NHL Power Rankings: Which Direction Is Each Team Headed Looking Toward 2012-13?

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NHL Power Rankings: Which Direction Is Each Team Headed Looking Toward 2012-13?
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

There are many teams in the NHL that could be headed either way this season (once the lockout ends).

This applies to contenders:

Are the Chicago Blackhawks still hurting from the post-championship cap casualties, or have they stabilized a strong enough roster at this point to be considered contenders?

Have the San Jose Sharks blown their window to win a Stanley Cup, or are they going to be knocking on the doorstep again this season?

Same goes for the Vancouver Canucks. Did they miss their opportunity by losing Game 7 two years ago, or is this team coming back stronger next season?

It also applies to teams on the playoff bubble:

Are the players the Buffalo Sabres picked up a year ago finally going to produce at the level they should, or are they going to remain stagnant?

Did the Tampa Bay Lightning have one fluke season when they battled the Boston Bruins for the Eastern Conference championship, or is this team going to make a splash this season?

And what about the Ottawa Senators? Are they going to make a playoff run after challenging the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs last season, or are they due for an overhaul?

There are questions about every team in the league. This slideshow is intended to offer some clarification.

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