As we count down the final days leading up to the 2009-10 regular season, let's take a look at each of the 30 teams with the official DGB Season Preview. Today, we look at the Southeast Division.
Atlanta ThrashersThe good: The team does, in the strictest technical sense, still exist.
The bad: Their plan to finally make it back to the post-season seems to involve building around former Maple Leafs.
Biggest question mark: How will the team react to the absence of Garnett Exelby, which will force them to play with two defencemen in proper position?
Fearless forecast: A frustrated Ilya Kovalchuk decides to stop passing, hang out at the red line instead of playing defence, and take eight-minute shifts, making him the first player to ever play exactly like you do in NHL 10 "Be A Pro" mode.
Washington CapitalsThe good: Alexander Ovechkin seems to finally be coming out of his shell, and may even be willing to participate in occasional off-ice promotional activity.
The bad: I entered "Semyon Varlamov" into a Russian-to-English dictionary, and it came back "Steve Penney".
Biggest question mark: Why does every photograph of Mike Green look like it was taken three seconds after somebody woke him up?
Fearless forecast: The Capitals win 50 games, or more than the Nationals, Wizards and Redskins combined.
Florida PanthersThe good: Recently named Bryan McCabe captain.
The bad: Oops, that last one was supposed to be listed under "the bad". I guess Bryan's not the only one who gets confused about which side things are supposed to go in.
Biggest question mark: With Jay Bouwmeester's departure, which veteran will step up and teach the younger players what it takes to miss the playoffs every single year?
Fearless forecast: A guy who looks oddly like Jim Balsillie starts spending a lot of time in South Florida.
Tampa Bay LightningThe good: Vincent Lecavlier appears poised for the sort of big year the team had in mind when they signed him to an $80M extension.
The bad: That apparently makes him the only person associated with this franchise who has any actual money.
Biggest question mark: Wouldn't it be better if we all just agreed that the lockout actually started in May of 2004?
Fearless forecast: The Montreal Canadiens make an aggressive deadline push to trade for Martin St. Louis in an attempt to add size.
Carolina HurricanesThe good: Cam Ward's stellar play continues to indicate that he hasn't yet realized that he's Cam Ward.
The bad: While Ric Flair may be a native South Carolinian, having a crazy old white-haired man scream maniacally is really just an uncreative ripoff of Don Cherry.
Biggest question mark: Does Aaron Ward get one free sucker punch on Scott Walker to use whenever he wants? (Answer: Yes.)
Fearless forecast: The free agent signing of Tom Kostopolous forces coach Paul Maurice to slightly modify his famous quote to "There was a lot of purse stealing out there."