New Season & New Excitement For The NHL
With the global health crisis and the toll it’s taken on especially the sports world over the last couple of years still fresh in everybody’s minds, it’s good to know the NHL will this season be returning to a sense of normalcy.
After two disfigured NHL campaigns, the league has its sights set recovery when the puck drops this season. While the global health crisis, vaccinations, and a variety of other related issues are far from over, the league appears committed to turning back the hands of time.
While a severely shortened regular season saw only 56 games played last season, with the main goal having been less travel and movement, this season will see a return to the usual 82 games setup. Also, it’s back to the old divisions – with the only exceptions being Seattle this year joining the Pacific and Arizona linking up with the Central.
Life And Positive Changes
Another incredible prospect is the presence of fans in the stands. After playing in front of empty arenas, players will be happy to have the support of home crowds cheering them on.
Which brings us to the who will be playing for who this season. A significant change will be that of Zdeno Chara making his return to the New York Islanders following the signing of a one-year contract. Chara recorded two goals and 10 points while playing in a reduced capacity for Washington last year and will be happy to return home to where it all started for him way back in 1997-98.
Joining the defenseman in the field of changeups are several others, including Joe Thornton (Panthers), Dougie Hamilton (Devils), and Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury (Chicago).
Goals For Ovechkin
Hoping on a record season this year will be Alex Ovechkin. With 730 regular-season career goals already in the bag, Ovechkin needs only a single one more to level with Marcel Dionne for placing 5th on the all-time goal scorers’ list.
After that, he’ll have to start working on making his way past Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Gordie Howie (801), and ultimately, Wayne “the Great One” Gretzky.
Based on what seen from him so far, he’s likely to make it into Gretzky’s camp by at least 2024-25, with this year’s season an important stepping stone toward all of that.
Olympics On The Horizon
Exciting times loom on the horizon for players like Matthews (US), Kucherov (Russia), and McDavid (Canada).
Following a deal between hockey’s world governing body, the NHL, and the NHL Players’ Association, these players will be competing in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in Feb.