MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will raise the curtain on the 2015-16 NHL season Wednesday at Air Canada Centre on opposite ends of the team-building spectrum.
The Maple Leafs offseason was defined by change, as it should be for a team that finished 27th in the overall standings last season. The expectations in Toronto are modest, looking to take the first step on what appears to be a long journey back toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs and, eventually, the franchise's first Stanley Cup since 1967.
The Canadiens, on the other hand, sought continuity, making minimal personnel changes and looking to build on three straight playoff appearances by adding a fourth, one they can legitimately hope will end with new captain Max Pacioretty raising the Stanley Cup.
The contrast between the NHL's two oldest and most iconic franchises is striking, and it will be on full display Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports) as the Maple Leafs look to establish the type of team identity the Canadiens already seemingly have.