NHL: Currently Loaded With Excitement

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NHL: Currently Loaded With Excitement

The Chicago Blackhawks and their fans are celebrating the team's first Stanley Cup in 49 years, but that's not the only thing going on in the NHL. Despite the Finals recently coming to an end, an entire lineup of events is about to begin.

Even for the teams that lost in the playoffs, they should still be looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Philadelphia may be the most heart-broken right now, but should be trying the hardest to get back to the Finals this upcoming season.

NHL Draft: The mock drafts began long ago, and experts are still making and updating their lists. Not only is every spot being predicted, but some people are even trying to figure out which teams should trade for a higher spot in the draft.

Most players drafted won't even make it to the NHL for a few years, but teams can land solid picks at any time in the draft. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are the top two prospects this year, with Edmonton getting the first pick.

NHL Schedule: The NHL is releasing its schedule about a month earlier than usual. On June 22nd, the master schedule will be available.

NHL Awards:  The awards will be given out next week as well. There are plenty of debates as to who should win the Calder, the Vezina, and the most outstanding player of the year.

Free Agents: On July 1st, many players will become free agents and will be available to sign. Big name players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrick Marleau, and Evgeni Nabokov have not been signed to an extension and may be looking for a new team.

NHL '11: It has unofficially been announced that Jonathan Toews will appear on the cover of EA Sports' NHL 11. This would be the second year in a row where the game featured a Chicago Blackhawks player (last season it was Kane).

Toews won a gold medal in the Olympics, was named best forward, and then went on to win the Stanley Cup. Although he did not have the most points, he is still a solid pick for the cover. However, it is debatable as some other players could be a better choice.

Even though the 2009-2010 season has come to an end, the NHL never really stops. The 2010-2011 season has already begun, in a way, as General Managers are figuring out what moves they will make and who to draft.

The summer hockey mode is on!

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