The NHL season begins Wednesday night, and ESPN Stats & Information has five key things you should know before the puck drops.
1. Finally a repeat? The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings. Salary cap issues have forced major changes in Chicago and superstar Patrick Kane is the subject of a sexual assault investigation in Buffalo as the season begins.
2. The saviors arrive: Two franchise-changing rookies take center stage as Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres begin their pro careers. Drafted first and second overall, respectively, in the 2015 draft, McDavid and Eichel are the most highly touted players to enter the league since Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin both debuted in 2005-06.
3. Shaking up overtime: In an attempt to reduce the number of games decided by shootout, the NHL has changed its overtime format. Teams will now play 3-on-3 instead of the previous 4-on-4. During the 2015 preseason, a goal was scored in 71.2 percent of the 3-on-3 overtime periods played. During the 2014-15 regular season, a goal was scored in 44.4 percent of the 4-on-4 overtime periods played.
4. Starting over (again) in Toronto: The rebuilding of the Toronto Maple Leafs continues as team president Brendan Shanahan brought in past Stanley Cup winners Mike Babcock (from Detroit) as head coach and Lou Lamoriello (from New Jersey) as general manager. The Leafs have missed the playoffs in nine of the past 10 seasons and have not won a Stanley Cup since 1966-67, the last season of the Original Six era.
5. Islanders off the island: After calling Long Island and the Nassau Coliseum home since the franchise was born in 1972, the New York Islanders have moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders recorded 101 points in 2014-15, their first 100-point season since 1983-84.