NHL power rankings: Lightning exit trade deadline as Stanley Cup favorites

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nhl power rankings

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The dust has settled from a chaotic 2020 NHL trade deadline. The Tampa Bay Lightning have emerged from the rubble as the clear Stanley Cup favorites in our NHL power rankings.

They say the second season starts after the NHL trade deadline. That’s when playoff teams resemble who they’ll be in the playoffs, at least roster-wise. This week’s NHL power rankings will sort out the best of the best from the rest.

If you’ve never read our power rankings before, welcome aboard! And if this isn’t your first time, welcome back. These rankings are my opinion of who I think the best teams in the league are. My rankings are based on who I think will win the Stanley Cup. I look at a team’s record, their strength of schedule, and their underlying numbers.

Don’t be shy to let your voice be heard. Do I hate your favorite team? Was I too kind to that team you really hate? Feel free to post your musings and thoughts in the comment section below. Without further ado, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.


31. Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings did well at the trade deadline, which means they’re in really good shape to finish with the NHL’s worst record. They have a 16 point lead over the LA Kings for last place in the league. As bad as the 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres and 2016-17 Colorado Avalanche were, the 2019-20 Red Wings are a special breed of “bad”.

30. Ottawa Senators

For a second straight season, the Ottawa Senators were very active at the trade deadline. This time around, they got a first-round pick and a second-round pick for Jean-Gabriel Pageau, plus two mid-round picks in 2021 for Vladislav Namestnikov and Tyler Ennis.

The Senators also traded Dylan DeMelo, who was arguably their best all-around defenseman. In short, the Red Wings better watch their back and not win too many more games if they want the honor of finishing in last place.

29. Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings continued their roster purge by getting great returns for Tyler Toffoli and Alec Martinez, plus about as good of a return as one could have hoped to get for Derek Forbort. This team is objectively bad and they just got worse. But at least they should finally get some young players more playing time.

28. San Jose Sharks

I’ll come out and say it. The San Jose Sharks deserve to suffer for not trading Joe Thornton to a Stanley Cup contender. But with that said, I love what they did at the trade deadline.

27. Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks struggle to score goals, so it’s probably not good that they traded Ondrej Kase, who, when healthy, can score goals. It’s become clear that general manager Bob Murray shouldn’t be leading this rebuild. And yes, it’s a rebuild.

26. New Jersey Devils

It’s painful to rebuild in the Metropolitan Division, which is stacked full of Stanley Cup contenders. But New Jersey Devils fans should be happy about their future. Tom Fitzgerald has done a heck of a job as their interim general manager and has made a really good case that “interim” should be removed from his job title.

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