Seven of the NHL’s top 10 teams last season came from the West, including the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The West should be competitive at a high level again this season. If the Detroit Red Wings avoid injuries, they could be better than last season’s No. 5 seeding. The Kings and St. Louis Blues are on the rise. Perennial power San Jose has reloaded after defenseman Rob Blake retired and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov left as a free agent.