"And because of that, the talent bucket is full."
Despite that, McGuire thinks Chicago has as good a chance as any to repeat fresh off a lockout-shortened season.
"I believe we can start to use the 'D' word with Chicago's dynasty," he said of a franchise that's won two of the past four titles.
Former player-turned-broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, however, noted several obstacles facing Chicago.
Namely? The Olympics. Chicago could have as many as 14 players competing at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
"When you throw in the Olympic break," Olczyk said. "It's going to be very taxing."
One step at a time, said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, whose team opens against Washington.
"We want to put ourselves, come playoff time, to be that team that can compete for it again," Toews said. "There's a lot of things that play into that. That's our goal for now."
At last, there is a new look to the league. Realignment means there are just four divisions now, two in both the Eastern and Western Conference.
The names of the divisions, though, will take some getting used to. The Atlantic, Pacific and Central all seem fine. The Metropolitan which features Carolina, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Columbus, New Jersey and both the New York Islanders and Rangers will take some getting used to.
There also will be a new rule.
The league used the preseason to test a hybrid icing rule, in which linesmen can whistle the play dead by determining which teams' player reaches the far-end faceoff dot. The NHLPA on Monday gave the go-ahead for the rule change.
Toronto at Montreal, 5 p.m.
Washington at Chicago, 6 p.m.
Winnipeg at Edmonton, 8 p.m.
Toronto at Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Detroit, 6 p.m.
Anaheim at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Boston, 5 p.m.
New Jersey at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Calgary at Washington, 5 p.m.
Nashville at St. Louis, 6 p.m.
Los Angeles at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Florida at Dallas, 6:30 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Phoenix, 8 p.m.