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"Players of Next Year" -- well, Duh!

Hand it to Sports Illustrated and it's lackluster coverage of hockey to give you a "no, really" recommendation for players to watch next season. It may be nice to hear that all except two players are from the Southeast Division... but you knew before this season to watch all but 2 of the mentioned players -- and you were watching all but one of the players from the beginning if you didn't listen to the talking heads of the media exclusively.

Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa, Roberto Luongo, Rick Nash and Brad Richards all made this "Player of Next Year" list... but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. The young guns on this list have been forces on each of their respective rosters for quite a while sans-Nash.

If you really want to make a statement about players of Next Year, do some research and / or wait until next season (if it ever starts) begins in order to make such bold predictions. One transaction may make a lesser-known player as marquee as Jarome Ignila or as big a disappointment as Alexander Daigle for any given team.