This is going to be a crucial season for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, the reigning Hart Trophy winner who once again held the hottest stick in the league last year and once again suffered through major playoff disappointment. Will 2013-14 be the one where he and the Caps finally live up to their former hype?
On paper, it would seem that the St. Louis Blues have all the necessary pieces to take home the Stanley Cup come June 2014. Fans and prognosticators both see plenty to like in the current incarnation of the team, with the latter becoming evidenced by publication The Hockey News’ preseason prediction of St. Louis besting Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals. But is everything they have heading into 2013-14 going to be enough?
If you’re like us at TheGP, you’re nearing a very significant moment in your hockey fandom. The players you grew up watching are now on the precipice of ultimate retirement. While we’ve seen football, basketball and baseball players come and go, there’s something about the longevity of an NHLer that makes the departure of somebody like Teemu Selanne or Jaromir Jagr far more resonant than some of their peers in other sports. Get ready for a weird year.
Mike Gillis, the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, must have eschewed the Public Relations courses during his academic career as well. As a result, hysteria revolving his handling of Roberto Luongo (which can only be described as a debacle at this point) has reached unprecedented levels.
He may not have been a household name, but Mike Knuble has been one of the top complementary players in the NHL for quite some time. Retirement is a likely possibility for him this year and while his eventual departure from the league won’t garner the same press others like Teemu Selanne and Daniel Alfredsson will, he was still able to forge a fantastic career as one of the NHL’s quietest warriors.