Watching the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs might be the toughest part of the season for players on teams that didn't quite make the postseason. After the immediate shock, there tends to be a glimmer of hope, however.
This is when management and the coaching staff really hunkers down and figures out what to do next. No one wants to be left out of the playoffs, and missing the dance is usually a wake-up call that at least part of the plan isn't quite working.
There's the NHL draft to think about. In one of the deeper drafts in recent memory, teams that didn't finish in the basement could still find a gem towards the middle of the first round. And there's always free agency, a period of time that will be even more interesting than ever this year with the added element of the buyout.
Looking at the to-do list for the offseason, each team that missed the playoffs should have at least one very specific, outstanding problem that became evident throughout 2013. Whether or not there's an easy fix is a different question, but each team should have at least one distinct thing to get right before October rolls around.