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What We’re Most Excited to Watch This NHL Season

The NHL is finally, officially back. A lot is changing this season—from a shortened schedule to new divisions to classic stars changing teams—and there are plenty of logistics still to figure out. But to celebrate the league’s return, the Ringer staff got together and picked some things they’re most excited to see this season. Joe Thornton’s New Adventure Katie Baker: On Christmas Day, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews posted a photo on Instagram of a bunch of kids—he and his Leafs teammates—and what looked to be their graybeard dad, sitting around a Christmas tree. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Auston Matthews (@austonmatthews) That old guy in the tuque with the dog wasn’t actually their dad, though, but rather Joe Thornton, the grizzled and dazzling 41-year-old former San Jose Sharks captain who signed a one-year deal with the Maple Leafs in October and has already become a hilarious addition to a high-octane team with Stanley Cup aspirations. Thornton was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1997, the same year Matthews was born.

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