The Mag's NHL preseason rankings

Want to know how the NHL season will shake out? We've got your answers right here. For ESPN The Magazine's upcoming NHL Preview issue, we had the minds at Puck Prospectus break down the league into eight pivotal categories that determine Stanley Cup-worthy campaigns, then use its new VUKOTA projection system to rate each team. We also added a pair of categories to measure the chaos of the NHL season, asking Puck Prospectus injury analyst Will Carroll and ESPN Insider E.J. Hradek to tell the stories the numbers can't. Finally, we weighted each category according to its importance to regular-season success. Add it all up and you get The Mag's preseason Power Rankings and predicted order of finish for the 2009-10 season.

We'll reveal the full rankings on Sept. 23 when The Mag preview hits the stands, but until then, we're trotting out some of the most interesting findings from each category every week day.