NYR in the east. This year has to be the year they finally make the playoffs. It'll be either Boston or NYI that doesn't make it this year. From the looks of it, Boston is the weaker of those two teams.
Calgary - I think Edmonton will finish either 6th or 7th and if the holdouts in Minnesota last into the first month or two of the season that could devestate their chances of getting a spot. With all the injuries in LA, I don't see them being a .500 team even with the additions of Stumpel and Robataille. Though some people are optimistic, I don't see Nashville getting any better than they were last season.
Also, Calgary has solidified their lineup with the additions of Reinprecht and Warrener and reaquiring McCammond who showed that he, iginla and Conroy had excellent chemistry. The biggest question mark on this team is how well will Turek play...
it seems to me that the Eastern Conference still remains cloudy for the 8th seed. However the majority say Edmonton for the West. They are always destined for that 8th seed so in other words Dallas fans, congratulations on winning the West again.
The East is sure to have Philly, Jersey, Ottawa, Toronto and likely TB because of their goaltending, occupying the first 5 seeds. Who falls into the next three is anyone's guess.
Notable mentions on likely not making the playoffs:
Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Montreal, Florida (still need more depth).
Whoever doesn't win the Southeast division will not make the playoffs.
Again, i predict Tampa wins it and Washington Florida Atlanta and Carolina don't make the playoffs.
The biggest push for the last three spots will come from Boston, NYI and NYR, they are probably three of the teams that have the most depth out of the potential bottom 3 seeds in the Eastern Conference.