A new team, a new deal, a new home.
But most importantly, it's a new lease on life for Port Coquitlam's Zach Hamill.
The 23-year-old's tenure with the team that originally drafted him, the Boston Bruins, ended earlier this summer when he was shipped to the Washington Capitals in exchange for minor league prospect Chris Bourque.
In making the move, the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has a chance to re-invent himself. Given that he's on a one-year, two-way deal, Hamill doesn't have much choice.
"In the NHL, every day is kind of like a tryout," Hamill said in an interview from his PoCo home. "It doesn't matter if it's the start of the year, middle of the year or near the end of the year. Everyone's fighting for a job and I'm no different."
In his four years since turning pro, Hamill had managed mostly spot work during his call-ups with the Bruins, posting just four assists in 20 games dating back to the 2009-2010 season.
His output with the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins, however, paints a better story statistically, as the PoCo native has potted 140 points in 256 games since 2007-2008.
Hamill's longest stint in The Show came last year, when he appeared in 16 games for the Bruins.
But on a team that boasts names like Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin all patrolling the centre position, playing time was at a premium.
"[Last season] went by on a day-by-day basis, and you're fighting for a spot whether it's in a practice or a game," he said. "You've got to stay on your toes and be ready for whatever you're needed to do especially when you're on such a good team."
And while plying your trade as a young 20-something in a league full of men can be daunting, so too was the fact that Hamill was skating alongside the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"They're an Original Six team and they're the Stanley Cup champions, so every team we played was giving us their best games," Hamill said of last season. "We were the bar of how teams wanted to look at themselves, so every night we knew we were getting the other team's best games."
As is the case with any player on the bubble, Hamill's time in the NHL was largely dependent on injuries and inconsistency amongst the team's mainstays. Finding himself in scenarios that could see him take a job away from another player - while at the same time trying to advance his own career - did get some play in the back of Hamill's mind.
"You never want one of your teammates to get hurt. It can be tough," Hamill said. "When injuries happen, you think in the back of your mind that hopefully you can step in and play."
But for all those issues and instability, Hamill was able to turn to one of the team's leaders in Bergeron, who has battled numerous injuries in his own career that left him fighting to earn consistent time on the team's roster.
"Everything he does is so professional and so workmanlike to the point that I try to model my work ethic after him, and try to do the things he does out on the ice. He's such a good player," Hamill said. "Last year, we'd sometimes go out for dinner. A couple times he even picked up the cheque. Guys like that make you feel comfortable and part of the team."
But that was then, and this is now. As a new face with the Capitals, Hamill is trying to round his game into a form that could see him play in any forward position, in any situation over the course of a game.
That's a far cry from a player who put up 178 points over his final two seasons in the Western Hockey League. And it won't get any easier on a Capitals team expected to make a serious Stanley Cup push with the likes of forwards Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Ribeiro.
As current negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players' Association reach a critical mass - resulting in the third shutdown since 1994 - Hamill has the Hershey Bears to call home. The status of contract talks doesn't play into his focus, which is to be the best player he can be and help his team win.
"It doesn't matter if you're looking at a skill player or a hard work type of player, they can play anywhere and in any situation. If you look at the L.A. Kings, their skilled guys are obviously skilled, but they work hard, they go to the net and they're not just finesse players. That's what you need these days," Hamill said.