These predictions are in no way meant to offend anyone (well maybe Serge) but just my often mistaken opinion.
Both Underdogs and Canadian Gothic will regress slightly but should still finish 1st/2nd. With the big free agent signings, Mustangs will be much improved, however 3rd place in division seems to be in the cards. Cheap Thieves gambled heavy on solid rookies, however a bunch will start the season in the minor's and might not make it up to NHL early enough to help. Look for a late season Thieves surge. Steelheads has started amassing a strong Farm again and will probably wait approx 2-3 years and then sweep Big M's in the finals again but wont contend this year.
3-Mustangs (conference fan choice)
With the exception of Shootloose, all teams in this division use the strong "forwards" weak "defenceman" approach. Easily the toughest division to predict order as any of the teams could finish 1-5. I think I will give the edge to team that owns one of the best players in history of NHL (Gretzky), Puck Warfare is well loved due to chocolate provider, however Tavaras and Barkov might have rough years which will hurt.
Conference Playoffs - Underdogs, Gothic
Fighting for playoffs- Mustangs plus entire WEST
Reject cup bound- Thieves and Steelheads
For the 4th out of the last 5 years, this division should once again produce the top division in the league.
Shortstackers and Big M's have both maintained solid teams, however Greaseballs had a huge free agent draft plus farm help to become a big time contender. Whalers and Ingman both look to have a slightly stronger teams then last year, but will regress due to the stiff conference competition
The 4 years that the division title floated between Swackers and Pkdealers ends this year as Broadway will easily be the most improved and should capture the division. Both Swacker and Pkdealers will regress and be joined by an improved Scarborough Shooters (new assistant GM most probable reason) in fighting for 2nd-4th. Screaming Eagles has amassed a very deep farm and will probably pull a Broadway in 2 years to be an instant contender.
2-Scarborough Shooters .
3-Swackers (conference fan choice)
Playoffs -Big M's, Stackers, Greaseballs, Broadway
Fighting for playoffs- Ingman, Whalers, Pkdealers, Swackers, Shooters
Reject cup bound- Eagles.
Good luck to all AHL teams. This looks to be a very fun season with all the new side stuff happening.