The studio panellists from the NHL on TNT are distinctly unconcerned about whether or not Connor Bedard will crack the Chicago Blackhawks’ season-opening lineup.
After Bedard logged his second multi-point recreation of pre-season in Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Detroit Pink Wings on Tuesday, they in all probability have some extent.
don't look now, scorey perry received his second of the night time 😌 pic.twitter.com/XNgZlde23w
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 4, 2023
Slightly than query whether or not the 18-year-old might be in Chicago’s lineup on opening night time, they’re debating whether or not or not followers will see point-per-game manufacturing from the primary general draft choose over the 2023-24 NHL season.
Bedard is anticipated to be a marquee attraction as TNT and Warner Brothers Discovery kick off their third season of NHL protection with the Blackhawks going through the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The Los Angeles Kings will host the Colorado Avalanche within the late recreation as a part of this season’s 62-game broadcast bundle.
“For me, it may come right down to how aggressive Chicago is as a staff,” mentioned legendary goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who joined the NHL on TNT panel final season and might be inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame this November. “Once you take a look at his level complete, in the event that they’re aggressive, he’ll get extra alternatives to attain extra objectives within the third interval.”
Paul Bissonnette mentioned he believes the 18-year-old already has sufficient man-strength to carry his personal in NHL competitors, plus the very best shot we have seen from a rookie since Auston Matthews burst on the scene and a singular new-school capability to beat defenders 1-on-1.
“I do not see a motive that he cannot get 40 objectives,” he mentioned. “Matthews did it in his first 12 months. I see him attending to that stage and, I might say, in all probability round that 80-point mark.”
For host Liam McHugh, Bedard’s ‘wow’ issue reminds him of the must-see TV that Patrick Kane delivered when he was on the peak of his recreation.
“I really like these gamers that come into the league the place an actual sports activities fan can see their expertise instantly,” he mentioned. “They know one thing is simply totally different. And generally you do not know what it’s instantly in the event you’re not a hardcore hockey fan. However inside 20 seconds of watching a sure athlete, you are like, ‘Whoa. I must be watching when this particular person is on the ice.'”
As for that different Connor? The one who snagged his third Hart Trophy whereas hitting profession highs of 64 objectives and 153 factors final season?
“He is far and above the very best participant within the Nationwide Hockey League in the present day, and he is solely getting higher,” mentioned analyst Anson Carter of Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid.
“I might see him being a modern-day participant to hit 200 factors,” added Bissonnette. “That may be so good for the sport. I hope he does it, and I do assume he has one other gear. I believe we’re simply reaching his prime now, and I believe we will see (Edmonton) win the Stanley Cup throughout the subsequent three to 5 years.”
Carter mentioned he believes a return to the Olympics or a World Cup of Hockey could be the chance McDavid must take his recreation up one other stage by skating with Sidney Crosby.
“I might simply like to see these two enjoying collectively when NHL will get again to best-on-best,” he mentioned.
In Carter’s thoughts, the dearth of top-level worldwide competitors for the higher a part of a decade has “robbed Connor of the power to be taught from gamers that will play for Group Canada in the identical manner how Mario Lemieux realized from Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier in these Canada Cups” again within the Eighties.
Associated: THN Writers Ballot: Predicting Who Will Win the NHL’s Prime Trophies
Bissonnette does just like the Oilers’ probabilities this season. However he is choosing the Los Angeles Kings over the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights within the Western Convention.
“I really like their depth down the center,” he mentioned. “The most important query mark goes to be in web, however in the event you’ve received a adequate staff in entrance of you and also you present that confidence and restrict top quality scoring probabilities, like a staff like Vegas, you may have only a competent goalie in web and go on a run.”
Within the Japanese Convention: “So far as I am involved, the East is large open,” mentioned Carter. “I might say that the Ottawa Senators could possibly be my sleeper — possibly to not win, however to get in. And I do not assume I can wager in opposition to the Carolina Hurricanes. They are a staff that I believe I might take that subsequent step this 12 months.”
Praised for his or her refreshing and considerably irreverent method to their hockey protection, with echoes of the acclaimed Contained in the NBA studio present, WBD introduced final month it had come to phrases on multi-year extensions with its key NHL personalities: Bissonnette and Carter in addition to Lundqvist, who took on a bigger function after Rick Tocchet departed to educate the Vancouver Canucks, and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.
Goaltender-turned-broadcaster Brian Boucher additionally joins the game-day crew this fall. With Keith Jones now serving because the Philadelphia Flyers’ president of hockey operations, Boucher takes over between the benches as an ice-level analyst.
Broadcast highlights on the NHL on TNT calendar this season embody a double-header on American Thanksgiving and unique U.S. protection of the 2024 Winter Traditional between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken from T-Cellular Park in Seattle on New 12 months’s Day.
- NHL on TNT Panel Has Sky-Excessive Expectations for the Connors: Bedard and McDavid
- Test all information and articles from the most recent NHL updates.