NHL 2021-22 season preview: Jack Eichel vs. Sabres, inaugural season for Kraken, other storylines to follow

The 2021-22 NHL season will mark the very first time because the 2018-19 project in which the league will hold a complete 82-game routine season. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2019-20 season and the 2021 project didn’t begin till January as an outcome of the surface of the 2019-20 calendar being pressed back.

The 2021-22 NHL project is set to get underway on Oct. 12 with the protecting Stanley Cup champ Tampa Bay Lightning hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. In addition, the Seattle Kraken will handle the Vegas Golden Knights in a fight of the 2 newest growth franchises.

With the offseason formally in the rearview mirror, there’s a lot to look for as the routine season starts. Here’s a take a look at the most appealing stories getting in the 2021-22 NHL slate.

More than 95 percent of the league is immunized

As the season starts, among the greatest talking points will be the COVID-19 pandemic. While it isn’t necessary that gamers get immunized, there’s a limitation on what unvaccinated gamers are allowed to do throughout the season. 

These are the fundamental COVID-19 procedures that unvaccinated gamers should follow this season:

  • Players who aren’t immunized will just have the ability to go to their group hotel, practice center and arena while being not able to utilize locations such as bars, dining establishments, fitness centers, and swimming pools while on the roadway
  • Unvaccinated gamers will likewise be prohibited from having colleagues or visitors in their hotel spaces
  • Teams will be allowed to suspend unvaccinated gamers who are “unable to participate in club activities,” whether due to a favorable test for COVID-19 or due to a failure to take a trip since of federal government constraints
  • Unvaccinated gamers lose one day’s spend for every day they miss out on, though the league will make exceptions for gamers who do not take a vaccine due to spiritual or medical factors

The NHL has actually approximated that 98 percent of the league is immunized. Teams have actually motivated their gamers to get immunized and there are definitely more stringent standards to follow for those that picked not to get the vaccine.

Lightning aim to win 3rd successive Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning have actually discovered themselves on top of the NHL world over the previous 2 seasons with back-to-back Stanley Cups. For anybody that questioned the credibility of winning the Stanley Cup in the bubble 2 years earlier, the Lightning silenced those skeptics for an outstanding run in 2021, which ended with a 4-1 series success over the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Now the Lightning will try to raise the Stanley Cup for the 3rd successive season. The group returns with most of the very same lineup and handled to include previous Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook along with seasoned goaltender Brian Elliott. This time around, the Lightning will have a healthy Nikita Kucherov, who signed up an NHL-best 32 points in the postseason after missing out on the whole 2020-21 routine season with a hip injury.

Tampa Bay will be wanting to attain a three-peat for simply the 6th time in NHL history. The Toronto Maple Leafs (1947-49, 1962-64), Montreal Canadiens (1956-60, 1976-79), and New York Islanders (1980-83) are the only NHL franchises to win a minimum of 3 Stanley Cups.

Will Jack Eichel get moved?

The Jack Eichel legend has actually been one that has actually been filled with numerous twists and turns. Since being chosen with the No. 2 choice in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel has actually ended up being the face of the Buffalo Sabres. However, that relationship has actually ended up being exceptionally strained over the previous year. In April 2021, it was revealed that Eichel would miss out on the rest of the season due to a herniated disc in his neck. In May, Eichel revealed his annoyance with the franchise over how to deal with the injury. After decreasing to have surgical treatment for the injury, the Sabres removed Eichel of his captaincy last month and was put on hurt reserve.

It appears like an inevitable conclusion that the Sabres will be required to move Eichel. At this point, it’s most likely a matter of when and where Eichel winds up being dealt. Buffalo is requirement of a substantial restore after missing out on the postseason for the previous 9 seasons. Eichel was expected to be the focal point of the restore after signing an eight-year, $80 million agreement extension prior to the 2017-18 season. Considering the injury issues, the return for Eichel most likely will not be what it might’ve when been.

Inaugural season for the Kraken

The Seattle Kraken will end up being the 32nd NHL group when the 2021-22 season starts. The Kraken are going to be continuously compared to the Vegas Golden Knights, who won 51 video games and advanced all the method to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season back in 2017. It’s going to be difficult for Seattle duplicate that type of success, however the franchise does have a great quantity of strong foundation on its lineup. Much like the Golden Knights finished with Marc-Andre Fleury, the Kraken do have an All-Star-quality goaltender in Philipp Grubauer. It likewise does not injure that the group has a good mix of veterans including the similarity Jordan Eberle, Mark Giordano, and Adam Larsson, so a playoff look might not run out the concern.

