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23/24 Season Outlook for All Seven Canadian Teams

How will your team fare this season?

Toronto Maple Leafs (50-21-11 in ’22/23)

The Leafs are going into yet another year where the only thing that matters is how they’ll do in the playoffs. The core four is back again, and this time they’ll be supported by Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, both of whom were signed to one-year deals. As always, though, it’s not the forward group that raises questions. Toronto’s defence and goaltending has been their main issue for years, and unless John Klingberg gets back to what he once was, they may run into the same problems again in the 23/24 season. They’re the only team with Stanley Cup expectations that have never proven themselves in playoffs, but that’s just how it is in Toronto.  

Successful 23/24 Season: Win division / Stanley Cup Final appearance 

Worst Case: First round exit 

Edmonton Oilers (50-23-9 in ’22/23)

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl may be good enough to get this team to the playoffs by themselves, but they’ll need a little more help once they get there. Much like the Leafs, the Oilers can score a ton of goals, but have often been let down by defence and goaltending in the past. Connor and Leon are super motivated to win this season, but it’ll be up to the supporting cast to take the right steps to make the difference. In net, they’ll need Stuart Skinner to continue to get better as well. He was only a rookie last season, but with McDavid and Draisaitl in their prime, Edmonton is looking to contend now and will need good play from him to do so. 

Successful 23/24 Season: Win division / Stanley Cup Final appearance 

Worst Case: First round exit 

Winnipeg Jets (46-33-3 in ’22/23)

A lot has changed in Winnipeg since last year’s first round exit. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler are both gone, while rumors also continue to swirl around Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck. As long as Hellebuyck stays, though, this team has potential to be very solid in the West. Josh Morrissey blossomed into one of the league’s best blueliners last season, and Gabe Vilardi and Alex Iaffalo will help fill the holes at forward. It’s hard to know what to expect with so many new faces and questions yet to be answered, but as it stands today, this roster should make the playoffs in the West. 

Successful 23/24 season: Winning a playoff round 

Worst Case: Missing Playoffs 

Calgary Flames (38-27-17 in ’22/23)

It was a very tough year in Calgary last season, but we’re cautiously optimistic about the upcoming campaign. Without Daryl Sutter behind the bench, we should see a much better season from a few guys, including winger Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau saw some major regression in his first year with the Flames last season, but hopefully he’ll be able to find his 115-point form from two seasons ago. Everything went wrong for Calgary last year, and they still barely missed the playoffs. If the team can bounce back, they’ll be returning to the postseason. 

Successful 23/24 season: Winning a playoff round 

Worst Case: Missing playoffs 

Ottawa Senators (39-35-8 in ’22/23)

There’s a lot of hype building around this Senators team and it’s for good reason. Management has done a great job of locking up their best young players to long-term deals, and now it’s time to see those decisions pan out. At forward, they’re deep in young, skilled players with the potential to be great. On defence, Thomas Chabot, Jacob Chychrun and Jake Sanderson are a very solid top 3. If Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg can get the job done in the crease, this could be the year we see a major move up the standings from the Senators. Even if it isn’t the year they’re hoping for in Ottawa, the future is bright. One more year of mediocrity and a higher pick in next year’s draft could even end up being a good thing in the long run. 

Successful 23/24 season: Making playoffs 

Worst Case: Bottom 10 in the league 

Vancouver Canucks (38-37-7 in ’22/23)

The Canucks have the potential to be very good, but they’ll need to get off to a much better start than they have in the past two seasons. If Rick Tocchet can find a way to get this team off to that start, then Vancouver should be a team to look for in the West. Their forward group and goaltending can be very good when healthy, but it’s the defence that’ll make or break this year in Vancouver. Over the past few seasons, they really haven’t had any high-level blueliners outside of Quinn Hughes, and they’ve been very thin at the position depth-wise. If newcomers like Filip Hronek, Carson Soucy and Ian Cole can come in and make a difference, it’ll be reflected in the win column. 

Successful 23/24 season: Winning a playoff round 

Worst Case: Bottom 12 in the league 

Montreal Canadiens (31-45-6 in ’22/23)

The Canadiens are still in the midst of a rebuild, but big strides could certainly be made this year. Their roster doesn’t stack up skill-wise to many others in the league, but almost all the young guys in the room are coming into this season with something to prove. It’s a great opportunity for forwards like Alex Newhook, Kirby Dach and Juraj Slafkovsky to prove themselves and earn a decent role for the team moving forward. They won’t be a playoff threat quite yet, but as we’ve seen with countless other teams in the NHL, rebuilding is a multi-year process. The $10.5 million going to Carey Price for the next three years doesn’t help either.  

Successful 23/24 season: Competing for a playoff spot 

Worst Case: Bottom 3 in the league 

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