Here’s five storylines to keep an eye on as NHL Training Camps open.
NHL hockey is well and truly back with Training Camps opening across the league today with the 2020-21 season getting underway next week on Jan. 13, 2021.
Training Camps for those seven teams that didn’t make the postseason in 2019-20 opened on New Year’s Eve, and we presented our seven observations from the first few days of scrimmages for those franchises.
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It is now back to work for the 24 other teams in the NHL with media days taking place on Sunday, while on-ice work and practices are getting underway across the league as we speak.
There will be plenty of intrigue given how weird a year the 2020-21 season will be with a 56-game shortened schedule, while the threat of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic looms large.
And, from new faces to potential lineup combinations and notable absentees, there will be plenty of storylines emerging from the full opening day of Training Camps today.
So, without further ado, let’s delve into the five biggest talking points we are most intrigued about as the entire NHL gets back to work…
1. New Faces in New Places
Every new season brings with it a fresh wave of new faces in different places following a busy offseason, and this year will be no different.
In fact, there will be some very familiar faces taking to the ice over the next couple of days in places we never thought we would see them, like Zdeno Chara for example, who left the Boston Bruins after 14 stellar years to sign a one-year, $1,525,000 contract with the Washington Capitals.
Another name that fits into that category perfectly is Joe Thornton, who opted not to return to the San Jose Sharks and instead returned home to sign a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in order to try and finally get his hands on a Stanley Cup.
Seeing both Chara and Thornton in new uniforms will be very weird to say the least, while there will also be excitement to see some of the biggest movers during the offseason settle into their new homes.
Elite defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was arguably the biggest name available in Free Agency, with the former St. Louis Blues Captain opting to sign a blockbuster seven-year, $61,600,000 contract with the already talent-laden Vegas Golden Knights. Pietrangelo will hit the ice with his new team for the first time today, and it will be fascinating to see how he fits in to what is already a stacked Golden Knights lineup.
The same applies to Taylor Hall and Eric Staal who have been at it with the Buffalo Sabres for a few days now, goaltender Matty Murray with the Ottawa Senators, defenseman Torey Krug and forward Mike Hoffman with the St. Louis Blues and power play expert Tyson Barrie with the Edmonton Oilers.
Those are just a few of the plethora of players who will be pulling on brand new jerseys and adapting to different surroundings today, and it will be intriguing to see how they all fit in and adjust with their new teams over the coming days.