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NHL Free Agency 2013 Signings: Tracking Every Team's Moves

Steve SilvermanFeatured Columnist IVOctober 7, 2016

NHL Free Agency 2013 Signings: Tracking Every Team's Moves

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    There was a true feeding frenzy during the earliest hours of free agency.

    Headlines were made when players like Daniel Alfredsson, David Clarkson, Michael Ryder and Nathan Horton chose to sign with new teams.

    That's why free agency is so important. It gives every team a chance to convince stars to put on a new uniform and gain new opportunities.

    Despite the presence of the hard $64.3 million salary cap, there have been a boatload of signings in the first two days and more are likely to follow in the days ahead.

    Stay with Bleacher Report as we follow all the signings as they occur.

Anaheim Ducks

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 6:10 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to Canadian television network RDS, the Anaheim Ducks have re-signed Saku Koivu to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

     

    2013 Finish

    First place in the Pacific Division; lost to Detroit Red Wings in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Ducks need some scoring depth. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan are their big three, but does Bruce Boudreau have any dependable scoring outside of those three?

    With Teemu Selanne possibly heading off into retirement and Saku Koivu getting older, general manager Bob Murray needs to get the Ducks some additional offense.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Ducks made a huge move up in the standings to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. While they lost in the first round of the playoffs, they have size, strength and skill. However, if they don't add some scoring depth, they could have a difficult time repeating their success next year.

Boston Bruins

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 8:06 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Boston Bruins have signed Jarome Iginla to a one-year contract, per TSN's Bob McKenzie. His salary before bonuses will be $1.8 million, per TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:59 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to the Columbus Blue Jackets and reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, the team has signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract. It's a huge loss for the Bruins because Horton dominated for them in two separate playoff runs.

     

    2013 Finish

    Second place in the Northeast Division; lost to Chicago Blackhawks in Stanley Cup Finals.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Bruins were one of the most complete teams in the league last year, but they appear to be losing Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr. They have also traded Tyler Seguin. As a result, general manager Peter Chiarelli needs to find a top-six right wing to fill the void.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Bruins have turned into a perennial contender under Chiarelli's and head coach Claude Julien's leadership. If they can't add a right wing who can score efficiently, the Bruins could slip back and become an ordinary team.

Buffalo Sabres

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    2013 Finish

    Last place in Northeast Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Sabres have not made the playoffs since 2011. General manager Darcy Regier appears to be holding onto his job by a thread, and the Sabres have to rebuild. They need more scoring and a more physical defense.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Sabres must give head coach Ron Rolston something to work with in his first full season. If they fail, the Sabres won't have a prayer of making the playoffs.

Calgary Flames

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    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in the Northwest Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Flames are finally in rebuilding mode after years of trying to push through with Jarome Iginla and a bare-bones lineup. The Flames need to get faster and more mobile on the blue line. They also need scoring help, but general manager Jay Feaster needs a competent defensive team.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Flames are no longer trying to fool themselves. They are rebuilding and need to take at least two full seasons to get better. Taking shortcuts will only make the rebuilding process longer.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 3:33 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Aaron Ward, the Carolina Hurricanes have signed former Boston Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:31 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Darren Dreger's televised report, defenseman Mike Komisarek has signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Hurricanes. He is expected to take on the role of the team's sixth or seventh defenseman.

     

    2013 Finish

    Third place in the Southeast Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Hurricanes struggled on the defensive end in the second half of the season. Much of that was due to goalie Cam Ward's injury, but the Hurricanes struggled on the blue line. Adding a first-rate defenseman would go a long way to making Carolina a playoff team.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Hurricanes have failed to make the postseason for four straight years. They have a loyal fanbase, but a fifth straight non-playoff year would turn off a lot of middle-of-the-road hockey fans. This is a critical year.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 10:25 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    According to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago, the Blackhawks have signed veteran goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to a one-year contract.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:35 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to Tim Sassone of The Daily Herald, the Blackhawks have re-signed defenseman Michal Rozsival and center Michal Handzus.

     

    2013 Finish

    First place in the Central Division; defeated Boston Bruins in Stanley Cup Finals.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Blackhawks did it all last season, starting the campaign with a 24-game point streak and finishing with the Stanley Cup. Personnel-wise, the Blackhawks are in excellent shape, but there is a need for a second-line center. That position never produced as expected last year, and the Blackhawks traded Dave Bolland to the Toronto Maple Leafs days after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The last three Stanley Cup winners—the Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings—have all gotten off to slow starts the following year. They would like to put an end to the "Stanley Cup Hangover" trend, and they have the personnel to do just that.

