Even if 'How I Met Your Mother' stands a giant question mark with a ninth season up in the air, and rumors swirling of cast departures, its good to know that at least the coming season remains fully mapped out.  And while deals are still being finalized beyond 'How I Met Your Mother' season 8, no one is going anywhere yet.  So what does the new season hold, and who will surely be around to see it?

Everyone can take their finger off the button for the moment, as it seems like rumors of Jason Segel's departure before a potential 'How I Met Your Mother' season 9 are unfounded.  Yesterday reports surfaced that the actor was quoted as saying he'd quit after season 8, but a rep for Segel tells EW, "Perhaps something got lost in translation, but season 9 hasn’t even been addressed yet."

Series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas aren't necessarily opposed to the idea of a ninth season either, as Thomas explained:

We’re optimistic and hopeful that we’re going to know in time so we can either launch the ending sequence of 'How I Met Your Mother' or figure out a plan B, which we also know how to do. The truth is, I think we’d love to keep going. We think there’s a great season 9, and we’re excited and hopeful to hear how all the negotiations go.

But what of 'How I Met Your Mother' season 8?  Will Ted really ride off into the sunset with Victoria?  How will we see Barney and Robin get back together in time for their eventual wedding?  And speaking of the wedding, just how far into the future might we see?  "We go deeper into [Barney and Robin's] wedding day than we’ve ever gone before. We’re going to show the fans a glimpse of something that we hope will blow their minds,” Thomas says. “I hope the fans will feel they have part of the answer about how the series ends and all new questions."

And while it was hard enough to imagine the idea of Barney settling down enough to take the plunge into matrimony, don't expect Barney's trepidations to fade away just yet.  “There’s a very fun story we get to tell about Barney's absolutely insane idea of what he’d want his crazy prenup to be.  It’s going to be a Neil Patrick Harris tour de force. There are crazy fantasies, crazy flash-forwards, and a true 'How I Met Your Mother, insane, hilarious episode.”

What say you?  Do you think 'How I Met Your Mother' can work if stretched into a ninth season?  How did you feel about the seventh?  Give us your fears, hopes and predictions for 'How I Met Your Mother' season 8 in the comments below!