Penguins will lack Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin when season starts

The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to be exceptionally shorthanded when the season starts. Star center Sidney Crosby is going to miss out on a minimum of the very first 2 weeks of the season after going through wrist surgical treatment. In addition, fellow center Evgeni Malkin is going to miss out on the very first 2 months of the project as he continues to recuperate from offseason knee surgical treatment. 

This is a group that hasn’t won a playoff series because the 2017-18 season. Over the previous 2 seasons, Malkin has actually missed out on an overall of 88 video games due to injury. Malkin is coming off of a season in which he had profession lows in points, objectives, and helps. Meanwhile, Crosby has actually gone through 2 wrist surgical treatments in the previous 13 months. In the lack of Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins will be required to depend upon veterans like Jake Guentzel, Jeff Carter, and Kris Letang to hold down the fort early in the season.

Will Vladimir Tarasenko get dealt?

Over the summertime, St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko asked for a trade, which led numerous to think that he would be moved. However, the NHL preseason is underway and Tarasenko stays on the lineup. Now the Blues didn’t safeguard Tarasenko in the growth draft, however he went unselected by the Kraken. 

Tarasenko is coming off a season in which he missed out on 5 months due to a shoulder injury, however did return for the postseason. It appears that Tarasenko remains in remarkable shape and is being a great soldier throughout training school. Perhaps if the Blues leave to a strong start to the season, Tarasenko will reconsider his trade needs and will sit tight. Right now, it appears like the group is keeping its star winger.

Will the Golden Knights break through?

The Golden Knights got their franchise off to a remarkable start throughout their 2017-18 inaugural season when they reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Since then, Vegas hasn’t had the ability to reach that very same plateau. It looked as though the Golden Knights were going to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals last season prior to the Montreal Canadiens had the ability to remove them in 6 video games. It absolutely was an unexpected outcome after the Golden Knights beat the Colorado Avalanche in the Second Round, which was probably their most strong competitors. Now Vegas will aim to lastly be the class of the Western Conference when again with a lot of the very same faces back in the fold.

Alex Ovechkin takes objective at all-time objectives record

Over the summertime, Alex Ovechkin signed a five-year agreement extension to stay with the Washington Capitals. The 36-year old winger presently has 730 objectives, which benefits 6th put on the league’s all-time objectives list. Ovechkin might rise the list throughout the 2021-22 project. 

The Capitals star tracks Marcel Dionne by simply one objective for 5th location, Brett Hull by 10 objectives for 4th location, and Jaromir Jagr by 36 objectives. Obviously, Ovechkin will pass Dionne and Hull with no issues. He’s scored a minimum of 48 objectives in 3 of the previous 4 seasons. Of course, the league was restricted to simply 56 video games in 2021, so Ovechkin just had 24 objectives last season. Another 40-goal season must remain in the cards for Ovechkin as long as he remains healthy which will permit the Capitals winger to take the No. 3 area on the all-time list. Once Ovechkin passes Jagr, he’ll be within earshot of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time objectives record of 894.

New-appearance Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks were the class of the NHL over the previous years as they won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015. However, that Stanley Cup-winning group is getting up there in age for the a lot of part. With that in mind, the Blackhawks made considerable modifications to their lineup this previous offseason. Chicago made a substantial transfer to fortify their defense with the acquisition of Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets. In a more effort to keep opposing groups off ball game sheet, the Blackhawks likewise headed out and obtained veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights. It likewise will not injure that the Blackhawks likely will have center Jonathan Toews back in the fold after missing out on the whole 2021 season due to persistent immune action syndrome.

League will have midseason break for 2022 Winter Olympics

The NHL will be taking part in its 6th Winter Olympics in 2022 after the league avoided the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. With that in mind, the league will have a midseason break so that gamers can represent their particular nations in Beijing. The NHL does have the choice to withdraw from the Winter Olympics if COVID-19 conditions aggravate and NHL video games prior to the arranged break are impacted. Assuming that the league gets involved, it will mark the Olympic debuts for a few of the NHL’s leading gamers, consisting of Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak, and Auston Matthews.

Seattle Kraken sweatshirts now offered

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