BEAR : New Jersey Devils.
Scott Stevens is retiring; Scott Niedermayer is in Anaheim. McGillis and Malakhov are better than warm bodies from Albany, but they can’t fill the void. Patrik Elias is still recovering from Hepatitis–and you have to wonder if Martin Brodeur isn’t due for an off year. Even if he is, this is still a playoff team, and, above all, they have the best GM in the game. The problem there is that he’s up against the salary cap. I’m lowering my target to 42 wins. (Remember, there are no ties this year, and with Marty you have to give an advantage to this team in shootouts.) They are trading at 4.2, which, ironically, is higher than they were trading at the outset of the 2002-03 season (2.0).
BEAR: Detroit Red Wings
Maybe the NHL should get the bear. Can anyone imagine a player like Pavel Datsyuk thumbing his nose at the NHL before the lockout? Henrik Zetterberg is also not yet in the fold. This team is a collection of skating fossils without those two. I’m reiterating my no-playoff recommendation here. They are extremely overvalued at 7.4 on Intrade, good for a trade on short side.
Update: They signed Zetterberg, but this was based on not having Datsyuk and the age of the rest of their team.