Some big-name free agents made headlines this summer when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter decided to take their talents to Minnesota. The Wild should be a better team that can make a strong run at a playoff spot this year.
While many of the free agents have signed new contracts and have made plans to move on, there are a number of players who are still on the market and could have an impact on a team's ability to contend for a playoff spot and perhaps make a decent run in the postseason.
Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes, Jason Arnott of the St. Louis Blues, Mike Knuble of the Washington Capitals, and Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings are just a few of the veteran forwards remaining on the market who could make a difference.
On the defensive side, Brett Clark of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carlo Colaiacovo of the St. Louis Blues, Jaroslav Spacek of the Carolina Hurricanes, Pavel Kubina of the Philadelphia Flyers and Matt Gilroy of the Ottawa Senators are still available.
Here's a look at seven teams that have no realistic chance of contending unless they make a free-agent signing before the start of training camp.
Note: Teams not seen on this list—with the exception of the Columbus Blue Jackets—are contenders whether they make a signing or not. The Blue Jackets will not be contenders no matter which free agents they sign.