Sportsnet NHL Insider predictions: 2015-16

Elliotte Friedman goes through the latest news in the NHL, including Canadiens forward Zack Kassian being sent to the NHL's substance abuse program, suspended without pay.

The NHL season is upon us and the end result appears as unpredictable as ever.

That’s why we’ve assembled a panel of Sportsnet NHL Insiders to give it their best shot.

From the Stanley Cup winner to Connor McDavid‘s point total to how many goals Phil Kessel will put home playing next to 87 or 71, the following is our Insiders’ predictions for the 2015-16 NHL season.

Stanley Cup winner:

Scott Morrison (@morrisonSNET): Anaheim Ducks
Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson): Montreal Canadiens
Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek): Anaheim Ducks
Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec): Anaheim Ducks
Leah Hextall (@leahhextall): Anaheim Ducks
Luke Fox (@lukefoxjukebox): Washington Capitals
Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch): Calgary Flames
Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph): Tampa Bay Lightning
John Shannon (@JSportsnet): Anaheim Ducks
Chris Johnston (@reporterchris): Washington Capitals
Brad Fay (@SNBradFay): Tampa Bay Lightning
Gord Stellick (@GordStellick): Anaheim Ducks
Damien Cox (@DamoSpin): Anaheim Ducks
Daren Millard (@darenmillard): Anaheim Ducks
Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper): Washington Capitals
Doug MacLean (@DougMaclean): Anaheim Ducks

Most popular response: Anaheim (9), Washington (3)

East Champion:

Scott Morrison: Pittsburgh Penguins
Christine Simpson: Montreal Canadiens
Jeff Marek: Washington Capitals
Mark Spector: Washington Capitals
Leah Hextall: Tampa Bay Lightning
Luke Fox: Washington Capitals
Corey Hirsch: New York Rangers
Dan Murphy: Tampa Bay Lightning
John Shannon: Pittsburgh Penguins
Chris Johnston: Washington Capitals
Brad Fay: Tampa Bay Lightning
Gord Stellick: Tampa Bay Lightning
Damien Cox: Washington Capitals
Daren Millard: Montreal Canadiens
Nick Kypreos: Washington Capitals
Doug MacLean: Tampa Bay Lightning

Most Popular Response: Washington (6), Tampa Bay (5).

West Champion:

Scott Morrison: Anaheim Ducks
Christine Simpson: Anaheim Ducks
Jeff Marek: Anaheim Ducks
Mark Spector: Anaheim Ducks
Leah Hextall: Anaheim Ducks
Luke Fox: Anaheim Ducks
Corey Hirsch: Calgary Flames
Dan Murphy: Anaheim Ducks
John Shannon: Anaheim Ducks
Chris Johnston: Anaheim Ducks
Brad Fay: Anaheim Ducks
Gord Stellick: St. Louis Blues
Damien Cox: Anaheim Ducks
Daren Millard: Anaheim Ducks
Nick Kypreos: Dallas Stars
Doug MacLean: Anaheim Ducks

Most Popular Response: Anaheim Ducks (13)

Team Most Likely to Disappoint:

Scott Morrison: Boston Bruins
Christine Simpson: Los Angeles Kings
Jeff Marek: St. Louis Blues
Mark Spector: New York Islanders
Leah Hextall: Toronto Maple Leafs
Luke Fox: Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Hirsch: Arizona Coyotes
Dan Murphy: Ottawa Senators
John Shannon: Minnesota Wild
Chris Johnston: Chicago Blackhawks
Brad Fay: Calgary Flames
Gord Stellick: Nashville Predators
Damien Cox: Calgary Flames

Most Popular Response: Calgary (2), Chicago (2)

Team Most Likely to Surprise:

Scott Morrison: San Jose Sharks
Christine Simpson: Edmonton Oilers
Jeff Marek: Dallas Stars
Mark Spector: Colorado Avalanche
Leah Hextall: Columbus Blue Jackets
Luke Fox: Columbus Blue Jackets
Corey Hirsch: Dallas Stars
Dan Murphy: Nashville Predators
John Shannon: Buffalo Sabres
Chris Johnston: Toronto Maple Leafs
Brad Fay: Columbus Blue Jackets
Gord Stellick: Dallas Stars
Damien Cox: Los Angeles Kings

Most Popular Response: Columbus/Dallas (3)

Hart Winner:

Scott Morrison: Sidney Crosby
Christine Simpson: Sidney Crosby
Jeff Marek: John Tavares
Mark Spector: Sidney Crosby
Leah Hextall: Sidney Crosby
Luke Fox: Alex Ovechkin
Corey Hirsch: John Tavares
Dan Murphy: Steven Stamkos
John Shannon: Sidney Crosby
Chris Johnston: Steven Stamkos
Brad Fay: Sidney Crosby
Gord Stellick: Alex Ovechkin
Damien Cox: Sidney Crosby

Most Popular Response: Sidney Crosby (7), Alex Ovechkin (2), Steven Stamkos (2), John Tavares (2)

Art Ross Winner:

Scott Morrison: Tyler Seguin
Christine Simpson: John Tavares
Jeff Marek: John Tavares
Mark Spector: Sidney Crosby
Leah Hextall: John Tavares
Luke Fox: Steven Stamkos
Corey Hirsch: Sidney Crosby
Dan Murphy: Alex Ovechkin
John Shannon: Sidney Crosby
Chris Johnston: Steven Stamkos
Brad Fay: Sidney Crosby
Gord Stellick: Sidney Crosby
Damien Cox: John Tavares
Daren Millard: Sidney Crosby
Nick Kypreos: Tyler Seguin
Doug MacLean: Sidney Crosby

Most Popular Response: Crosby (7), Tavares (4), Stamkos (2), Seguin (2).

