As the Edmonton Oilers prepare to face the Carolina Hurricanes in NHL pre-season hockey Wednesday at SaskTel Centre, I realize I am looking forward to the upcoming season more so than I have in the past.
The reason? Canadian teams may be prominent again in the 2018 playoffs.
Auston Matthews, who had 69 points in his rookie year, already has Leaf fans excited for his sophomore season.
Toronto has a legitimate chance to eclipse their 40 win total and be more than a wild card team this year.
Winnipeg lacks some depth, but one has to remember they finished just five points back of the western conference cup finalists, the Nashville Predators, last spring.
Then there is third-year player Connor McDavid, who has more than 120 games under his belt at the age of 20. Last season’s 100-point player may really come into his own in 2017-18.
Let the season begin.