Sportsnet NHL Insider predictions for 2019-20 season

Canadian-Mikael-Kingsbury-celebrates-winning-his-gold-medal-in-the-moguls-finals-at-the-Pyeongchang-2018-Winter-Olympic-Games

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. (Alex Gallardo/AP)

The NHL season is just about here.

We’ve assembled a panel of Sportsnet NHL Insiders to take a shot at predicting the unpredictable.

From the Stanley Cup winner to how many Canadian teams will be playing for the Stanley Cup in April, who will win the major individual awards and more — the following are our Insiders’ predictions for the 2019-20 NHL season.

TEAM QUESTIONS

Stanley Cup Winner
Elliotte Friedman: Dallas
Chris Johnston: Nashville
Jeff Marek: Toronto
Luke Fox: Dallas
Eric Francis: Tampa Bay
Iain MacIntyre: Nashville
Mark Spector: Tampa Bay
Caroline Cameron: Tampa Bay
Dan Murphy: Tampa Bay
David Amber: Washington
Kristina Rutherford: Colorado
Ryan Dixon: Tampa Bay
Kyle Bukauskas: Tampa Bay
Eric Engels: Nashville
Sean Reynolds: Tampa Bay
Gord Stellick: Tampa Bay
Christine Simpson: Tampa Bay
Rory Boylen: Toronto

East Champion
Elliotte Friedman: Tampa Bay
Chris Johnston: Carolina
Jeff Marek: Toronto
Luke Fox: Toronto
Eric Francis: Tampa Bay
Iain MacIntyre: Tampa Bay
Mark Spector: Tampa Bay
Caroline Cameron: Tampa Bay
Dan Murphy: Tampa Bay
David Amber: Washington
Kristina Rutherford: Boston
Ryan Dixon: Tampa Bay
Kyle Bukauskas: Tampa Bay
Eric Engels: Toronto
Sean Reynolds: Tampa Bay
Gord Stellick: Tampa Bay
Christine Simpson: Tampa Bay
Rory Boylen: Toronto

West Champion
Elliotte Friedman: Dallas
Chris Johnston: Nashville
Jeff Marek: Colorado
Luke Fox: Dallas
Eric Francis: Dallas
Iain MacIntyre: Nashville
Mark Spector: Dallas
Caroline Cameron: Nashville
Dan Murphy: Nashville
David Amber: Calgary
Kristina Rutherford: Colorado
Ryan Dixon: Vegas
Kyle Bukauskas: Dallas
Eric Engels: Nashville
Sean Reynolds: Dallas
Gord Stellick: Colorado
Christine Simpson: Nashville
Rory Boylen: Vegas

Senior Writer Ryan Dixon and NHL Editor Rory Boylen always give it 110%, but never rely on clichés when it comes to podcasting. Instead, they use a mix of facts, fun and a varied group of hockey voices to cover Canada’s most beloved game.

Most likely to exceed expectations
Elliotte Friedman: Arizona
Chris Johnston: Anaheim
Jeff Marek: Arizona
Luke Fox: Arizona
Eric Francis: New Jersey
Iain MacIntyre: Philadelphia
Mark Spector: Vancouver
Caroline Cameron: Philadelphia
Dan Murphy: New Jersey
David Amber: Vancouver
Kristina Rutherford: Ottawa
Ryan Dixon: Columbus
Kyle Bukauskas: Philadelphia
Eric Engels: Chicago
Sean Reynolds: Buffalo
Gord Stellick: Philadelphia
Christine Simpson: Arizona
Rory Boylen: Anaheim

Most likely to disappoint
Elliotte Friedman: Buffalo
Chris Johnston: San Jose
Jeff Marek: NY Islanders
Luke Fox: Edmonton
Eric Francis: Edmonton
Iain MacIntyre: Winnipeg
Mark Spector: Winnipeg
Caroline Cameron: St. Louis
Dan Murphy: San Jose
David Amber: NY Islanders
Kristina Rutherford: Toronto
Ryan Dixon: Vancouver
Kyle Bukauskas: St. Louis
Eric Engels: Boston
Sean Reynolds: NY Islanders
Gord Stellick: Carolina
Christine Simpson: Boston
Rory Boylen: Florida