Norris Winner:

Scott Morrison: Drew Doughty
Christine Simpson: Erik Karlsson
Jeff Marek: Victor Hedman
Mark Spector: Mark Giordano
Leah Hextall: Mark Giordano
Luke Fox: Victor Hedman
Corey Hirsch: P.K. Subban
Dan Murphy: Drew Doughty
John Shannon: Drew Doughty
Chris Johnston: Drew Doughty
Brad Fay: Victor Hedman
Gord Stellick: Drew Doughty
Damien Cox: P.K. Subban
Daren Millard: Drew Doughty
Nick Kypreos: John Carlson
Doug MacLean: Shea Weber

Most Popular Response: Drew Doughty (6), Hedman (3), P.K. Subban (2), Mark Giordano (2).

Vezina Winner:

Scott Morrison: Carey Price
Christine Simpson: Carey Price
Jeff Marek: Braden Holtby
Mark Spector: Henrik Lundqvist
Leah Hextall: Carey Price
Luke Fox: Braden Holtby
Corey Hirsch: Carey Price
Dan Murphy: Ben Bishop
John Shannon: Henrik Lundqvist
Chris Johnston: Braden Holtby
Brad Fay: Carey Price
Gord Stellick: Carey Price
Damien Cox: Sergei Bobrovsky
Daren Millard: Carey Price
Nick Kypreos: Braden Holtby
Doug MacLean: Carey Price

Most Popular Response: Price (8), Holtby (4), Lundqvist (2).

Breakout Player of 2015-16:

Scott Morrison: Vladimir Tarasenko
Christine Simpson: Alex Galchenyuk
Jeff Marek: Ryan Johansen
Mark Spector: Nathan MacKinnon
Leah Hextall: Teuvo Teravainen
Luke Fox: Jakub Silfverberg
Corey Hirsch: Jack Eichel
Dan Murphy: Joonas Donskoi
John Shannon: Brandon Saad
Chris Johnston: Nathan MacKinnon
Brad Fay: Bo Horvat
Gord Stellick: Carl Hagelin
Damien Cox: Mark Stone

Most Popular Response: Nathan MacKinnon (2)

McDavid Point Total:

Scott Morrison: 75
Christine Simpson: 80
Jeff Marek: 82
Mark Spector: 65
Leah Hextall: 60
Luke Fox: 71
Corey Hirsch: 70
Dan Murphy: 68
John Shannon: 60
Chris Johnston: 91
Brad Fay: 70
Gord Stellick: 60
Damien Cox: 70

Average response: 71

Kessel Goal Total:

Scott Morrison: 51
Christine Simpson: 45
Jeff Marek: 42
Mark Spector: 44
Leah Hextall: 30
Luke Fox: 38
Corey Hirsch: 40
Dan Murphy: 41
John Shannon: 50
Chris Johnston: 35
Brad Fay: 46
Gord Stellick: 35
Damien Cox: 35

Average Response: 41

Does Steven Stamkos re-sign before July 1?

Scott Morrison: No
Christine Simpson: Yes
Jeff Marek: Yes
Mark Spector: Yes
Leah Hextall: Yes
Luke Fox: No
Corey Hirsch: Yes
Dan Murphy: Yes
John Shannon: Yes
Chris Johnston: No
Brad Fay: Yes
Gord Stellick: No
Damien Cox: No

Responses: Yes (8), No (5)

Coach With the Hottest Seat Starting the Season:

Scott Morrison: Bruce Boudreau
Christine Simpson: Claude Julien
Jeff Marek: Ken Hitchcock
Mark Spector: Bruce Boudreau
Leah Hextall: Ken Hitchcock
Luke Fox: Claude Julien
Corey Hirsch: Ken Hitchcock
Dan Murphy: Ken Hitchcock
John Shannon: Ken Hitchcock
Chris Johnston: Mike Johnston
Brad Fay: Claude Julien
Gord Stellick: Mike Johnston
Damien Cox: Michel Therrien

Most Popular Response: Hitchcock (5), Julien (3), Johnston (2), Boudreau (2)

Number of Canadian Teams That Make the Playoffs:

Scott Morrison: Three
Christine Simpson: Five
Jeff Marek: Two
Mark Spector: Three
Leah Hextall: Two
Luke Fox: Two
Corey Hirsch: Three
Dan Murphy: Two
John Shannon: Four
Chris Johnston: Four
Brad Fay: Three
Gord Stellick: Four
Damien Cox: Two

Average Response: 3

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