Now is the time when anybody and everybody posts their predictions for the NHL season, and here in Nashville, the response is usually to complain that outside "experts" don't really know much about the Predators, since they usually pick the Preds to miss the playoffs. This morning, for example, the latest Vegas odds came out, and the Preds are 50/1 shots to win the Stanley Cup, along with 18/1 to win the Central Division.
This time, however, the news may not be so bad. At least at an individual level, there's quite a bit of respect for the Predators, as six out of 12 ESPN experts picked Seth Jones to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in the upcoming 2013-14 season. In addition, three out of the twelve picked Shea Weber to win the Norris Trophy as best all-around defenseman, ahead of Erik Karlsson and Ryan Suter who received two votes each.
So is ESPN still all wet when it comes to hockey?
NOTE: By contrast, in the SB Nation NHL Preview 2 of 8 writers picked Jones for the Calder, and 1 of 8 went with Weber for the Norris.