The NHL is shifting its “colors”, its changing, its improving & after this season a lot might be very different. The modern era may have started twelve years ago, but its through this season and the beginning of the next we will see where the true lay of the land is.
First and foremost its headed to Las Vegas! The bonafied gambling territory where all bets are played through no matter the stakes at risk. Its a calculated risk from the NHL’s side to put a franchise there, but in a city that never sleeps, its a risk worth taking.
Bill Foley, the newest franchise owner in the league has according to Las Vegas Review Journal and other sources registered domains online for nicknames such as “Night Hawks”, “Desert Hawks” and “Red Hawks”. With the recent domain registrations for different versions of “Desert Knights” the Review Journal now believe it could lead to the end of name speculations and that a formal name could be in place shortly.
Owner Bill Foley himself wanted to call the team “Black Knights” initially, reasoning it with his prior history at a military academy. There has also been reported that using only “Knights” would be a possible solution, but that it possibly interfered with “London Knights” of the OHL. Several sources have reported “Golden Knights” and “Silver Knights” as possible nicknames towards the new franchise.
One thing is for sure, it won’t be the “Las Vegas Aces” or anything related to gambling as the NHL has said that they as a league don’t want to be associated with something that is illegal in most of the country. I for one, hoped for the “Las Vegas Black Knights”, but I’d settle with “Las Vegas Golden Knights” or “Las Vegas Silver Knights”.
When it comes to Jaromir Jagr (in the picture above), who would have thought years ago that he at almost in his mid forties would have the opportunity to play NHL-hockey at T-Mobile Arena? It of course all depends on the condition he’s in, but if he’s level is as it was last season and the motivation is there in the off-season one year from now, don’t be surprised to see Jagr ready to play in Vegas – on ice.
In addition to that, the Florida Panthers have a new logo and will wear completely new jerseys the upcoming season with a brand new design.
There are more cities where an “overhaulin” is in motion. In Detroit, the now named “Little Caesars Arena” is ahead of schedule and will be finished before the start of next season. Little Caesars is of course owned by the Illitch-family who owns city’s NHL-franchise, the Detroit Red Wings.
Let’s not forget the on-ice projected possibilities shall we!…the Edmonton Oilers of course drafted winger Jesse Puljujarvi as the 4th overall when they surprisingly by many got the chance to do so. A bit more surprising was it that they traded winger Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson. The scrutiny has been high on this trade during the summer.
I for one part, has decided to agree to disagree with Oilers-GM Peter Chiarelli on this one. Yes they needed to fetch a quality d-man with an upside, no Taylor Hall shouldn’t have been in this particular trade. The fact that he was one of their teams best players, don’t justify the return of a defense-man who most likely won’t be the nr.1 guy.
However, I do think that if the Oilers-management believed they had a “backup” in place and Hall is a player who still will put himself at too much risk on the ice, in regards to the possibility to get hit by more open ice hits after being a bit reckless, they should have traded him in a package to another team where they could have received more in return.
Toronto Maple Leafs is also a team that will be interesting to watch in the coming years, it will be “pain”, but they are embracing it and moving forward with possibly drafting their cornerstone player in center Auston Matthews. “Pain relief” is on its way, it just takes a little bit of seasoning to get it all together. Chances are high that they will ice a good two-way team in a few years and they won’t have problems bringing in complimentary assets.
The same could be said for the Arizona Coyotes, however they have chosen youth on the management side in 28-year old new GM John Chayka and a women’s touch on the skating side with the first female full-time coach in Dawn Braid, in addition to the renewal on ice. The shift to the modern era is in session, even with three “asset-contracts” on the books.
At last in this one we of course have Patrik Laine! The Winnipeg Jets who after several years of a little bit of trying and failing with their talents, now has found the perfect right handed sniper with solid size to complement (or most likely drive) the first line with Mark Scheifele. Its going to be a treat to watch the Jets, the Maple Leafs & the Oilers in the years to come. Most likely the Coyotes too, Arizona or not.
This was a brief start in a mixed post with some of the news this summer, and with some short opinions by my behalf. More is to come, hopefully a lot more!
Good thing to get this site going!