NHL Season Starting: Off-season Moves and Updates


Elaine Thompson

Fans of the Seattle Kraken cheering them on during their first home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Abby Homrock, Sports & News Editor

   Due to a shortened 2021 NHL hockey season, all 32 teams are eager to start things up again on Oct. 12 after a 3-month break. With major trades and team impacting injuries, the 2021-2022 season will hopefully be more conventional.

   During the months off, a new team was introduced, The Seattle Kraken. The management of the Kraken is led by a former captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, NHL superstar Ron Francis. Francis and the Kraken plan to kick off their inaugural season on Oct. 12, competing against the Vegas Golden Knights. The newfound rivals of the Kraken, The Vancouver Canucks, play the Kraken at their first ever home game. Fans are excited to see how this matchup goes and who in the end will reign victorious. Die-hard Canucks fan, senior Jessica Martinez says, “I am so excited for the first game versus the Kraken, it is going to be so fun to have a non-Canadian rivalry in the league.¨

   Sadly, injuries are part of the game when it comes to professional sports. Some teams get hit harder with injuries than others. After their miraculous playoff run that unfortunately ended in losing the final round, the Montreal Canadiens received gut wrenching news. Captain of the Canadiens, Shea Weber, sustained major injuries and will likely never play another game of professional hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins have endured over three injuries with some of their superstar players. Notorious captain of the Penguins, Sidney Crosby, underwent wrist surgery and is expected to miss over five games. Crosby’s right-hand man, Evgeni Malkin injured his knee last season and is not expected to fully heal until mid-season. 

   Along with this year’s brand new team being introduced, some players found new homes in other teams. Major trades have happened this summer and are going to be happening all the way up until the trade deadline on Mar. 21. Former Pittsburgh Penguin and Vegas Golden Knight, Marc-André Fleury was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, for what seemed like no return for Vegas. The 2021 Vezina Award winning goalie, Fleury, stated that he found out he was traded through Twitter, rather than the Golden Knights organization itself. This was later confirmed by Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon. The Blackhawks seemed to have a productive off-season, as they also received defenseman Seth Jones, who led Columbus Blue Jackets players in on-ice time during the past season. Dougie Hamilton, former Carolina Hurricane, was traded to the New Jersey Devils. Hurricanes fans were devastated as one of their best defensemen was just traded away, but the Devils were ecstatic as they are rebuilding their predominantly young team, led by 22-year-old Nico Hischier. Fans from all teams are eager to see how these changes will affect the turnout of the 2021-2022 NHL season.