Central Division - Preview

Can blockbuster acquisitions Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski vault the Columbus Blue Jackets into the playoffs?

Projected Standings:
1.  Chicago Blackhawks
2.  Detroit Red Wings
3.  Columbus Blue Jackets
4.  St. Louis Blues
5. Nashville Predators

Chicago and Columbus were very active, Detroit was quiet as usual, St.Louis was somewhere in between, and Nashville did nothing but lose players--perhaps a sign of confidence in their prospects.


1.  Chicago Blackhawks
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Andrew Brunette, Steve Montador, Dan Carcillo, Sean O'Donnell, and Ray Emery
Key Off-Season Losses:  Brian Campbell, Troy Brouwer, Tomas Kopecky, Chris Campoli, and Marty Turco
Top Prospects:  Jeremy Morin, Alexander Salak, and Marcus Kruger
Fantasy Sleeper: Nick Leddy and Jeremy Morin

Top 9
Brunette - Toews - Kane
Morin - Kane - Hossa
Bickell - Bolland - Frolik

Top 4 Defencemen
Keith - Hjalmarsson
Leddy - Seabrook

2.  Detroit Red Wings
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Ian White and Ty Conklin
Key Off-Season Losses:  Brian Rafalski and Chris Osgood
Top Prospects: Tomas Tatar, Brendan Smith, and Jakub Kindl
Fantasy Sleeper: Ian White

Top 9
Bertuzzi - Datsyuk - Holmstrom
Hudler - Zetterberg - Franzen
Abdelkader - Filpulla - Cleary

Top 4 Defencemen
Lidstrom - IWhite
Kronwall - Stuart

3.  Columbus Blue Jackets
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski, Vinny Prospal, Curtis Sanford, Mark Dekanich, and Radek Martinek
Key Off-Season Losses:  Mathieu Garon, Scottie Upshall, Nikita Filatov, Jan Hejda, and Anton Stralman
Top Prospects:  Grant Clitsome, Matt Calvert, and Ryan Johansen
Fantasy Sleeper: Grant Clitsome

Top 9
Nash - Carter - Brassard
Umberger - Vermette - Prospal
Calvert - Pahlsson - Johansen

Top 4 Defencemen
Wisniewski - Tyutin
Clitsome - Methot

4. St.Louis Blues
Key Off-Season Acquisitions: Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Elliott,
Key Off-Season Losses: Cam Janssen and Ty Conklin
Top Prospects:  Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jake Allen
Fantasy Sleeper: Patrik Berglund

Top 9
McDonald - Backes - Stewart
Steen - Berglund - Oshie
Langenbrunner - Arnott - D'Agostini

Top 4 Defencemen
Pietrangelo - Polak
Shattenkirk - Jackman

5. Nashville Predators
Key Off-Season Acquisitions:  Niclas Bergfors
Key Off-Season Losses: Cody Franson, Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont, Matthew Lombardi, and Marcel Goc
Top Prospects: Jonathan Blum, Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Anders Lindback
Fantasy Sleeper: Colin Wilson

Top 9
SKostitsyn - Fisher - Hornqvist
Erat - Legwand - Bergfors
CWilson - O'Reilly - Geoffrion

Top 4 Defencemen
Weber - Suter
Klein - Blum

-->> Up next, the Northwest Division: Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Wild, and Avalanche

Atlantic Division Preview (8.4.11)
Northeast Division Preview (8.7.11)
Southeast Division Preview (8.10.11)

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