The NHL is just days away from dropping the puck and starting the season. That means the four-month lockout is about to move into the past and the game on the ice will move back to center stage.
As the games are played and the season progresses, the emphasis will be on the standings and playoff positioning of the teams.
As the regular season plays out, teams that are in contention will attempt to strengthen their rosters.
This will culminate by the April 3 trade deadline, always one of the busiest times of the NHL season.