Tomorrow at 5:00pm the first preseason game (in China!) will inaugurate the beginning of the 2017-2018 NHL season. It will be it’s 101st season as a league. On Wednesday October 4th the season official kicks off.
Well for starters we have a 31st team. The Las Vegas Knights will begin their first season as a team but don’t expect too much, there is a history of a steep learning curve for expansion teams across all leagues. The Olympics are a contentious topic as the NHL will abstain from participation in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The competition over air time between the two should be an interesting topic to watch.
Seattle isn’t out of the running for a team in the near future
-Connor McDavid appears to be stepping into the anointed one role BUT dating back prior to the 2000 season no NHL player has scored the most points in the league in back to back seasons, can Connor hold his status atop the league for a second consecutive year?
-Rookies dominated and carried teams far on a strong 2016 NHL Draft Class, can a weaker class repeat those results?
-At the end of the tegular season lastr, 4 of the top 6 teams in the standings had never been to an NHL finals (Nashville made it) will one of the other three teams continue to buck the trend this year (Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals) or perhaps one of the outliers: Winnipeg Jets and Phoenix Coyotes.
-Alex Ovechkin led the league in shots each year from 2012-2016 before Brent Burns usurped him last year. Add in the dramatic loss in the playoffs and his desire to play in the Olympics (He’s going, he’s not, he’s going, he’s not), how will all of this unfold this season for Ovechkin?
-The last team to lead the league in goals scored in back to back seasons was the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, will they do it again this year having scored the most last year?
-Every year we have some great goalies with one epic effort whether its Sergei Bobrovsky, Braden Holby, Carey Price, Tuuka Rask or Henrik Lundqvist, who will it be this year?
-Players fighting for a contract:
-Finally will someone give Jaromir Jagr a chance to continue his defiance of age?
Leon Draistil signed a 8 year $68MM contract, barely ahead of the Ryan Johansen 8 year $64MM contract.
The Columbus Blue Jackets sent Brandon Saad and Anton Forsberg to Chicago Blackhawks for Artemi Panarin. This is equivalent to the PK Subban / Shea Weber trade, one team will come out of this much stronger, but who?
Salary Cap - $75MM per team.
Highest Skater Cap Number – Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews ($10.5MM per season)
Highest Goalie Cap Number - Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5MM per season)
TV coverage: National: NBC Sports, SportsNet & TVA Sports. Local: Fox Sports, Comcast and YES
#1 Draft Pick:Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils)
Arizona Coyotes: Rick Tocchet
Buffalo Sabres: Phil Housley
Dallas Stars: Ken Hitchcock (I’m convinced he will have coached for half the league before he retires)
Florida Panthers: Bob Boughner
Los Angeles Kings: John Stevens
Vancouver Canucks: Travis Green
Las Vegas Knights: Gerard Gallant
Little Ceasers Arena (Detroit Red Wings)
T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas Golden Knights)
Capital One Arena (Washington Capitals)
Bell MTS Place (Winnipeg Jets)
Winter Classic: New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field (NYM)
Stadium Series: Toronto Maple Leafs at the Washington Capitals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Naval Academy)
Odds to win the cup:
Pittsburgh Penguins *6-1
Edmonton Oilers *9-1
Tampa Bay Lightning *12-1
Washington Capitals *12-1
Chicago Blackhawks *12-1
Minnesota Wild *14-1
Toronto Maple Leafs *14-1
Nashville Predators *14-1
Dallas Stars *14-1
Anaheim Ducks *14-1
Montreal Canadiens *16-1
New York Rangers *16-1
San Jose Sharks *20-1
Los Angeles Kings *20-1
Columbus Blue Jackets *25-1
Ottawa Senators *30-1
Boston Bruins *30-1
St. Louis Blues *30-1
Calgary Flames *30-1
Florida Panthers *40-1
New York Islanders *50-1
Philadelphia Flyers *50-1
Winnipeg Jets *50-1
Buffalo Sabres *60-1
Carolina Hurricanes *60-1
Colorado Avalanche *100-1
Detroit Red Wings *200-1
New Jersey Devils *200-1
Arizona Coyotes *200-1
Vancouver Canucks *200-1
Vegas Golden Knights *200-1
Players attempted to draw their teams logo, enjoy: