Updated: July 3, 2015, 11:51 AM ET

Offseason shake-up

By Scott Burnside (posted July 3, 2015)

All but the stragglers among the free agents have been swooped up. The most prominent players under contract who were in position to be moved have been moved, barring any more out-of-the blue surprises like Brandon Saad being dealt to Columbus.

So, it seems like the perfect time to assess all of the wrangling and shifting of pieces that has taken place in the past two weeks with our offseason Power Rankings.

GM Bob Murray tinkered with a team that lost in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, adding backup goalie Anton Khudobin, depth in forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Kevin Bieksa, and leadership in Shawn Horcoff. Anaheim is trending up, and didn't have far to go in the first place.
The loss of Brandon Saad is a step back for the defending champs, but they got a solid No. 2 center in Artem Anisimov and we like the addition of versatile Viktor Tikhonov from the KHL. With Teuvo Teravainen ready to step up and the core of three Cup teams still together, the Blackhawks remain elite.
Tampa Bay
No new contract yet for captain Steven Stamkos, though it should get done this summer. GM of the Year Steve Yzerman brought in Erik Condra to add to the bottom-six depth among his forwards, and overall the Stanley Cup finalists should only get better given their experience this past season.
St. Louis
Yes, the Blues got dumped in the first round by Minnesota. Still, this remains a team that is capable of much more. That was driven home when T.J. Oshie was sent to the Capitals in exchange for Troy Brouwer.The clock is now ticking for the Blues, who face a blow-up if they don't blow it out next spring.
The biggest offseason task for GM Chuck Fletcher was locking up goalie Devan Dubnyk, which he did at a reasonable $4.33 million average, though the six-year term may become an issue. Still, the Wild should challenge for one of the top spots in the ultracompetitive Central Division.
They Predators skidded down the stretch and then were banged up in their first-round loss to Chicago. GM David Poile brought back Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro, and added Cody Hodgson and Barret Jackman. If goalie Pekka Rinne bounces back, the playoffs should be a given.
The Caps were a blown call away from defeating the Rangers in the second round. They'll miss Joel Ward more than people think and Mike Green less. Adding Justin Williams is a nice move, as is the addition of Oshie. And we can't wait to see what's next for Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby.
GM Brad Treliving added Dougie Hamilton to the fold and then signing Michael Frolik to a five-year deal. Can Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller and/or Joni Ortio hold down the fort in net? They'd better, because the playoffs are now an expectation under defending Jack Adams winner Bob Hartley.
Maybe we're overestimating the impact of Brandon Saad, but we don't think so. Columbus was ravaged by injury last season and still was one of the best teams in the second half. With tons of skills and size, and Sergei Bobrovsky in net, the Jackets should be in the mix for the Metro Division crown.
Carey Price, the best goaltender in the world, covers up lots of mistakes. Still, the Habs were revealed in the second round of the playoffs as not being good enough to be considered Cup contenders. Not sure the addition of Zack Kassian changes that dynamic much.
NY Rangers
Something was amiss for a Rangers team that should have been gone in the second round and then came up dry against Tampa in Game 7 at home in the East finals. Cam Talbot, Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin are gone. Viktor Stalberg and Emerson Etem might not fill the growing lineup gaps.
Nice job by GM Ken Holland to bring Mike Green and Brad Richards in. Still not sure on the goaltending, though, and do the Wings have enough defensive depth to make a deep playoff run?
Still lots of questions, though GM Jim Rutherford answered the biggest one by getting Phil Kessel to play with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. The Pens should once again be one of the most interesting teams in the league to watch and headed for a postseason berth.
NY Islanders
Shuffling the backup netminder spot is all the activity GM Garth Snow has had through the draft and the initial stages of free agency. Snow did bring back key pieces like Anders Lee and did not trade Kyle Okposo, though, so the Isles should once again be thinking playoffs.
The Jets were pretty quiet in recent days -- that's what happens when you draft as well as they do -- but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff did bring Drew Stafford back to the fold, which was an important move. This is a Jets team that should only get better, assuming the goaltending holds up.
Los Angeles
Not really sure what to do with the Kings given all the stuff floating around this team. We like the addition of bruising forward Milan Lucic, and if the Kings do bounce back into the playoffs next spring it'll be hard to pick against them. Still, things are not quite right in Los Angeles.
How do the cardiac kids from Ottawa follow up last season's thrilling run to the postseason? Much will depend on whether GM Bryan Murray made the right decisions on his goaltenders, keeping Craig Anderson and Andrew "The Hamburglar" Hammond. We think he did.
The Panthers should be playing meaningful games in March and April this season, and if goaltender Roberto Luongo can hold up, Florida could be the surprise team in the Eastern Conference come springtime.
Weird times in Boston under new GM Don Sweeney, but there are still enough core pieces, along with the addition of streaky scorer Matt Beleskey, to keep the Bruins in the hunt. Still, the back end remains a work in progress and the Bruins need to find some help for netminder Tuukka Rask.
San Jose
The Sharks weren't that far off the playoff bubble a season ago, and we love the addition of defenseman Paul Martin on an acceptable four-year deal. Is newly acquired Martin Jones the answer in goal? Debate that one among yourselves.
Hard to slot the new-look Oilers. Connor McDavid changes everything, but we're not sure on Andrej Sekera's six-year deal. New GM Peter Chiarelli had to start somewhere on the blue line, though, and Cam Talbot will bring stability in goal. Are the playoffs a stretch? Likely, but not much of one.
Love the addition of Blake Comeau, and Francois Beauchemin will help the young Avs on the blue line even if three years is likely one too many. Are the changes enough to get Colorado back into the postseason in the tough Central? It'll be nip-and-tuck.
Will Antti Niemi be enough of an upgrade in goal, or at least bring enough competition to get Kari Lehtonen back on track? And is the defense appreciably better? No way to definitively answer "yes" to any of those questions.
New Jersey
The Devils are quietly preparing for a new direction under GM Ray Shero and rookie head coach John Hynes. The additions of Kyle Palmieri and John Moore are good ones, but goalie Cory Schneider will have to stand on his head again to keep the Devils in the hunt. It could happen.
Like the Oilers up above, placing the Sabres was a tough one. Not sure about the blue line at all, and Robin Lehner is going to have to prove he is capable of being a franchise netminder. Still, this team is going to make us forget last season's tanking talk pretty quickly.
Yes, the Canucks were a playoff team last season. Not sure how, exactly, but it happened. This offseason, however, suggests a significant step back for Vancouver.
The transition under GM Ron Hextall will be slow and at times painful, but it's going to happen. We like the outside-the-box hire of Dave Hakstol as the new coach to guide the team through uncharted waters.
It's going to get worse before it gets better in Carolina while GM Ron Francis wades through tricky contract waters with netminder Cam Ward and captain Eric Staal.
You can't spell rebuild without the letters c-e-l-l-a-r, and it's hard to imagine the Leafs being anywhere but the basement of the NHL next spring. Too early to start talking about the Auston Matthews sweepstakes?
Not sure how the Coyotes avoid ending up here at the end of next season, even with Boyd Gordon returning to the desert and Zbynek Michalek and Antoine Vermette being repatriated after deadline trades last season. What are the chances both are on the block again next March?

Tell us what you think!

Take Survey Now » No Thanks »