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Pacific Division: Group of 8 With Only 3 Contenders?

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s been no secret that over the past six seasons, the Pacific Division was regarded as one of the leagues least competitive. Let’s face it, for basically the entirety of the Golden Knights’ existence three or four teams were annually counted out of contention before the puck hit opening night ice. Vegas is the only team to reach the Stanley Cup Final in that span and the Golden Knights became the first Pacific division team to win the Cup since 2014.

Heading into the 2023-24 season, the division looks to play out the same way it did last year. Of course, it’s foolish to eliminate teams before the season begins but would anyone be surprised if Anaheim, San Jose, or Vancouver missed the 2024 playoffs? According to Sportsnet, they wouldn’t be.

Whether it’s a repeat from Vegas, a breakthrough for Edmonton, or something of a Cinderella story from Los Angeles or Seattle, might the 2024 Stanley Cup champion come out of the Pacific Division again? Might this division also house the team that “wins” the first-overall selection? –

According to William Hill, the Pacific Division is expected to be conquered by the Edmonton Oilers (+180), the reigning champions (+210) or the LA Kings (+440) in 2024. The divisional odds are not much different from last season’s expected winners. Vegas came away with division with Edmonton and LA filling out the top three Pacific clubs. As you go further down the list, the prices drastically get larger, suggesting that it would be a major surprise if any team outside of the top three took the division.

William Hill Pacific Division Winner

  • Edmonton Oilers: (+180)
  • Vegas Golden Knights: (+210)
  • LA Kings: (+440)
  • Calgary Flames: (+800)
  • Seattle Kraken: (+1300)
  • Vancouver Canucks: (+2000)
  • San Jose Sharks: (+10000)
  • Anaheim Ducks: (+10000)

Sportsnet broke down each Pacific Division team and divided them into five different tiers. Clearly, the Golden Knights landed in the top tier and deserve to be in by themselves.

The defending champs are in a tier by themselves, and winning the Stanley Cup within owner Bill Foley’s six-year window after getting the team will provide a grace period. But, as always in Vegas, the clear expectation is to keep winning and the hope would be to snuggle a second banner beside the first one next year. –

Although the Oilers are favored to win the group, Sportsnet projected them to be the divisional runner-up to the world champions. As we’ve exhaustedly covered this offseason, there are mountains of motivation coming from Edmonton. Team leaders Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are fed up with individual achievements and their lack of playoff success. We shall see if losing to the Golden Knights in the second round is enough of a motive to overcome the division.

Where Vegas has broken through to win, the Oilers have bowed out to the eventual champions two years in a row. It’s time for the Oilers to do it. All the pieces are in place… anything short of a deep, deep run this season would be a disappointment. –

There’s an argument that Los Angeles should be in the second tier along with Edmonton, but Sportsnet dropped the Kings to the third level of Pacific Division contenders. LA is joined by the Seattle Kraken as the two teams closest to challenging Vegas and Edmonton for the #1 seed in the Pacific.Next up is the two remaining Canadian teams. Putting it frankly, the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks were utter embarrassments last season. Many expected the Flames to secure the Pacific Division in 2023 and for the Canucks to battle for a playoff spot. Going into 2023-24, who knows where each team is heading? Sure, both organizations tweaked their rosters but are they good enough to push the division?

The Flames lost so many close games in 2022-23 that you could easily build a case for why they could be the bounce-back team of 2023-24.

The Canucks refuse to believe they must entertain the idea of a rebuild and insist that this core will eventually get on to something. So what is the reality here? –

Lastly, we have the expected bottom-feeders of the Pacific Division. Anaheim and San Jose combined for 118 points, that’s seven points more than the Golden Knights last season. Both were among the worst records in NHL and it likely won’t get much better in 2023-24.

Sure, championship hangovers happen but the Golden Knights are well built to overcome their mediocre division. It’s likely that four teams from the Pacific will qualify for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Vegas should be one of them. Considering Anaheim and San Jose have other plans, the Golden Knights will really only have to worry about eclipsing the records of two other Pacific clubs. And proven by their championship run, the reigning champs can get it done at home or on the road so losing the top seed to Edmonton isn’t too concerning.


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  1. Emmanuel

    Id put the Canucks in the second tier with the Krak & Flames. Its really a contest for home ice in the playoffs but VGK doesnt really match lines that much so it may not even matter…..

  2. Satan

    This is Satan.

    Satan would like to thank the Hockey God for bringing him back. Satan is curious to see if Maxime Comtois will take advantage of this great opportunity he has to play for the Stanley Cup champions. He is also curious to see how the Logan Thompson and Adin Hill will be deployed this year. Will it be an even split similar to the way Robin Lehner and Marc Andre Fleury rotated games in 2020.

    Has anybody heard any comments made about what the plans will be?

    Satan has spoken.

