What’s your craziest hockey prediction for 2023?


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It’s time to ring in the new year, and it always creates a perfect prediction window. Members of the round table: Offer your wildest hockey prediction for the 2023 calendar year. The spicier the take, the better.

MAT LARKIN: Nothing goes here: Patrick Kane wins the Stanley Cup. With the situation getting worse by the day in Chicago, I predict he will waive his no-move clause. Because he has this veto power, he will have influence over his destination, which means he will go to a real competitor. Given his pedigree as one of the greatest clutch players in NHL history, I believe he will put his new team on top, whether it’s the New York Rangers, the Bruins of Boston, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs – you get the idea. Kane will be the missing piece and will eventually earn his fourth Cup ring in the spring of 2023.

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NICK ALBERGA: Patrice Bergeron is retiring after the 2022-23 campaign. For some reason, this season for Boston has had that « Last Dance » feel from the start. He’s probably the conspiracy theorist in me, but every time I hear a Bruins player talk about Bergeron, it’s like he knows it was it — hence the ridiculous start. And let’s be honest, the 37-year-old has nothing else to prove. He did it all. On top of that, he just strikes me as a guy who has no problem quitting when he clearly still has plenty left in the tank. To me, the B’s feel like a team of fate. At the very least, I hope there’s a camera crew following their every move.

STEVEN ELLIS: It’s… finally the year Toronto Maple Leafs break playoff curse. I’m not sure I would have said that before the year because of their goalie. But the fact that Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov are both able to win games – and finally have some defensive depth – is a huge thing. I think they could still use someone who can put pucks in the net in the last six, but I think this is finally the year Toronto learned from past failures and can make some noise. After the first round, though? I’m still not convinced.

MIKE MCKENNA: My prediction is that not a single NHL head coach will be fired before the end of the 2022-23 NHL regular season. I mean, who’s really in trouble? Bruce Boudreau? Vancouver is playing pretty decent hockey and the team will clearly sell out at the trade deadline. So I think Bruce goes all the way. I don’t think Vancouver ownership wants to pay three head coaches (Travis Green is still cashing a check), let alone make a hasty decision mid-season. And Dallas Eakins? Anaheim is terrible. But why would they fire Eakins mid-season? It really isn’t necessary considering the team is in the Connor Bedard contest and Eakin’s contract expires. Brad Larsen in Columbus? DJ Smith in Ottawa? Both teams have been ravaged by injuries and expectations weren’t high at the start. Basically, I don’t see any tire fires in the league right now. Of course, that can change. But I don’t think the real coaching fireworks happen until the offseason, when Barry Trotz puts his hat back in the ring.


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