The NHL season is officially over, with the Vegas Golden Knights lifting the Stanley Cup; their first Stanley Cup in franchise history comes after 6 years in the league.
A brilliant hockey season is over with lots of storylines.
Another year is over, but questions remain for the hometown team Dallas Stars.
It’s been 24 years since the last Stanley Cup, but a hopeful future is upon us.
Now the offseason is here with lots of ahead for 2023-2024. 2022-2023 is one for the history books.
Biggest Winner // Vegas Golden Knights
The Stanley Cup Champions are crowned in the Vegas Golden Knights. Going 0-0 when facing elimination is a major accomplishment because they never had to face it. Their 16-6 record means they dominated the four teams before them.
Their cup-clinching performance in a 9-3 victory sealed the deal. Congratulations to Vegas, but unfortunately, their path to the Stanley Cup had to go through the Dallas Stars.
A Promising Future // Dallas Stars
The 1996 Stars did not qualify for the playoffs. The 1997 team lost in overtime of Game 7 in the First Round. The 1998 team lost in Game 6 of the Conference Final.
We all know what the 1999 team did. That is the same exact pattern down to the game for the last 3 years of the Stars.
The Stars have a fanbase that is aching for a Stanley Cup.
Seeing Vegas lift, it has the fanbase asking when is it our turn?
What a Run // Florida Panthers
No one in NHL history ever had as tough of a selection of opponents as the Florida Panthers. The greatest team in NHL history held a 3-1 series lead over the Panthers in the First Round. The Panthers won that series against the Bruins.
The Panthers had to face the #1, 2, 4, and 5th overall team in the standings for their 4 opponents in the playoffs. They beat 3 of them, but it was the 5th overall that ended their Cinderella run. The Panthers went on an incredible run but ultimately fell short. It was a great season for them, and they’ll be back.
Missed Out // Anaheim Ducks
Finishing dead last in the NHL is less than ideal, but you can look forward to the best odds in the Draft Lottery. The lottery balls did not fall their way, and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Connor Beddard sweepstakes.
Finishing last while also missing out on the first overall pick is a real low blow on an already basement season for the Ducks.
That was a fun season: the Stars played in the Western Conference Final, and a wildcard team made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
A first-time champion won the Stanley Cup while other teams made splashes in the playoffs. Let’s see what next year brings.
Photo: Dallas Stars/Twitter