The Vancouver Canucks will begin the 2015-2016 season against a familiar foe as they open the campaign tonight in Calgary. Both teams will rekindle a simmering rivalry that only got more heated with last year’s physical first-round playoff series that saw the Flames win in six games. For the Canucks, tonight will be a prime opportunity to exact some revenge and prove that they will not be an afterthought in the Pacific Division this year.
The Canucks will start this season with 10 players who weren’t on last year’s opening-night roster. Notable names gone are Eddie Lack, Kevin Bieksa, Nick Bonino, Zack Kassian and Linden Vey. While it remains to be seen if youngsters Ben Hutton, Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann stick with the club after the first few months of the season, the Canucks are hoping the injection of youth will revitalize the team’s veterans and fan base alike. Expectations will also be high for goalies Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom after the club traded fan favorite Eddie Lack to the Hurricanes at the draft. The Canucks have not formally admitted that this is a rebuilding season, but expectations amongst hockey writers are limited at best.
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