Colorado Avalanche

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    2013 Finish

    Last place in the Northwest Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Avs are stockpiling young, offensive talent, but they need a ton of help on the blue line. Their defense was quite generous last year, giving up 3.12 goals per game (27th in the NHL). The Avs could use a veteran defenseman or two to seal the leaks.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    General manager Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy are both in their first years. They could get ahead of the curve by building a playoff team in 2013-14.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:59 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to the Columbus Blue Jackets and reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, the team has signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract. Horton gives the Blue Jackets a power forward, and he is a proven playoff performer.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in the Central Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Blue Jackets may have been on the outside looking in at the end of the regular season, but they were much improved thanks largely to Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets need more help on the offensive end if they are going to continue to climb, and indications are that team president John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen are ready to make a bold move or two.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Blue Jackets have been have-nots throughout their history, making the playoffs just once in 12 seasons. They may be on the cusp of respectability, and bringing a couple of legitimate high-scoring forwards would help them get there.

Dallas Stars

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    2013 Finish

    Last place in the Pacific Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Dallas Stars look like a desperate team because they have missed the playoffs five straight years. However, by firing Joe Nieuwendyk and bringing in the highly respected Jim Nill, the Stars have served notice that they are going to make moves to get better. They added a potential young superstar in Tyler Seguin in a trade with the Boston Bruins, but they gave up the respected Loui Eriksson to get him.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    Nill will try to give his team a chance to improve in 2013-14, but after all his years with the Detroit Red Wings, he knows the Western Conference is deep and tough. All he wants is a team that plays with consistency and toughness every night as he improves the organization from top to bottom.

Detroit Red Wings

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 2:19 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie, former Florida Panther Stephen Weiss has signed a five-year contract that will pay him $4.9 million per year.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:17 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Darren Dreger's televised report, Daniel Alfredsson has signed a one-year, $5.2 million contract with the Red Wings.

     

    2013 Finish: Third place in Central Division; lost to Chicago Blackhawks in conference semifinal.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Detroit Red Wings are moving to the Eastern Conference and they would like to increase their offensive firepower. While they hit their stride at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs, they ranked 20th in goals per game (2.54) and that's not good enough in Detroit. Look for Ken Holland to go hard after a couple of forwards who can put the puck in the net.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Red Wings want to get back to serious contention. The Red Wings should have a chance to push teams like the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins quite hard with a couple of positive free-agent additions.

Edmonton Oilers

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    UPDATE: Sunday, July 7 at 10:18 a.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Edmonton Oilers have announced the re-signing of forward Ryan Jones to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

     

    UPDATE: Saturday, July 6, at 12:15 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers have signed backup goalie Richard Bachman to a one-year contract. Financial terms have not been announced.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 2:05 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie, the Oilers have signed center Boyd Gordon to a three-year, $9 million deal and backup goalie Jason LaBarbera to a one-year, $1 million deal.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:15 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie, former Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has signed with the Edmonton Oilers. He has a four-year contract that will pay him $3.25 million per year.

     

    2013 Finish

    Third place in Northwest Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Edmonton Oilers flirted with the playoffs last year, but they failed to maintain their consistency down the stretch. While the Oilers are loaded with high-end offensive talent—Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—they need help on the blue line and players who can play a consistently tough physical game.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Oilers have been stockpiling offensive talent, and it's time for their young stars to mature and deliver. However, they need defense and a top supporting cast for the team to climb in the Western Conference. The Oilers have not made the playoffs since 2005-06.

Florida Panthers

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    2013 Finish

    Last place in Southeast Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    While the Panthers had the worst record in the league last year, it may not be as awful as it looks. They had a slew of injuries—particularly on the offensive end—and they should be able to put the puck in the net thanks to Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Fleischman and explosive first-round draft pick Alexsander Barkov. However, they need significant improvement on the blue line and in goal, and general manager Dale Tallon needs to act on these in free agency.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Panthers were a surprise Southeast Division winner in 2011-12 before last year's collapse. The Panthers would like to return to respectability—and the playoffs—next year. The team is not a lost cause and needs to make a splash in free agency.

Los Angeles Kings

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 12 at 1:17 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Kings have re-signed young defenseman Jake Muzzin to a two-year, $2 million deal, per Jon Rosen of LAKingsInsider.com. Muzzin was an RFA.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 4:46 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie, the Kings have signed former Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:03 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Penguins have signed veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi to a four-year, $13.5 million deal. He will give them a strong defensive presence on the blue line.

     

    2013 Finish

    Second place in Pacific Division; lost to Chicago Blackhawks in Western Conference Finals.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Kings are a strong team that was just a couple of games away from getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals. Trading backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs for up-and-down James Reimer may be risky if Jonathan Quick suffers an injury. The Kings could use some more depth at the forward spot, but their on-ice product is in excellent shape.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Kings have had a taste of glory and want to win a second title in three years. General manager Dean Lombardi has given Darryl Sutter a strong team, but they may have a hard time making future moves because they are just $6.6 million under the salary cap.