Canadian team with highest point total
Elliotte Friedman: Toronto
Chris Johnston: Toronto
Jeff Marek: Toronto
Luke Fox: Toronto
Eric Francis: Calgary
Iain MacIntyre: Toronto
Mark Spector: Toronto
Caroline Cameron: Toronto
Dan Murphy: Toronto
David Amber: Calgary
Kristina Rutherford: Calgary
Ryan Dixon: Toronto
Kyle Bukauskas: Calgary
Eric Engels: Toronto
Sean Reynolds: Toronto
Gord Stellick: Toronto
Christine Simpson: Toronto
Rory Boylen: Toronto

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

No. of Canadian teams in playoffs
Elliotte Friedman: 4
Chris Johnston: 3
Jeff Marek: 3
Luke Fox: 3
Eric Francis: 3
Iain MacIntyre: 3
Mark Spector: 2
Caroline Cameron: 4
Dan Murphy: 4
David Amber: 4
Kristina Rutherford: 4
Ryan Dixon: 3
Kyle Bukauskas: 4
Eric Engels: 4
Sean Reynolds: 3
Gord Stellick: 4
Christine Simpson: 4
Rory Boylen: 3

AWARD QUESTIONS

Hart Trophy
Elliotte Friedman: Nathan MacKinnon
Chris Johnston: Connor McDavid
Jeff Marek: Nathan MacKinnon
Luke Fox: Evgeni Malkin
Eric Francis: Sidney Crosby
Iain MacIntyre: Nathan MacKinnon
Mark Spector: Nathan MacKinnon
Caroline Cameron: Nathan MacKinnon
Dan Murphy: Connor McDavid
David Amber: Nathan MacKinnon
Kristina Rutherford: Nathan MacKinnon
Ryan Dixon: Aleksander Barkov
Kyle Bukauskas: Nathan MacKinnon
Eric Engels: Patrick Kane
Sean Reynolds: Connor McDavid
Gord Stellick: Aleksander Barkov
Christine Simpson: Sidney Crosby
Rory Boylen: Sidney Crosby

Art Ross
Elliotte Friedman: Connor McDavid
Chris Johnston: Connor McDavid
Jeff Marek: Connor McDavid
Luke Fox: Connor McDavid
Eric Francis: Connor McDavid
Iain MacIntyre: Connor McDavid
Mark Spector: Connor McDavid
Caroline Cameron: Nikita Kucherov
Dan Murphy: Nikita Kucherov
David Amber: Connor McDavid
Kristina Rutherford: Connor McDavid
Ryan Dixon: Connor McDavid
Kyle Bukauskas: Connor McDavid
Eric Engels: Patrick Kane
Sean Reynolds: Connor McDavid
Gord Stellick: Nikita Kucherov
Christine Simpson: Connor McDavid
Rory Boylen: Nathan MacKinnon

Calder Trophy
Elliotte Friedman: Kaapo Kakko
Chris Johnston: Jack Hughes
Jeff Marek: Kaapo Kakko
Luke Fox: Cale Makar
Eric Francis: Cale Makar
Iain MacIntyre: Cale Makar
Mark Spector: Kaapo Kakko
Caroline Cameron: Jack Hughes
Dan Murphy: Quinn Hughes
David Amber: Cale Makar
Kristina Rutherford: Kaapo Kakko
Ryan Dixon: Jack Hughes
Kyle Bukauskas: Jack Hughes
Eric Engels: Quinn Hughes
Sean Reynolds: Cale Makar
Gord Stellick: Kaapo Kakko
Christine Simpson: Kaapo Kakko
Rory Boylen: Kaapo Kakko

Norris Trophy
Elliotte Friedman: Charlie McAvoy
Chris Johnston: Roman Josi
Jeff Marek: John Klingberg
Luke Fox: John Klingberg
Eric Francis: Victor Hedman
Iain MacIntyre: Victor Hedman
Mark Spector: Victor Hedman
Caroline Cameron: Morgan Rielly
Dan Murphy: Victor Hedman
David Amber: John Carlson
Kristina Rutherford: Victor Hedman
Ryan Dixon: Seth Jones
Kyle Bukauskas: Morgan Rielly
Eric Engels: Victor Hedman
Sean Reynolds: Erik Karlsson
Gord Stellick: Seth Jones
Christine Simpson: Victor Hedman
Rory Boylen: Erik Karlsson

