After what feels like a particularly long offseason, the 2021-22 NHL season kicks off tonight. Plus, notes from training camp, what to expect from ESPN, and more.
The Dallas Stars may not play until Thursday, but as of today, the NHL 2021-22 officially begins!
Instead of a lead today, let’s just all take a moment to bask in what this means. It’s the return of the usual division structure, only with the Arizona Coyotes now joining the Central Division. It’s the debut of the Seattle Kraken, who start their inaugural season tonight in a game against the Vegas Golden Knights. That game will be on ESPN, which hosts hockey for the first time since 2004.
Perhaps the best thing, however, is that we will have a normal, 82 game regular season. Fans will be in the stands, teams will actually have days off in between games, and yes, you can expect regular content from us here at Defending Big D.
This season is going to be memorable by default — let’s hope the Stars make it extra special.
Taylor wrote about this yesterday, but don’t expect the “opening night roster” from last night to be the same by Thursday:
Explaining the Stars’ Opening Night roster, and hopefully making you less confused. https://t.co/rxqGvOpVsv
— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) October 11, 2021
Miss the preseason action? Here’s a quick look back at how the Stars fared:
Camp rewind: A look back at Stars’ training camp and preseason ⏪
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 11, 2021
And here’s the standouts from training camp, from MVP to the biggest concern:
Best vibes? Best prospect? Best forward? Biggest area of excitement? Biggest area of concern?
Tying the bow on the 2021 Stars training camp https://t.co/iG2stB9u1k
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) October 11, 2021
Around the League
If you haven’t started drinking the Kool-Aid yet, Dallas is tied with three other teams for the most Top 100 skaters on The Athletic:
⚠️NHL Player Tiers Top 100 is live⚠️
We want this to be the most complete, contextualized collection of who matters most in the NHL that you can find. Anywhere.
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) October 12, 2021
Meanwhile Greg Wyshynski ranks Dallas in the middle of the pack for the upcoming season:
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) October 11, 2021
Speaking of ESPN, what exactly should we be expecting from their hockey coverage?
The theme song is back.
Other than that, “everything has a chance to be brand new” with host of new voices and features as ESPN officially retakes the NHL broadcast reins starting tonight.@seanshapiro on what to expect from ESPN’s coverage ⤵️https://t.co/1b3ujzNqGG
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) October 12, 2021
And as to not be left out, don’t forget about TNT:
NHL FANS: I did a deep-dive on Turner Sports’ NHL coverage. Can the company do for the NHL what it did for the NBA? Here’s what to expect from Wayne Gretzky and Co.:https://t.co/sUmPSisyzZ
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 12, 2021
The Montreal Canadiens are kicking off their season with a bang, extending Nick Suzuki to an eight year, $7.875M AAV:
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 12, 2021
With the Kraken making their debut, here’s a deep dive into various inaugural seasons in NHL history:
“Are we going to be the worst team of all time?”
Only those who have lived the journey understand what it means to play an NHL franchise’s inaugural season.
From OTT to ANA, MIN to CBJ, TB to SJ, this is what it feels like to be part of the First Year:https://t.co/RFxTBY4Fe4
— Sonny Sachdeva (@SachdevaSonny) October 12, 2021
And unlike the most recent expansion team, Seattle wasted no time in naming a captain:
Captain of the Seattle Kraken has a nice ring to it.
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) October 11, 2021