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SCOUTING Reports
October 16, 2000
The NHL has two new teams (the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild), two groundbreaking coaches (the Blackhawks' Alpo Suhonen and the Penguins' Ivan Hlinka, the first European head men) and a new director of officiating (Andy Van Hellemond), who will preside over an unprecedented era in which two referees will oversee each game.
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October 16, 2000

Scouting Reports

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How They'll Finish

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION

SI'S RANKING

1. New Jersey Devils*

4

2. Philadelphia Flyers*

8

3. New York Rangers*

13

4. Pittsburgh Penguins

17

5. New York Islanders

22

NORTHEAST DIVISION

1. Toronto Maple Leafs*

2

2. Buffalo Sabres*

9

3. Ottawa Senators*

14

4. Boston Bruins

19

5. Montreal Canadiens

23

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

1. Washington Capitals*

7

2. Florida Panthers*

16

3. Carolina Hurricanes

26

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

27

5. Atlanta Thrashers

29

WESTERN CONFERENCE

CENTRAL DIVISION

1. St. Louis Blues*

3

2. Detroit Red Wings*

6

3. Chicago Blackhawks

20

4. Nashville Predators

25

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

28

NORTHWEST DIVISION

1. Colorado Avalanche*

1

2. Edmonton Oilers*

15

3. Calgary Flames

21

4. Vancouver Canucks

24

5. Minnesota Wild

30

PACIFIC DIVISION

1. Dallas Stars*

5

2. Los Angeles Kings*

10

3. San Jose Sharks*

11

4. Phoenix Coyotes*

12

5. Anaheim Mighty Ducks

18

*PLAYOFF TEAM

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Toronto over New Jersey

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Colorado over St. Louis

STANLEY CUP FINALS

Colorado over Toronto

Fast Facts and Insider Rankings on the following pages were written by David Sabino and Pierre McGuire, respectively.

The NHL has two new teams (the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild), two groundbreaking coaches (the Blackhawks' Alpo Suhonen and the Penguins' Ivan Hlinka, the first European head men) and a new director of officiating ( Andy Van Hellemond), who will preside over an unprecedented era in which two referees will oversee each game.

The league is still searching for a new ambassador (perhaps a young stud like the Lightning's 20-year-old Vincent Lecavalier or the Bruins' 21-year-old Joe Thornton?), a post vacated when Wayne Gretzky retired 18 months ago. The Great One is also onto something new: running a team. That is, if his deal to buy 10% of the Coyotes finally closes, as expected.

Even the contenders have a fresh look. The heretofore creaky Stars are becoming more youthful, the Blues and the Maple Leafs have added veterans, and the Devils have a new owner. In the end, though, the champion will include the oldest defenseman in the game, 39-year-old Raymond Bourque, whose Avalanche will upend the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup, the oldest team trophy in pro sports.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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