Zeitgeist: More Predictions for the 2013-14 NHL Season

"Your Lucky Numbers are 46, 31, 16, 54 and 3" - stock.xchng

Standings and awards predictions are so... predictable. Here are some predictions for other events that will most likely happen this season.

By my unofficial count, there are 4,787 articles predicting team standings, award winners and champions for the upcoming NHL season. That's easy stuff.

With 30 franchises split into four divisions of either seven or eight teams, there are only so many ways the standings could shake out. Chances are, players that have won individual awards in the past will be nominated for them again this year to the surprise of no one. And, some time next April, everyone will chime in with their playoff predictions, conveniently sweeping their playoff picks from nine months before under the proverbial rug.

But real fans know that there are several common events that happen every single NHL season. It's simply inevitable that a ref will blow an critical call, a big trade will disappoint everyone and a team will run out of money. It's predicting who will be involved in these moments that's the hard part. Here goes nothing:

Trade that Nobody Will See Coming:

You heard it here first: the Rangers and Blue Jackets will complete a trade with each other.

Coaches Most Likely to Get into a Cross-Bench Shouting Match:

Easy one. The Red Wings and Islanders play each other three times this season. That means old enemies Mike Babcock and Jack Capuano can renew their fierce rivalry.

Playoff Team That, By the Start of the 2014-15 Season, Everyone Will Forget Was a Playoff Team This Year, Sorta Like Last Season's Minnesota Wild:

Probably the Minnesota Wild.

Next Team to be Saved from Financial Hell by Gary Bettman:

Would it really surprise anyone if Eugene Melnyk announced he had plans to pay the Senators in Capt. Sub coupons this year?

Big Trade That Everyone Will Talk About Happening For Months Only to Be Disappointed By The Eventual Exchange of a Star for a Bunch of Prospects and Role Players:

Welcome to Nashville, Thomas Vanek, where you'll be acquired for a bottom-sixer, a few draft picks and some tall-ass goalie from Norway.

Unrestricted Free Agent That Will Stay With His Current Team and Walk Away for Nothing Next Summer:

Dion Phaneuf's final way of disappointing Maple Leafs fans will be signing a contract with the Canadiens on July 1, 2014.

Referee Who Will Blow An Important Call for a Team and Immediately Become Part of a Vast Institutional Conspiracy Against That Team According to Their Fans:

Tough one. I'm going with #18 Greg Kimmerly because that dude looks like trouble.

Pop Song That Will Get Beaten to Death Because of Incessant Ads That Run at Every TV Time Out or Bumpers that Open Every Game from Now Until Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final:

Need a radio friendly, non-threatening rock track with a chant-able chorus that can vaguely be shoehorned into a sports context from a recently-released album by a major artist? How about Kings of Leon's Temple?

Player No One Predicts Will Be Nominated For a Major Award That Gets Nominated for a Major Award:

This time, I'm totally series: Thomas Hickey, Norris Trophy finalist.

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