Vezina Trophy
Elliotte Friedman: Ben Bishop
Chris Johnston: John Gibson
Jeff Marek: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Luke Fox: Sergei Bobrovsky
Eric Francis: Ben Bishop
Iain MacIntyre: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Mark Spector: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Caroline Cameron: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Dan Murphy: Sergei Bobrovsky
David Amber: Braden Holtby
Kristina Rutherford: Tuukka Rask
Ryan Dixon: John Gibson
Kyle Bukauskas: Carey Price
Eric Engels: Carey Price
Sean Reynolds: Ben Bishop
Gord Stellick: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Christine Simpson: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Rory Boylen: Carey Price

Jack Adams Award
Elliotte Friedman: Jared Bednar
Chris Johnston: Jared Bednar
Jeff Marek: Jared Bednar
Luke Fox: Rick Tocchet
Eric Francis: Joel Quenneville
Iain MacIntyre: Joel Quenneville
Mark Spector: Travis Green
Caroline Cameron: Alain Vigneault
Dan Murphy: John Hynes
David Amber: Travis Green
Kristina Rutherford: Jared Bednar
Ryan Dixon: Rick Tocchet
Kyle Bukauskas: Jim Montgomery
Eric Engels: Joel Quenneville
Sean Reynolds: Rod Brind’Amour
Gord Stellick: Joel Quenneville
Christine Simpson: Jared Bednar
Rory Boylen: Rick Tocchet

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MISCELLANEOUS

Coach on the hottest seat
Elliotte Friedman: Mike Babcock
Chris Johnston: Mike Babcock
Luke Fox: Bruce Boudreau
Eric Francis: Mike Babcock
Iain MacIntyre: Bruce Boudreau
Mark Spector: Paul Maurice
Caroline Cameron: Mike Babcock
Dan Murphy: Jeff Blashill
David Amber: Bruce Boudreau
Kristina Rutherford: Paul Maurice
Ryan Dixon: Peter Laviolette
Kyle Bukauskas: Mike Babcock
Eric Engels: Peter Laviolette
Sean Reynolds: John Hynes
Gord Stellick: Mike Babcock
Christine Simpson: Mike Babcock
Rory Boylen: Bruce Boudreau

GM on the hottest seat
Elliotte Friedman: Marc Bergevin
Luke Fox: Rob Blake
Eric Francis: Kevin Cheveldayoff
Iain MacIntyre: Rob Blake
Mark Spector: Julien BriseBois
Caroline Cameron: Marc Bergevin
Dan Murphy: Jason Botterill
Kristina Rutherford: Marc Bergevin
Ryan Dixon: Stan Bowman
Kyle Bukauskas: Jeff Gorton
Eric Engels: Pierre Dorion
Sean Reynolds: John Chayka
Gord Stellick: Jim Benning
Christine Simpson: Marc Bergevin
Rory Boylen: Marc Bergevin

Of the four highest-paid pending UFAs (Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Pietrangelo, Braden Holtby and Taylor Hall), what number of them will re-sign with their current team before July 1?
Elliotte Friedman: 2
Chris Johnston: 3
Jeff Marek: 4
Luke Fox: 2
Eric Francis: 1
Iain MacIntyre: 4
Mark Spector: 3
Caroline Cameron: 3
Dan Murphy: 2
David Amber: 4
Kristina Rutherford: 1
Ryan Dixon: 0
Kyle Bukauskas: 3
Eric Engels: 3
Sean Reynolds: 2
Gord Stellick: 2
Christine Simpson: 2
Rory Boylen: 3

Over/Under 19.5 goals for James Neal with Edmonton this season
Elliotte Friedman: Over
Chris Johnston: Under
Jeff Marek: Under
Luke Fox: Under
Eric Francis: Under
Iain MacIntyre: Under
Mark Spector: Over
Caroline Cameron: Over
Dan Murphy: Under
David Amber: Over
Kristina Rutherford: Over
Ryan Dixon: Over
Kyle Bukauskas: Over
Eric Engels: Over
Sean Reynolds: Over
Gord Stellick: Under
Christine Simpson: Over
Rory Boylen: Over

Over/under 119.5 points for the Art Ross winner
Elliotte Friedman: Over
Chris Johnston: Under
Jeff Marek: Over
Luke Fox: Under
Eric Francis: Under
Iain MacIntyre: Under
Mark Spector: Over
Caroline Cameron: Under
Dan Murphy: Under
David Amber: Over
Kristina Rutherford: Under
Ryan Dixon: Under
Kyle Bukauskas: Over
Eric Engels: Under
Sean Reynolds: Under
Gord Stellick: Under
Christine Simpson: Under
Rory Boylen: Over

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