from Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic,
In many ways, these past seven weeks have felt like the first real NHL offseason in three years.
In 2020, the 24-team bubble playoff started in August and they were down to the final four by the second week of September. In 2021, the 56-game season didn’t start until January with realigned divisions and travel restrictions that resulted in, among other developments, a one-year experiment with an all-Canadian division. The outcome was the same both times, with the Tampa Bay Lightning winning back-to-back Stanley Cups.
But by the time the 2021 expansion and entry drafts and free agency were all completed, half of the last summer was gone.
This year, for everyone except maybe Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving (more on his offseason workload later), it seemed like the league finally had a chance for a collective deep breath and then a hearty exhale.
The optimism of September is now upon us and it feels genuine, the batteries collectively recharged all around the league.
read on ($$)