NHL season offers breakout opportunities


Photo Courtesy of Devlin McCarthy

Sophomore Devlin McCarthy roots for his Chicago Blackhawks.

The NHL season started on Jan. 13, and every team was scheduled to play 56 games, pending a Covid-19 breakout within the organization. The Dallas Stars had 17 players and staff test positive, which canceled or postponed at least four games.  Important dates this year include Apr. 12, the trade deadline, May 11, the start of the playoffs and July 21, the expansion draft for the new team Seattle Kraken.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL will lose a billion dollars this year by operating. To help make up for this lost revenue, the league has tried to increase advertising. All stadiums will have increased advertisements on the boards, players will wear advertisements on their helmets and the divisions now have advertisements (i.e the Honda West Division).

This offseason contained numerous signings, retirements and releases. Longtime Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby left for the Vancouver Canucks. The Capitals signed Henrik Lundqvist, a veteran goalie who will not play the entire season due to  open heart surgery. The Buffalo Sabres signed young star Taylor Hall as another free agent acquisition. Former Boston Bruins defender Adam McQuaid retired after playing over 500 games in the NHL.

I hope this year the Capitals will make another run in the playoffs.

— Evan Lewis

 Sophomore Evan Lewis said, “I hope this year the Capitals will make another run in the playoffs.  It will be challenging since Lundqvist is out for the season and Samsonov will have to step up.  Also, the team is made up of old players who could retire soon like Ovechkin, which may make this his last year to win the cup.”

Some of the teams that are likely to make a run at the finals this year are the Colorado Avalanche, lead by possible player of the year Nathan MacKinnon, the Tampa Bay Lightning, last year’s Stanley Cup winners, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, lead by one of the best two-way players, Mark Stone, and the Washington Capitals, a well-rounded team with lots of past Stanley Cup experience.

The rookie class is loaded with talent this year: Young stars like number one overall pick Alex Lafrenière of the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild 2015 draft pick Kirill Kaprizov and Dylan Cozens of the Buffalo Sabres. All three of these players have legitimate chances of winning the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year award).

Sophomore Devlin McCarthy said, “I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan and two of our star players are out for the season, our goal-tending is in pretty bad shape right now, we might trade our best players left so it might be a long season for us but I will still watch the games.”

With the limited offseason and issues regarding the Coronavirus disrupting the regular season, breakout years from lesser-known players are to be expected and virtually any team has a chance at the Stanley Cup trophy this year.