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02-03-2014, 12:35 PM
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This is how I would see all the teams top line centers and if they really are number one's.

Carolina-Eric Staal-Yes
San Jose-Thornton-Yes
St. Louis-Backes-Yes
Tampa Bay-Stamkos-Yes
Vancouver-H. Sedin-Yes

So by my account 18 of the 30 teams have number one centers. One team has two of them with the Penguins. NYR, Florida, Edmonton, Columbus, and Calgary have young guys that may take on that role and run with it. Even if those 5 young guys become number one's you still have 7 teams out there looking for that top line center.

Lets look at those 7 teams left and see if they are doing well without that true number one and why.

Buffalo with Hodson. Their record speaks for itself. The team is rebuilding and will likely get the number one pick in the next draft.

Montreal has Plekanec and while he isn't what I would call a true number one he is a very good player. It doesn't hurt that he play along one of the better power forwards in the game in Pacioretty. They are in the playoffs as it stands now.

Nashville with Fisher who really should be a second line center. He has little help on the top line as well with Nystrom and Hornqvist. None of these players would be considered top line talent.

Pheonix with whoever you want to say is their number one with Ribero, Hanzel, Vermette. None of them are true number ones but all three would rival our centers for that top spot. No real top line talent on this team but they are deep. They are currenty not in the playoffs but are close.

Toronto has Kessel and JVR to surround their top line center. Hard not to do well with those two on your wings. They are currently in the playoffs and I think they will remain there easily.

Winnipeg has Little who plays with Kane and Wheeler. Both better wings than what the Predators have. They are not nearly as deep as the redators though and are tied in record with the Preds as well.

The first thing when listing these teams that jumps out at me is the fact only Montreal and Toronto will likely make the playoffs this season. What do those teams have that the other don't? Top line wingers to boost the play of their not so number one centers.

Simple fact is to be a cup contending team year in and year out you really do need a true number one center. It doesn't have to be someone who scores at a point per game pace either. Bergeron is one of the best centers in the game because he not only produces points very well, he also excells at faceoffs and defensively. It isn't all about points.

In the end the Predators need that top line talent in some form with it being a number one center or some true number one wingers. The center would be best but I think we all would take anything at this point.

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