    • Emmanuel

      Hot rumor is LT being traded to Buffalo…..

      • knights fan in minny

        where is this rumor coming from

      • Sorvino

        That’s a bunch of crap. Terrible rumor if it exists. Thompson is extremely valuable at his cap hit. I would understand opposing teams interest in him because of his low cap hit. The only way this would make sense was if Robin Lehner was returning (he is not) or they got a ton in return and felt that Jiri Patera was NHL ready.

  3. former season ticket holder

    I am so sick of hearing that in 2023 /4 it will be the Oilers turn! Why? They haven’t changed squat and if Conner McGod is stone faced resolute in winning this year, well so what? With Mr. 100 foot playing next to him, their goal will be sucking up pucks again…… same as it ever was

    • Pistol Pete

      Right you are and Vegas on the other hand is 100% 200 ft. That underlies how they won the Stanley lead by the most improved 200 ft. forward in the league Jack Eichel. He tasted what playing all three zone does and he’ hungry for more along with the rest of the squad. Just watch Cassidy continue to push defense first because in his system it works!

      • Pistol Pete

        And by the way when I emailed the team reminding them that I supported the Eichel trade and this was included in the response I got:

        “I can tell you that a couple of different players of ours mentioned how impressed they were by Jack’s commitment to winning. They feel he could score 100 points this year if that was his only focus.”

        So yeah, padding his own score sheet like McDavid and Draisaitl is not Eichel’s main focus. Winning all the way to a Cup is and you do it by playing all three zones.

    • THE hockey GOD

      the best quote from this past stanley cup playoffs regarding the
      Oilers “two players and a power play does not win the Cup”

      • Emmanuel

        I cant even remember the last time a Canadian team had a top 5 blue line, its like defensemen are an after thought.

      • TS

        Precisely right. ” Two players and a PP will not win the CUP”. I saw it when we played them. It takes a V… I mean, it takes the ENTIRE team to win, and we DID!!


  4. PP – I am so happy for you that the FO appreciated your support concerning the Eichel trade. What a bunch of BS. Cassidy’s system made Eichel a 200-foot player. He became a different individual after leaving Buffalo. Where did you get the idea that padding his own score sheet was or is McDavid’s and Draisaitl goal? That’s suggesting that it is or was more important to them than raising the Stanly Cup – that’s more BS. My hope is the TEAM does as well this upcoming season as last, but I am certainly not taking it for granted as many on this site believe it will be the case.

    • Jailbird

      Good old “passive negative” hd. In mid-season form already! Ha

    • Pistol Pete

      Ok so apparently you have not observed what former season ticket holder above aptly referred to Draisaitl as Mr. 100 ft.? You have not noticed how useless he is in terms of back checking etc. all part of being a two way player? Admittedly McDavid is a more capable 200 ft. player but does not make it enough of a focus. Each has repeatedly scored a ton of points in the regular and always fail in the biggest moment of the playoffs. Does that tell you anything, anything at all? So must be your assumption that McCrimmon was not able to envision Eichel’s ability to become an excellent two way player and did not accurately assess his competitive nature? If you go back and listen to his press conference on the trade you’ll see he mentions the competiveness. Just so happens he was right, Eichel has a driving desire to win, was able to apply his gifts in all three zones and the trade resulted in winning the Stanley Cup while “fans” like you could not see it and bad mouthed the move all the way. In fact I bet you wanted Eichel to suck in the playoffs just so you would be right lol. Well, you were wrong! In this case I was a better judge of Eichel’s potential from the start than you. End of story.

      • Pistol Pete

        Watch, listen, and learn. McCrimmon knew he was trading for one of the most gifted players in the league and highly competitive to boot.

      • Maybe Edmonton needs Cassidy and his system to make the pair 200 foot players like he was able to do with Eichel as he sure wasn’t one in Buffalo. Coming to Vegas solved his neck problem and made him more of a player than he was in Buffalo – I am happy for him and Vegas it all worked out. Stop patting yourself on the back.

        • Pistol Pete

          Well is sure did work for Vegas fans, Eichel, didn’t it? To describe you as luke warm on the trade would be an understatement lol. In fact I was not sure you ever thought he was even a good player not to mention elite. But he always was an elite talent based on his stride, size, strength, stick handling ability and overall athleticism, basically a point a game in spite of being being in a bad situation in Buffalo. What’s clear now is he’s better at winning than McDavid when they’re both on good teams. McCrimmon was right all along about him and to get him.

          • Pistol Pete

            To be fair you did make a valid point about Cassidy is what Edmonton needs. McDavid for sure but don’t think Draisaitl
            is fast enough to be an elite or even semi-elite defender. Cassidy is a difference maker as far as players developing their two way game under him plus he has a good system. Just watch Barbashev improve this season!

