NHL 2023-24 Regular Season Preview

Ryan D’Amico
Staff Writer

As the National Hockey League (NHL) season makes its return, there are many teams with some great acquisitions over the offseason that the league and fans are ready to see on the ice.

Vegas captain Mark Stone (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Last season ended with the Vegas Golden Knights winning the Stanley Cup with many other teams that had great seasons falling short in the playoffs. These teams are ready to bounce back and knock Vegas off its perch at the top of the NHL. Teams that are still in great contention to win the Cup this year are the Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, and the Dallas Stars. The Hurricanes lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Florida Panthers, who many did not foresee making the Stanley Cup Final after being the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Hurricanes have a deep team and have the pieces necessary to go all the way this season but they need to cross the line this season. The Devils put themselves on the map last season after not having been in contention for numerous seasons prior. They looked good going into the playoffs and were able to trounce their local and divisional rivals, the New York Rangers in seven games. They would face the Hurricanes in the next round where their season would end to a team that had much more playoff experience than the Devils roster had. This year they are looking to come back and go even further now that their young stars have had a taste of the playoffs. The Stars looked amazing last year and got all the way to the Western Conference Finals but would fall short of their second Stanley Cup Final appearance in four years as they lost to Vegas in six games. They resigned some players and signed some free agents and are looking to fight just as hard as last year. And the Oilers are always looking good when Connor McDavid is playing. They were also bounced by Vegas in the second round as they try to capitalize on the window they have with one of the best players to play the sport.

Newly acquired Detroit Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat (Icon Sportswire/Getty)

These teams that were bounced in the playoffs are not the only teams gearing up for improvement this season. The Detroit Red Wings, a young but talented group, added a player with playoff experience to their first line when they signed Alex DeBrincat from the Ottawa Senators. The Pittsburgh Penguins missed the playoffs last season, something they are not accustomed to. They had not missed the playoffs since the 2005-06 season and won two Stanley Cups during that stretch. In order to rebound this season while they still have future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby, they added one of the best defensemen in the NHL, Erik Karlsson trading for him from the San Jose Sharks.
There are also teams who have some good draft picks and signed new players ready to start making their way into contention. The Chicago Blackhawks got the first overall pick and went with a star in Connor Bernard who looks like the Hawks next long-time star and leader. Pretty much every team made some trades and great picks, but we’ll have to see this season how they match with the team and work out.

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