Out with the Old (era) and in with the New (era) of Hockey

2023 NHL All-Star
2023 NHL All-Star / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, it's been difficult to stay "present" at times. With Connor Bedard, Oliver Moore, Lukas Reichel, Frank Nazar, and Kevin Korchinski already in the fold, a ton of projected cap space in years to come, and already set draft capital... sometimes it's just fun to imagine what may transpire in the decade (+) ahead.

Often times though a singular focus can only let you see so far. When looking at the NHL landscape it was apparent to me that a true changing of the guard was taking place. Cornerstone generational players like Sidney Crosby (36) and Alex Ovechkin (37) are entering their final seasons. At the same time, the league has been dominated by Connor McDavid (stat wise at least - 26 years old) and has a host of young talent that has now risen to star status: Auston Matthews (25), Matthew Tkachuk (25), Tim Stutzle (21), Mitch Marner (26), Cale Makar (24), Jack Hughes (22) and a trio of stars that are all 27 years old (Draisaitl, MacKinnon, and Pastrnak) all come to mind.

Some players that have had tremendous careers that are entering their (likely) final seasons: Brent Burns, Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Giordano, Patrick Kane, Corey Perry, Anze Kopitar, Kris LeTang, Joe Pavelski, Niklas Backstrom, Claude Giroux, Drew Doughty, and Steven Stamkos. While Doughty and Stamkos are still just 33 years old, there are alot of minutes on the 2 likely Hall of Famers (debatable for sure).

Add to these 2 lists the recent draft headlined by Chicago Blackhawk Connor Bedard and Columbus Blue Jacket Adam Fantilli and it appears a big movement in terms of whom the league promotes is on the horizon. As a Blackhawk fan, I'm here for that new era of NHL hockey!