Minnesota Wild

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 8:10 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Wild have added some depth to their lineup with the signing of Matt Cooke to a three-year deal that will pay him $2.5 million per season, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:14 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Wild have re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon and former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard. Spurgeon signed a three-year deal that will pay him $2.66 million per season, according to Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

     

    2013 Finish

    Second place in Northwest Division; lost to Chicago Blackhawks in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Wild made the biggest splash of any team in free agency last year when they signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They got a boost and made the playoffs, but that's not enough. The Wild need to get some additional offense if they are going to become a legitimate Western Conference contender and not just a team that scratches and claws to make the playoffs.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    General manager Chuck Fletcher knows the job is not done by the way the Wild were bounced out of the playoffs so easily (five games). The Wild must continue to make moves and bring in some more offense or they will lose the momentum they gained last year.

Montreal Canadiens

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:01 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Canadiens have signed forward Danny Briere to a two-year, $8 million deal, according ESPN reporter Pierre LeBrun. Briere played with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012-13.

     

    2013 Finish

    First place in Northeast Division; lost to Ottawa Senators in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Canadiens went from the worst team in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12 to the No. 2 seed as the combination of general manager Marc Bergevin and head coach Michel Therrien was a positive one. Despite their improvement, the Canadiens have a need for size, strength and defensive depth.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Canadiens were a razor-sharp team at their best last year, but their end-of-season play was troubling. Their biggest needs are outlined above, but Bergevin also has to be concerned with goalie Carey Price, who appeared to lose his confidence as the year progressed.

Nashville Predators

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 3:46 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Predators have signed former Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom to a four-year, $10 million contract, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 2:24 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Predators have signed former Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks to a four-year, $7.4 million contract, according to the team's website. Hendricks is a hard-working, gritty forward who can provide screens down low and play a tough defensive game.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 2:24 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Predators have signed former Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cullen to a two-year, $7 million deal, according to Aaron Ward of TSN.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:14 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Predators have signed former Chicago Blackhawks winger Viktor Stalberg to a four-year, $12 million deal, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fifth place in Central Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Predators were in a state of shock last year after losing Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild in free agency, and they never got over it. The 2013 season is over, and the Preds have to bring in some significant offensive talent since they were the lowest-scoring team in the league (tied with the Florida Panthers). They won't get back to the playoffs if that stays the norm.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Predators have been overachievers, making the playoffs in seven of the last nine years. They can get back on track by picking up a couple of legitimate goal scorers in free agency who can take some of the burden off of goalie Pekka Rinne.

New Jersey Devils

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 6:35 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Devils have signed right winger Michael Ryder to a two-year, $7 million contract, according to the Star-Ledger's Rich Chere. Ryder finished the 2013 season with the Montreal Canadiens.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 5:30 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Devils have signed depth center Rostislav Olesz to a one-year, $1 million contract, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. Olesz was with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:14 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Devils have signed former Rangers winger Ryane Clowe to a five-year contract that will pay him $4.85 million per year, according to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.

     

    2013 Finish

    Last place in Atlantic Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Devils are in big trouble. They slumped badly last season, and David Clarkson and Patrik Elias could both leave through free agency. Even if they could hang on to one or both of them, the Devils need scoring since they averaged just 2.29 goals per game. The problem is that they may not have the financial wherewithal to retain their own free agents, let alone bring in new talent.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    General manager Lou Lamoriello has always been a magician and found a way to keep his team competitive. If he can't produce sensational results in free agency, the Devils may find themselves on the outside looking in once again.

New York Islanders

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:31 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    Travis Hamonic is staying put, as the Islanders have re-signed the young forward to a seven-year, $27 million contract, according to TSN's Aaron Ward. 

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:31 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Islanders have signed winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard to a one-year, $2 million contract, according to Aaron Ward of TSN.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:13 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, Evgeni Nabokov has re-signed with the New York Islanders for one year at $3.25 million. 

     

    2013 Finish

    Third place in Atlantic Division; lost to Pittsburgh Penguins in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Islanders were a great story in 2013, making the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07. After pushing the Penguins hard in the playoffs, the Islanders need to bring in defensive and goaltending help if they are going to continue to climb.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Islanders have bought out perennial disappointment Rick DiPietro, and Evgeni Nabokov is a free agent. They need a big-time goaltender if they are going to have a chance to repeat last year's success. The loss of Mark Streit hurts the blue line, and they must add one or two defensemen.

