The second round of the 2013 NHL playoffs are nearing an end, and the conference finals could be set by the end of the weekend. That means that fans of 26 teams will be watching from the sidelines while the final four squads go at it for the right to play for the Stanley Cup.
Which, in turn, means that a majority of NHL fans will have at least one eye towards the offseason, where one or two outstanding moves could place their favorite team on the road toward the Cup in 2014.
This particular free-agency period will be made more interesting by the possibility of players like Brad Richards and Roberto Luongo being bought out and hitting the open market. Even if no big names are relieved of their contracts, there are still some difference-makers available via free agency.