Rankings

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1
Los Angeles
0-0-0
The Kings were quiet July 1, aside from bidding adieu to Willie Mitchell. That's what happens when you're at the top of the mountain -- you get to watch the other 29 teams scurrying around, trying to catch up.
2
Chicago
0-0-0
The addition of Brad Richards as a second-line center will give Teuvo Teravainen time to mature.
3
Anaheim
0-0-0
The Ducks brought in Clayton Stoner to add defensive depth, but the real addition came at the draft, with the acquisition of Ryan Kesler being the only disruption to the team's solid collection of emerging NHLers.
4
St. Louis
0-0-0
Blues GM Doug Armstrong kept pace by adding the top free-agent center on the market in Paul Stastny with a nice, tidy four-year deal.
5
Colorado
0-0-0
Interesting moves by the Avs in acquiring veterans Daniel Briere, Jarome Iginla and Brad Stuart. It doesn't make them faster, that's for sure, but in theory makes them that much tougher to play against in the playoffs, when it really matters.
6
Minnesota
0-0-0
No shock that Thomas Vanek ends up in his adopted home state of Minnesota, but good work by GM Chuck Fletcher to commit only three years to the talented but inconsistent winger. Now, what about the goaltending?
7
Boston
0-0-0
The Bruins are still the cream of the Eastern Conference crop in spite of losing Jarome Iginla and doing little else thus far.
8
Tampa Bay
0-0-0
GM Steve Yzerman has the Bolts positioned to take a real run at the Bruins atop the Atlantic Division, with solid adds in Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle and Jason Garrison. Not sold on Evgeni Nabokov as a backup, but he's an upgrade over Anders Lindback.
9
Pittsburgh
0-0-0
Great moves by GM Jim Rutherford to alter the complexion of this team in spite of serious salary-cap issues. Christian Ehrhoff, Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Marcel Goc and Thomas Greiss were all added with modest terms and dollars.
10
Dallas
0-0-0
Are the defense and goaltending good enough for the Stars to return to the playoffs? Because the offense assembled by GM Jim Nill is as tough as anyone's in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference.
11
Columbus
0-0-0
The Blue Jackets were quiet on free agency, but they can afford to be. Love the add of Scott Hartnell for R.J. Umberger, whom they were likely going to buy out.
12
NY Rangers
0-0-0
The loss of Brad Richards, Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman was not nearly balanced out by acquisition of elder statesman Dan Boyle to help out on the blue line. The Rangers are poised to take a step back unless they can find a way to improve depth down the middle.
13
Nashville
0-0-0
The signing of Olli Jokinen is the equivalent of white noise but we believe James Neal is poised to break through both offensively and in terms of his maturity. Lots of interesting pieces up front for new coach Peter Laviolette to tinker with for a team solid on the back end and in goal.
14
Washington
0-0-0
Question the contracts handed out to Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen all you want, but the Caps are a different, and we would argue much better, team defensively than they were before July 1. And with Barry Trotz at the helm, this should be a playoff team once again.
15
San Jose
0-0-0
The Sharks added John Scott. Huh? So, after failing miserably in the playoffs, the Sharks add a player whose skills are so limited he'll never see the ice in a postseason game. A team in transition teeters toward chaos.
16
Montreal
0-0-0
GM Marc Bergevin is taking a chance, heaping loads of responsibility on his youngsters by shedding Daniel Briere, Josh Georges and Brian Gionta. Do love the addition of P.A. Parenteau, though.
17
New Jersey
0-0-0
The Devils paid too much for Mike Cammalleri, but who cares? Watch for Martin Havlat to have a nice impact for minimal dollars.
18
Detroit
0-0-0
Frustrating start to free agency for a team that needs help on the blue line to get back in the playoffs.
19
Florida
0-0-0
You don't have to like the contracts GM Dale Tallon bestowed on Willie Mitchell and Dave Bolland if those guys help create something approaching cohesion on the ice. And who knows, maybe they will.
20
Arizona
0-0-0
We like Sam Gagner. But the Coyotes better hope he and netminder Mike Smith are really, really, really good if they're going to get back in the playoffs.
21
Toronto
0-0-0
Keep repeating like Kevin Bacon did in "Animal House": "All is well, all is well." It's not really, but keep saying it.
22
NY Islanders
0-0-0
Nice bounce-back from GM Garth Snow in nabbing Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin on Day 2 of free agency after being spurned by higher-profile players. Now, about that defense.
23
Ottawa
0-0-0
Sens are having to fight at the impression that no one wants to play for them. Paul MacLean has his work cut out for him (again).
24
Philadelphia
0-0-0
Not really sure what the plan is here. Right now, the playoffs seem to be part of whatever that plan is.
25
Calgary
0-0-0
The Flames added a solid starter in Jonas Hiller to go with a hard-working team. They will miss Mike Cammalleri's offense, however.
26
Vancouver
0-0-0
And why exactly did the rebuilding Canucks spend $18 million on Ryan Miller?
27
Winnipeg
0-0-0
When Mathieu Perreault is the big piece added via free agency, either you really believe in your kids or you just don't get how far away you are from the rest of the pack in the West.
28
Edmonton
0-0-0
Anyone have any idea what this team is really capable of this season? Neither do we. Still don't like the goaltending or the defense, but they should have offensive-zone penalties wrapped up with the signing of Benoit Pouliot.
29
Buffalo
0-0-0
GM Tim Murray did a nice job in bringing in character guys in the form of Josh Georges and Brian Gionta in the hopes of laying the foundation of change for a Sabres team that still is a long ways from anywhere.
30
Carolina
0-0-0
A bad team from a year ago has done nothing to make itself better (and sorry, with all due respect to Tim Gleason, repatriating the veteran defenseman as well as forward Jiri Tlusty dont count).

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