I think this year will be all about finances... Crazy deals and overpaid players will slowly start to disappear, maybe some kind of rebuild in every way...from the league (trying to find best solution for foreign limit quota and traveling) to the clubs (focusing even more on young domestic players and attetmpt to make them top players)
But i'm an outsider and a fan of medvescak that has no such problems so i might be completly off...
Everything will be new and interesting as a Jokerit fan and I'm open minded to see about the new league and better level of hockey. I'm not expecting KHL to run perfectly and I'm sure there will be WTF moments like in our domestic league. I'll be happy if Jokerit makes the playoffs in their first season and can bring their Finnish style to the league. Let's Get It On
-SKA will win the regular season by 20pts at least. Will fail in the 2nd round.
-Jokerit will have a very decent season. Selšnne will be signed for one shootout
-Loko will finally be a force again
-CSKA will become the new Vityaz after firing Kvartalnov for being a good coach and trade Radulov at the deadline for a bag of pucks
-weather in Sochi will be good... like superb
-the Mistress of the Copper Mountain will give Weissfeld a bag of golden pucks and he'll trade for Radulov(oh, did I mention they are golden pucks?) and Avto will thrive on
-Lada will sign PIV mid-season and he'll teach them to hit crap out of ppl
-MMG will cruise to win the division. Lose in conference finals. Zaripov will go to the WC and win it. Mozyakin will be too tired again.
-Traktor will have a new coach by November
-Avangard will rebound
-Nazar-aga will become a cult figure in Kazakhstan
-everybody will complain over "dull", "boring", "outdated" Bills' hockey, especially after AkBars winning the Gagarin Cup again. Yes, it's homerism!
what's new: Medveščak and Riga and Slovan will bomb big time. No one makes playoffs. SKA will finaly win the Gagarin cup.
not so new: By the middle of the way a couple of russian clubs will start moaning about their dire financial states with the pitching rising to a crescendo towards the end of the season. Thankfully, every one will finish the season without withdrawing from the tournament. The gap between the rich and poor will make for one lopsided final standings. Balmy weather in Sochi will have a soothing effect on Anisin's well-being. He'll be good and sober all season.
I expect (or more precisely hope) that more teams will at least try to play with the same aggressive forechecking style that the Russian national team played under Znarok in the World Championships. It is great to watch! But most likely I will be disappointed and passive trapping style will prevail with too many teams.