The Stanley Cup was awarded to the Los Angeles Kings Monday night—now the NHL's offseason officially begins.
OK, it's early for this, but this article will take a look at 10 NHL teams that are likely to take a step back in 2012-13.
A few things to keep in mind while reading this article:
1) Taking a step back does not mean that next season will be a disaster. It just means that next season will probably not be as successful for the team in question as this season was. A team can drop from 100 points to 88 points, make the playoffs and still be on this list.
2) There is a lot that will happen between now and opening day. The NHL Entry Draft will be held this Friday, and free agency won't begin until July 1st.
Trades can happen at any time, and of course a labor stoppage may also loom over the NHL as the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players expires in September. So remember, everything is subject to change.
So while this list is very preliminary, here is a list of 10 teams that are likely to take a step back next season. The teams are presented in no particular order.