’t know who’s going to knock Edmonton off, but I just have a feeling someone will do it.