With the NHL Entry Draft, the focus returns to teams that were not in the conversation while the playoffs were so spectacularly unfolding. The ones that pick early on Friday -- especially the Islanders (1), Lightning (2), and Avalanche (3) -- will get youngsters who play immediately, due to readiness or their new team's dire need and dearth of depth. But what of the league's elite? They'll take prospects to fill their development pipeline. So, how do they get better now?
The Calgary Flames, picking 20th, feel their best chance at improvement means bringing in another Sutter -- as in Brent -- to coach, with brother Darryl at the helm as GM. Speaking of personnel specifically, though, Sutter astutely re-signed restricted free agent winger
For the Detroit Red Wings, the playoffs demonstrated that their roster turnover will come from within.
The same kind of decision is faced by the Boston Bruins, who earlier this month committed to restricted free agent centerman
Tough call for GM
And what do the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins do? Their roster is in flux just a couple of weeks after the ultimate victory. GM
Many GMs will be in Montreal this weekend to look at this year's crop of candidates with an eye to the distant future. That's why this draft is likely to have some interesting trade scenarios develop, as teams deal some bigger-than-usual names to teams in need for the purpose of freeing up cap space for the July 1 opening of the free agent signing period. That in turn will impact the draft order substantially, which is exactly what
So it goes for every NHL team when it comes to the supporting cast around the core players. How teams flesh out their rosters will vary, of course, but it all begins Friday with the draft and it should be interesting.