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Associate Sports Editor
On Oct. 10 the NHL dropped the puck for their 107th season. With the season underway, there is newfound hope for every team and fan across the country.
In case you missed it, last season the Vegas Golden Knights finally got over the hump and beat the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup final in five games.
Following the Stanley Cup final came the NHL’s entry draft, which welcomed many new players to the league. With the first overall pick, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Connor Bedard from the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. Three other rookies from the 2023 NHL draft made their respective teams’ final roster. Those players include the Anaheim Ducks’ second-overall pick Leo Carlsson, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ third-overall pick Adam Fantilli, and the Buffalo Sabres’ thirteenth-overall pick, Zach Benson.
As is with any NHL offseason, many players moved teams through free agency and trades. Among the most active teams during free agency were the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and the Stanley Cup runner-ups, the Florida Panthers.
The Nashville Predators got free agency started by signing former Conn Smythe winner, the most valuable player of the playoffs, Ryan O’Reilly to a four-year deal. The Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings signed the most players out of any team, signing fourteen and sixteen each.
Along with all their free agency signings, the Detroit Red Wings acquired multiple-time forty-goal scorer Alex Debrincat in a trade with the Ottawa Senators. However, this wasn’t even the biggest trade of the offseason. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired three-time Norris award winner, best defenseman in hockey, Erik Karlsson to go along with their seventeen free agent signings.
In the NHL offseason, many players moved teams. While some teams may have gotten better, and others got worse, the new season will bring hope for every team and fan across the country, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks.