It’s Christmas in July, and I’ve decided to give each NHL team a hypothetical gift. Some presents are needed, while others are just for fun. And all are up for interpretation.

What should your favorite team have on its wishlist?

Anaheim Ducks

Gift: Trevor Zegras mic’d up.

Every game. Make Zegras the show in Anaheim. Because with the rebuild taking place under GM Pat Verbeek, it’s going to be several years before the Ducks are ready to contend. Until then, Zegras has the skill and personality to keep the SoCal fans engaged.

Arizona Coyotes

Gift: Something – anything – to believe in.

It’s been too long since fans in Arizona have had much to root for. Bad arena location in Glendale, a poor on-ice product – it’s been rough. The Coyotes need a new arena in Tempe in the worst way. And GM Bill Armstrong needs to make sure the latest rebuild pays off.

 

Boston Bruins

Gift: A do-over on Nick Foligno’s contract.

At $3.8 million, Foligno’s contract demands much more than the 13 points contributed this season. Granted, injuries have slowed down the rugged winger, but for a team like the Bruins desperately in need of depth scoring, his contract is a boat anchor.

 

Buffalo Sabres

Gift: Table smashing at center ice between periods.

Bills Mafia is notorious for destroying tables during NFL tailgate parties. Why not bring the fun inside KeyBank Center? 

 

Calgary Flames

Gift: Johnny Hockey and Matthew Tkachuk signed to long-term contracts.

It won’t be enough to just sign Gaudreau. He might be the best free agent available this offseason, but the Flames need Tkachuk just as much. General manager Brad Treliving has said Calgary will do what it takes to re-sign Gaudreau. He can’t go back on those words.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Gift: Filip Forsberg.

I love the ethos of the Hurricanes under coach Rod Brind’Amour. And Sebastien Aho is an incredible talent. But Carolina needs a star player capable of filling the net. Hello Mr. Forsberg, who just happens to be coming off a 42-goal season.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Gift: A drama-free season.

The Blackhawks were rocked by scandal and poor on-ice performance in 2021-22. Chicago was a once proud Original Six franchise. But the Blackhawks are currently at rock bottom. A season without negative headlines would be their biggest win.