He'll pocket about 70 grand per game, but every soft goal he allows will slam the full weight of that 15-year, $67.5 million deal on his young shoulders.
2 of 10Bill Wippert/SI
Forget about repeating as scoring champion and MVP. Thornton's challenge this season is to do something he's never done before: step up as a postseason leader.
3 of 10Lou Capozzola/SI
Martin St. Louis
His 2003-04 breakout season earned him a six-year, $31 million deal. He returned the favor by tying Darcy Tucker for 76th in the NHL scoring race (61 points). No one expects another Art Ross Trophy, but fewer than 80 means he's challenging Alexei Yashin in the bloated-contract category.
4 of 10Darren Carroll/SI
His playoff meltdowns have exhausted much of the goodwill he's earned in Dallas for his spectacular regular-season work. With his virtually unmovable contract, Stars fans are stuck with him, and they're growing impatient.
5 of 10Dave Sandford/Getty Images
The Sens are pinning their Cup hopes on a goalie who won it with Carolina last season. Unfortunately, they tabbed the one who watched much of the postseason from the bench. Gerber must improve significantly before Ottawa's window closes.
6 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
With Steve Yzerman gone, it's Datsyuk's show. He's been Detroit's top scorer the past two seasons but hasn't potted a playoff goal since 2002. If he wilted under the pressure then, what will he do without The Captain?
7 of 10Lou Capozzola/SI
The excuse in Vancouver has been sub-par goaltending. Now that Roberto Luongo is in net and Todd Bertuzzi is gone, Naslund must return to his 194-point form of 2001-03 or fingers will be pointed at him.
8 of 10Doug Benc/Getty Images
Florida gave up franchise goalie Roberto Luongo to bring him. Away from the glare of the Canadian media, Bertuzzi must justify the deal by rediscovering what once made him the NHL's most feared forward.
9 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
The first time he replaced Patrick Roy, Theodore won the Hart Trophy behind a nondescript crew in Montreal. With the Avs in transition, he'll need a reprise to get this team into playoff contention.
10 of 10Tim Smith/Getty Images
With the core Flames under contract for the next two seasons, Calgary expects to win now. The focus will be on Tanguay to bring real pop to a pop-gun offense that ranked 28th and kept the team from legitimately contending last season.
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