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What's in, what's out in the hockey world for 2021

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Chara leaving Bruins, signs with Capitals (2:01)

Greg Wyshynski breaks down Zdeno Chara's free-agent departure from the Bruins and his future with the Capitals. (2:01)

Trends change fast in the NHL. One year's boom is the next year's bust. But enough about the San Jose Sharks ...

As is tradition, we now present "what's in and what's out for hockey in 2021," a look at old trends being superseded by new ones. Feel free to disagree with these prognostications, but please remember they're always 100% predictive and correct. (But that's only true, like, 5% of the time).

Enjoy, and have a safe and happy New Year, puckheads.


OUT: Signing Patrick Maroon as "the final piece"
IN: Signing Zdeno Chara as "the final piece"

After the "Big Rig" helped the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup, he was imported by Tampa Bay management to be a championship pacesetter for the Lightning, which also worked out well. The Washington Capitals, after consecutive first-round disappointments, were in the market for a veteran leader who could light a fire under their players. To that end, Zdeno Chara, a.k.a. "The Biggest Rig," brings a blowtorch to D.C.

OUT: Wanting Kraken gear
IN: Not wanting your player in Kraken gear

The Seattle Kraken revealed their nickname, logos, colors and jerseys in 2020, to the immediate adulation of the NHL fans who weren't turned off by the fact the Internet had named a hockey team. But it's all sunshine and rainbows until Seattle takes away your team's fourth-best defenseman thanks to the NHL expansion draft rules.