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Connor McDavid power rankings: The NHL embarks on its great tank battle

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Connor McDavid is the best junior hockey player in the world, and for the few, the proud, the awful teams of the NHL, he is this season's ultimate prize. Let's handicap this week's leaders.

Dennis Pajot

One goal. One dream. One Cup. It's a mantra made in mediocre marketing heaven, but a sentiment that rings true with all 30 NHL teams. The ultimate mark of success, the Stanley Cup, is the culmination of a grueling season that spans 82 games and two months of postseason play.

With the NHL season only a week old, plenty of teams still have this dream, strive to achieve this goal and continue to fight for a summer with Stanley.

And then there are the others.

The mavericks. The outliers. The gamblers. Teams patient enough to dream of a different No. 1: the No. 1 overall pick. These clubs -- nay, these revolutionaries -- are bad enough to make sure you never watch them. To make sure that you audibly grown when your favorite team has to play them. To make you settle for the fact your favorite team will probably beat them. To make you smash a glass when you're favorite team inexplicably losses to them in the shootout.

While the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal, there is another prize at stake this 2014-15 NHL season, and you won't earn it by winning games.

Connor McDavid

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This is Connor McDavid. He is good at McHockey.

The best junior player in the world today, McDavid is considered the top candidate to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. This has been the case for about five years now. Granted exceptional status at around the age of three, McDavid is considered a generational talent who can transform an NHL franchise overnight.

This is why a lot of teams are hoping to be really awful this year, and why you're going be hearing a lot about Connor from now until the end of forever. Seeing as we've all got Connor McDavid on the Connor McBrain, we might as well have some Connor McFun with it.

We'll be keeping an eye on McDavid's season with the OHL's Erie Otters -- but more importantly, we'll be gauging what NHL teams are doing in their pursuit of hockey's next great one.

Connor McStats through Oct. 15

Unfortunately, McDavid is off to a slow start in the OHL.

He only has seven goals in six games and accumulated a total of 18 points over that span. Such a shame, really. Thought he would've at least hit double digits by now.

The Connor McD'oh! Of The Week: Boston Bruins

Awarded weekly to the team trying its hardest to fall into the McDavid sweepstakes.

So many things are going wrong for the Bruins and all of it is hilarious in a varying degree of ways. Let's start with the on-ice stuff and un-pack this piece-by-piece:

The Bruins bearly beat the Philadelphia Flyers on opening night and then went on to lose three straight, the most heartbreaking of which came against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

With the score tied 1-1 in the final seconds of the third period, I started watching a video on YouTube. It was probably of a puppy or something I don't remember. Basically, I assumed this game was going to overtime and I got lazy. Apparently the Bruins did too because Danny Briere did the damn Danny Briere thing and scored a big goal with, like, no time left on the clock.

briere buzzer

Look at this agony:

Danny Briere

Danny Briere guy

Getty Images

As if this wasn't bad enough, the Bruins have made some trades the last two offseasons because money is a problem and young guys having too much fun is a problem. And now look:

Tyler Seguin (young guy) scored three of those goals (probably was a lot of fun) and Johnny Boychuk had the other. And then there's Jarome Iginla, who plays for Colorado and was on the winning side of that Monday game in Boston.


That's the sound of all the air coming out of your very depressed Bruins fan friend right now.

*Editor's note: this column was submitted on Wednesday morning.

The Connor McBlowout Of The Week: Florida Panthers

Awarded weekly to the team that suffered the NHL's most demoralizing loss.

The Florida Panthers lost their home opener to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night, 5-1. The game was a prime example of why a mercy rule maybe wouldn't be such a bad idea. The Devils scored four goals in the first period and then just coasted.

But what made this game especially painful was the backlash that ensued once the announced attendance of 11,419 was made public. Which was made even worse the following game when an announced attendance of 7,311 was made public.

Panthers ownership swear that their business model isn't inspired by the plot to the first Major League movie and I believe them (I mean, they're already in Florida), but that hasn't stopped people from kicking up a relocation shit storm larger than the combined attendance of both games.

The Connor McDon't Need Him: San Jose Sharks

Awarded weekly to the team that just doesn't need McDavid's help, and definitely won't get it anyway.

The Sharks keep breaking your heart, San Jose.

Not only are they winning every game, again, and ruining any chance you had of getting the No. 1 pick, but they're doing so in the most Steve Simmons way imaginable.

After losing four consecutive games to the Los Angeles Kings last year in the playoffs -- blowing a 3-0 series lead, mind you -- the Sharks decided to open a big ole' can o' whoop ass on opening night. Against the Kings. By scoring four goals. And not allowing any.

Four. Zero.

Oh, great. When else would Sharks fans have liked to have seen a four next to a zero...

They followed it up by blanking the Jets, then they blew a 3-0 lead in Washington and still came away with a point in the shootout. Everything's coming up Sharks, as is typical in October.

The Connor McNeed To Rig The Draft Lottery: Philadelphia Flyers

Awarded weekly to a bad team that's not quite bad enough to actually land McDavid in the draft ... unless of course the lottery balls go their way.

The Flyers are awful. And not just on the ice!

Philadelphia is constantly manipulating the NHL so that Ed Snider can win a Stanley Cup. Even worse, the Flyers are awful at manipulating the NHL because they keep not winning Stanley Cups.

Pretty much since their inception, the Flyers have found ways to game the system in their favor. And their most masterful con is already in the works. *raises pinky to mouth and laughs*

Chris Pronger.

Pronger is still receiving checks from the team while he finishes out his contract on long-term injured reserve. The former-Flyers captain -- and current Flyers payroll member --  is now working for the NHL in the Department of Player Safety, doing something. AND THAT SOMETHING IS RIGGING THE DRAFT LOTTERY FOR THE FLYERS.

It's the perfect scheme that no one would ever expe--- well, actually everyone kind of expects it now that I'm thinking about it. (Thanks Marek and Wyshynski.)

The Connor McFront Runner of the Week: Carolina Hurricanes

Awarded weekly to the team that, as of right now, has the best chance of landing Connor McDavid in the 2015 Draft.

Jordan Staal is hurt.

Eric Staal is hurt.

Jeff Skinner is hurt.

Andrej Sekera is hurt.

Cam Ward is old.

They lost to the Sabres.

Seriously, it was already going to be painful watching this team before all the injuries. Just give them McDavid and get this over with.

The Connor McMatchup Of Next Week

Set your DVRs/PVRs!

Friday, Oct. 17, the Florida Panthers are in Buffalo to take on the Sabres. The game begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS Florida, MSG Buffalo, and for you lucky Canadians, Bell TV.

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If you have / see / hear a Connor McDavid McHockey Moment this week, be sure to pass it along in the comments section, by tweeting me @mattbrigidi, or by emailing me at