3 Big Questions Heading Into the 2022-23 Season

The 2022-23 NHL season is underway and it's going to an 82-game set full of questions, answers and surprises. The summer months brought us one of the most entertaining off seasons in recent memory as blockbuster trades and bold moves happened early and often. Let's examine a few big questions on the menu as we head into the 2022-23 NHL season:

Who Ends Up Winning Summer's Blockbuster?

The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers brought us one of the biggest trades in NHL history. Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar have been quick to call Calgary home, which was a touch surprising considering they haven't played one game for the franchise, both signing long-term extensions. Matthew Tkachuk got his wish to play in the United States and will have a huge spotlight on him in the Sunshine state. So, who will win the deal?

The Calgary Flames are likely going to win this deal as they are the more complete team. They've shown this preseason they're a well-balanced machine and if their able to get the goaltending needed, Stanley Cup aspirations could become reality. 

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs Get Out of the First Round?

Almost two decades of disappointment, the Toronto Maple Leafs head into the 2022-23 season with sky-high expectations. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander are expected to have massive seasons, and if the team can find a way to resurge two-time Stanley Cup winner Matt Murray, the Leafs could finally do some damage this postseason. 18 years and a ton of collapses along the way, is this the year for Leafs Nation? 

If you're able to place a bet on the Leafs to win a playoff series, you should. Expect to see general manager Kyle Dubas go all-in this season, as top prospects and first-round draft picks will be on the table come trade deadline. Regardless of what's coming in, the Maple Leafs have the talent in house to get the job done. Matthews and company are going to make some noise come the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Where do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews Wind Up?

The Chicago Blackhawks are a team to watch this season as management is rebuilding and everyone is on the table. Legends Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are going to be moved this season as they want no part of the five-year rebuild. Where they end up is the $10.5 million dollar question.

As for Kane, expect to see the New York Rangers make a mega-offer at some point this season as it's very likely he'd accept a deal to reunite with Artemi Panarin. The Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers will also be hot on the Rangers tails. Kane holds a full no-movement clause so it's going to come down to his approval. 

As for Toews, at this point the Winnipeg Jet and Washington Capitals are two teams to keep an eye on. The Caps need center help, meanwhile Toews' hometown Jets will have interest brining him in as their third-line center should the playoffs be within reach.

Photo credit:  John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports