It’s always a mistake to suggest that the slate of playoff teams from last season will carry over to the next one. But in the Central Division, it’s hard not to look at the current situation and see where there’s going to be a lot of change.
The Colorado Avalanche may take a step back because of their attrition after winning the Stanley Cup, but it would take a calamity to drop 20-plus points in the standings. The Minnesota Wild could also struggle to meet their 113-point total from last season, but they’d have to fall a mile to miss the cut. The St. Louis Blues are still likely to be very good, and as long as the Dallas Stars can bring back Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger without having to trade too much away, they’ll be fine.
The wiggle room is with the Nashville Predators, the last team in for a Wild Card slot last season. And it feels unlikely that the Pacific will only put three teams into the postseason again next year.
So where does that leave the Winnipeg Jets, a team that feels like it’s stuck in a void between being even playoff-competitive and entering a rebuilding phase?