It is ironic that many Canadians will be focusing in on the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs for this 2016-17 NHL season. The reason, young superstars.
In Edmonton there is a new $640-million palace, with a new captain in Connor McDavid. Expectations are realistic, but make no mistake there are expectations. The Oilers have had young stars come through that organization for years now, with few playoff pushes.
The Leafs generate nationwide attention no matter what they do. However, the first overall pick, Auston Matthews, will be under the microscope. This is Mike Babcock’s second year as coach in Toronto and the word “re-build” is not popular there. It never has been.
I use the word ironic because there is one other Canadian team more likely to make noise. That would be Montreal. The Canadiens have an all-world goaltender in Carey Price and new found stability in the back end with Shea Weber. So, while fans keep tabs on the young guns such as McDavid and Matthews, the team most likely to go deep is Montreal.