            Pardon me for rubbing Eichel in a bit! You were from the start plenty unrelenting in your criticism of my optimism about him. It was nice to prove you wrong!

      • Congratulations PP – his neck issue could have been the end of the line, that was my concern more than his playing ability, happy it worked out for him and the team. – oh I forgot you have MD behind your name, so all is well. I recall you believed Lehner was the elite goaltender answer – I have notice you have neglected to even mention him lately.

  5. Tim

    Canadian team hasn’t won the Cup since 1994 this season will be 30 years, Canadians are so desperate to have a canadian team win there putting all there eggs in one basket and that’s Edmonton. As the song used to go ( Blinded by the Light ) In an 82 game season depth is important we have it Edmonton doesn’t. If McDavid ever gets hurt they go from the penthouse to the outhouse.

  6. Jailbird

    Of course most of each NHL roster is made up of Canadians. So the country should still be proud!

  7. THE hockey GOD

    just bought horse out of September Keeneland yearling sale in Kentucky, thinking of naming it

    if jockey club will accept it
    may need to shorten it
    to SatanWearsBlackPantyHose
    or SatanWearsPanties
    or PantyHoseSatan
    oh forget
    I am going with Bodacious Tatas


    • knights fan in minny

      wow more non hockey babble

      • THE hockey GOD

        in line with most the babble posted here, including subject matter of this article

        when something is written that worthy , wake me up

  8. Bobby

    Ready for hockey season!!! And ready for perfect Fall weather that hopefully will last more than 1 week….

  9. Jose

    Being part of this community of fans posting on here for quite some time I’ve gotten to know what fans opinions and comments on the team, players and front office have been. It’s lead to debates.

    One thing I have to say is Pistol Pete’s opinions on basically everything regarding the team have been quite spot on. So I am particularly interested in what he has to say.

  10. TS

    Agreed on Pp. He seems to have the scoop!!

    • Pistol Pete

      Thanks folks…appreciate it!

    • TS

      Sidenote: Hockey Writers Daily has the Reilly Smith trade #1 best trade of the league- – –
      for the Penguins…hope we did the right thing.

  11. Tim

    I was a little shocked when I read this article Logan Thompson wants out of Vegas not happy. To me that was a stunner good young goalie will get his Stanley Cup ring, in line to split time with A Hill and he’s unhappy very strange. I told my wife we from the article are asking a steep price for LT. How about getting Alex Tuch back now that would be interesting. Stay tuned.

    • THE hockey GOD

      fake news, pretty obvious for those us of used to seeing this crap by the fakers , aka, loser media pump and dumpsters

      aka news babble
      aka bull shit

      • Sorvino

        Exactly, THE hockey GOD is correct. It is fake news. You have to differentiate between good and bad sources. Eklund started the fake rumor. Thompson does not want out of Vegas.

        However, Elliote Friedman who is a reliable source said that Vegas was getting calls on Logan Thompson in the summer and that is not surprising. With so many teams so tight to the salary cap, they would love to have a very good goalie making the league minimum on their team.

  12. Jailbird

    So, as far as the topic of this thread: I think the top four teams in the West, Knights, Oilers, AVs and Stars are just as good as the top in the East. The Cup could vert well go to a Western team this year. Who? Don’t know. Teams that stay free of serious injury to key players will have an edge. It should be an exciting season!

  13. THE hockey GOD

    well it’s official
    the VGK farm system
    really sucks

  14. Jailbird

    I take it we didn’t win a game in the rookie tourney?

    • THE hockey GOD

      Correct me if am wrong but only team not to win a game, or
      I think two games. Thoroughly outplayed in every nearly every game. No player
      was consistently good in any game. You can make a case for goalie
      Vickman, or Vicman – spelling. But just wasn’t good enough. The best player of bunch seems to be in my opinion no. 25 splaticovv , coff ? Can’t spell his name. Brisson seems to be out muscled, and outskated. He’s quick, and had plenty
      of chances. Good players put puck in net, he scored but too often did not.

  15. Tim

    Rookies really don’t concern me we’d rather trade rookies and draft picks for established players. There was a time I didn’t see there logic but now I do. We’d rather trade for some other teams bust and hope we can correct what wasn’t working into a decent player. Howden and Amadio and you can through in Stephenson for a 5th round pick and there far better then any of our prospects. Whiyecloud and Hague are the only two that have come through the system that have worked to and that’s 6 drafts. This Max C. may or may not be the next find. We keep getting younger and that’s the key to long term success. When you think about it Petro, Stone,, Marchy, Martinez are older after that Karlsson and McNabb everyone else under 30, Probably last year for Marchy and Martinez will be gone so that’s about 11 million plus increase in cap space and we’ll be looking for a shinny new toy. Word is and could be fake news but Elias Paterson from Vancouver will be a free agent you want to bet we go hard after him

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