There are two things you can bet on at every training camp and the immediate weeks thereafter:
1. Hope will spring eternal from the general manager down to the stick boy.
2. The new camp — in this case 2017 — will have marked differences than the last one.
The operative song has to be "There’ll Be Some Changes Made."
It’s inevitable because trades that have been made will do it — as in Derek Stepan exiting the Rangers for Arizona. Controversy will do it, too — as in the seemingly never-ending debate over John Tavares’ future with the Islanders.
Injuries always become a factor. Exhibit A is Devils leader/centerman Travis Zajac suffering a sabbatical that could last through Christmas.
The beauty part of training camp and its aftermath is about excitement.
It could be new faces such as New Jersey’s top overall draft pick Nico Hischier or Mathew Barzal in Brooklyn or stars-in-the-making like the Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich.
Comparing training camp aftermath rosters, then vs. now, is as much fun as anything. Here’s how The Maven sees it: