It’s easy to forget that last summer featured some major player transactions in the NHL. Between free agency and an unusually active trade market, plenty of players found new homes. Some of those moves have worked out well. Others not so much. Here are a dozen of the biggest names who switched teams before this season, and an update on the impact they’ve had so far.
After an exhaustive six-hour training camp, the NHL makes its long-awaited return Saturday. And while it’s been easy to forget over the past few months of lockout negotiations between grim-faced men in suits, hockey is a sport played on ice by actual hockey players.
Let’s take a look at some of them now. Here are 10 players who’ll be especially interesting to keep an eye on over the next few months:
July 1 is New Year’s Day in the NHL, the date when the league calendar officially turns over into a new season. Every contract in the league rolls forward another year — or expires altogether. And that means free agency. Sweet, wonderful, blessed free agency (as it’s presumably referred to among player agents).
In advance of the big day, here are some of the things you need to know about what tradition obligates us to refer to as the NHL free-agent frenzy.
All eyes will be on Game 6 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals this evening. And while we don't yet know whether the New Jersey Devils will eliminate the Rangers at home or whether New York will force its third Game 7 in as many series, regardless of what happens, there are some things we can predict with certainty.
A couple of weeks from now, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will walk out onto the ice. People will boo him, as they always do, and he will be completely impervious to it, as he always is. He will drone merrily for a bit, then present the Stanley Cup to the winning team's captain. And that captain will be, with my apologies to Don Cherry, a GOOD AMERICAN BOY.
There's been only one Stanley Cup–winning team captained by an American-born player: Derian Hatcher's Dallas Stars, who defeated the Buffalo Sabres in 1999 in a game best known for its controversial in-the-crease finish. But this year, all three teams who remain alive in the postseason — the lying-in-wait Los Angeles Kings in the West, and the Rangers and Devils back East — have 27-year-old red-white-and-blue-blooded gentlemen donning the "C."
O beautiful for tenacious guys! Let's meet them, shall we?