The Los Angeles Kings rolled to the Stanley Cup championship from the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
They didn't clinch a spot in the playoffs until the final week of the season, and then they were hockey's best team in the postseason.
Many pundits like to point out that any team that makes the playoffs is a threat to go all the way if they get hot. That's a bit too simplistic. The Kings found their balance after a late-season trade brought in the goal-scoring talents of Jeff Carter and Los Angeles suddenly found a way to score goals.
This year, we see nine teams that have a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup. The well-balanced Western Conference has six of those teams, and one of them is sitting outside the top eight as of April 1. However, if that team earns a playoff spot, we see them having a legitimate chance.
Here's how these nine contenders can fix weaknesses by the trade deadline.