|Photo courtesy of Montreal Gazette|
With the NHL lockout officially over and a season set to begin in less than two weeks, teams are clamoring to adapt to a new way of doing business. Different salary caps and newly implemented contract limitations should cause many franchises to adjust their rosters heading into the shortened 2013 season. Speaking of rosters, the extra long off-season introduces a new set of potential trade scenarios, along with a few retirements and injuries. So what are some of the big questions heading into the 2013 season?
1) King-sized Hangover: The Los Angeles Kings played well into June en-route to their first ever Stanley Cup. Does the lengthy off-season produce a longer hangover or an opportunity to rest and recover in time for 2013?
2) Luongoing…going…?: The Vancouver Canucks have the ability to move a star goaltender and acquire much needed help to replace the injured Ryan Kesler or bolster their defensive depth. His departure could improve the Canucks and make another team an instant playoff contender.
3) In the Nick of time: 2013 marks the first time in two decades that Detroit will be without Nicklas Lidstrom. Will the departure of the legendary defender bring an end to Detroit’s run near the top of the Western Conference?
4) Healthy Crosby: Pittsburgh will have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin heading into the new year, but will they dominate as some believe? The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will make the Atlantic Division mighty tough.
5) Eastern Promises: Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers appear locks for the post-season, but the bottom of the playoff picture in the East appears wide open. Can Tampa Bay, Washington or Carolina win the Southeast? Can Toronto make the post-season?
What's your top question for the 2013 season?