Guest Post: Three Teams Which May Be Surprise Contenders in 2012-13

The NHL season, at least, if there is one, is right around the corner. Much like the NBA a season ago, there could be quite a few surprises if teams are denied a preseason or even if a shortened season is used. With a lot of teams staying competitive throughout the season in 2011-2012, it looks as though there are even more talented teams looking to make a splash in 2012-2013. Here are three teams many are sleeping on, but they could make some serious noise.

Detroit Red Wings

It almost seems silly to include a team like the Detroit Red Wings as underrated going into a NHL season, but expectations are relatively low right now. Losing Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudler and Brad Stuart can do that to a team.

Lidstrom will be the biggest loss, because they will not be able to just simply replace him. In order to have success, the Red Wings will have to rely a lot on Ken Holland and Mike Babcock to produce for them. They are going to be young, but they have the talent to compete and get into the playoffs. As the last few years show, all it really takes is getting in the playoffs and getting hot at the right time.

Florida Panthers

After being terrible for years, the Panthers got into the playoffs in 2012 and gave the New Jersey Devils a bit of a scare in the first round. Despite that, they are still considered by many as simply a team in the middle of the pack. Most of that is due to no star players on the Panthers. Instead, they rely on strong team play and contributions from multiple goal scorers. They also have an underrated defense that knows how to slow teams down.

Last season they showed a lot of promise against the Devils. They almost knocked them out of the playoffs. With another year under their belt this could be an even better season.

Phoenix Coyotes

Even after making the Western Conference Finals last year, no one wants to give the Coyotes the credit they deserve. They are going through a ton of ownership issues, and they also lost Ray Whitney and Taylor Pyatt from last year’s team.

With that being said, there is no reason to count these guys out as legitimate contenders in 2012-2013. They still have plenty of talent, and it looks as though they will hold on to Shane Doan. They might not have the fan or owner support, but they showed last year it did not really matter to the players.

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This is a guest article written for us by Fanduel.com, the daily fantasy site for all your daily fantasy hockey needs.