NHL Free Agency: 5 Teams That Have Actually Gotten Worse This Summer

Kevin Goff@@BrgBrigadeKevinContributor ISeptember 15, 2012

NHL Free Agency: 5 Teams That Have Actually Gotten Worse This Summer

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    The summer is all about one thing for NHL teams: free agency. 

    Teams jump into the warmer days trying to improve through the free-agent market,and people always make a big deal about the teams that greatly improve, as well they should.

    Left out in the dark, however, are the teams that don't succeed during free agency. The ones that not only don't add players to their roster, but lose a player or two and actually get worse.

    Here are some NHL teams that got worse over the past couple of months.

Detroit Red Wings

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    The Detroit Red Wings were supposed to be major players for every single major free agent over the summer.

    Yet, despite the tradition of winning that Detroit has had for years now, every single one of them turned down Hockeytown.

    Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Alexander Semin all were in the the sights of the Red Wings, and Detroit managed to get none of them.

    Jiri Hudler was signed by Calgary, so Detroit also lost some secondary scoring there.

    Then you add in the retirement of Hall of Fame defender Nicklas Lidstrom and some big questions start to come up.

    The only players added by the Red Wings were backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson and pugilist Jordin Tootoo. 

    This year is likely to be a big challenge for Detroit.

New Jersey Devils

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    Zach Parise was the biggest name on the free agent market this year, and the former Devils captain took his talents to Minnesota.

    Now one player definitely doesn't make or break a team, but a player the caliber of Parise will have a strong effect.

    Yes, they still have Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac, but Zach Parise was their biggest leader and hardest worker.

    They still have Martin Brodeur, but how much longer can you rely on a goalie who is 40 years old? 

    It might not be a huge step back, but New Jersey has taken a step back.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    Phoenix had a lot of firsts this year. First division title, first victory in a playoff series, first trip to the Western Conference finals. It was very impressive.

    In free agency, however, the Coyotes have lost their largest point-getter in Ray Whitney and came very close to losing their long-time captain to free agency.

    Plus, the lockout will affect this team in a seriously negative fashion since they are already strapped for cash. What incentive does Greg Jamison have to finish this deal if there won't even be a season for him to make any type of profit?

    They have a good system and good coach, but they have taken a step back from a talent perspective.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Columbus is already about as sorry as it gets, when it comes to franchises and talent on the ice, but even they found a way to get worse this offseason.

    The trade of Rick Nash finished the implosion of a team that has been self-destructing since the moment of its inception, it seems.

    This one doesn't come as a shock to anybody.

Nashville Predators

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    Nashville managed to keep most of its forward stock in place, but really took a blow on the blue line.

    The most obvious of which is Ryan Suter, who signed one of those insane deals with the Minnesota Wild. But they lost several players from their blue line alone.

    Suter makes the biggest impact; the fact that Nashville managed to keep Shea Weber should help mitigate that loss a little bit, but they also lost some of their grit up front with the departure of Jordin Tootoo.

    Of course, they also lost some stupid penalties, but one question the Predators will have to answer is who will their fighter be?

    Still a pretty solid team, but some increased holes on defense.