New York Rangers

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    UPDATE: Wednesday, July 10 at 11:20 a.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Rangers have announced that Carl Hagelin has been re-signed to an extension. ESPN New York's Katie Strang reported that the contract is worth $4.5 million over two years. The RFA winger tallied 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 48 game last year.

     

    UPDATE: Monday, July 8 at 9:46 a.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The New York Rangers have signed RFA defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a six-year contract worth $28.2 million, per Larry Brooks of the New York Post. This will be one of the NHL's most team-friendly deals.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 7:50 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

    According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, the Rangers have signed Benoit Pouliot to a one-year, $1.3 million deal. The 26-year-old left wing spent this past season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 5:05 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Rangers signed depth defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, $600,000 contract, according to New York Post columnist Larry Brooks. Johnson was with the Boston Bruins last year.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 4:11 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    The Rangers signed forward Dominic Moore, to a one-year, $1 million contract, according to Newsday's Steve Zipay.

     

    2013 Finish

    Second place in Atlantic Division; lost to Boston Bruins in conference semifinal.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Rangers fired head coach John Tortorella days after they were eliminated by the Bruins, and that move should create a much better atmosphere. If the Rangers are going to get back to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, new head coach Alain Vigneault needs some more offensive talent to work with. The Rangers struggle to puck in the net, and they need a high-scoring forward to help Rick Nash and Brad Richards.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Rangers were considered one of the Stanley Cup favorites in 2011-12 and 2013, but they won't contend unless they bring in more scoring through free agency or a trade.

Ottawa Senators

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    UPDATE: Monday, July 8 at 10:38 a.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Senators have agreed to a contract with offensive defenseman Joe Corvo, per Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun. Terms of the deal are not known at this time. He last played in Ottawa during the 2007-08 season.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:09 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie, the Senators have signed forward Clarke MacArthur to a two-year, $6.5 million contract. MacArthur has a good shot and knows how to score, but he is not known for going into the tough areas of the ice and paying the price to gain scoring opportunities.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:17 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Darren Dreger's televised report, Daniel Alfredsson has left the Senators and signed with the Detroit Red Wings. This is a huge loss for the Senators, both on the ice and in the locker room.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in Northeast Division; lost to Pittsburgh Penguins in conference semifinal.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Senators could have been ruined by the many injuries that impacted them last year, but head coach Paul MacLean got a maximum effort from his players, and the team overachieved all season.

    If the Senators are going to continue to climb in 2013-14, general manager Bryan Murray needs to bring in scoring talent. The Senators averaged 2.33 goals per game last year (27th), and that puts too much pressure on the team's goaltending.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Senators were a great story last year because they refused to quit despite injuries to Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and goalie Craig Anderson. They should remain one of the most competitive teams in the Eastern Conference and could become a favorite with the addition of a veteran scorer or two.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 10:28 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    The Flyers have agreed to a one-year contract with Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Ray Emery that will pay him $1.75 million, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in Atlantic Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Flyers are not a tough team to figure out. They have a solid offensive team, but they failed to make the playoffs because they couldn't keep the puck out of the net. They were hit by a slew of injuries to the defense, and Ilya Bryzgalov was inconsistent (putting it nicely) in goal.

    They have started to address their defensive needs by acquiring defenseman Mark Streit from the Islanders and signing him to a four-year, $21 million deal. They need additional defensive help and a goaltender.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    Missing the playoffs did not sit well with owner Ed Snider, general manager Paul Holmgren or head coach Peter Laviolette. If the Flyers can get the goaltender they want—perhaps Tim Thomas—and another defenseman, they should be solid contenders in 2013-14.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:40 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie, former Washington Capitals center Mike Ribeiro has signed a four-year, $22 million deal with the Coyotes.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in Pacific Division; failed to make playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Coyotes need stability more than anything else. When the Glendale City Council approved a new lease for the team July 2, that was a step, but the ownership situation is still not finalized. On the ice, the Coyotes have a nice crop of young defensive players, but head coach Dave Tippett needs some speedy forwards who can put the puck in the net since the Coyotes ranked 21st in scoring (2.52 goals per game).

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Coyotes got all the way to the Western Conference Finals in 2011-12, and they would like to get back. If new ownership is approved and they can steady themselves, a playoff return is possible. They need more offensive talent on the roster for that to happen.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    Veteran center Craig Adams has been re-signed to a two-year, $1.4 million deal, per TSN's Aaron Ward.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:03 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Penguins have signed veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi to a four-year, $13.5 million deal. He will give them a strong defensive presence on the blue line.

     

    2013 Finish

    First place in Atlantic Division; lost to Boston Bruins in Eastern Conference Finals.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Penguins have successfully signed their core players to contract extensions, and that means they should be an elite team for years to come. However, since so many of those players are superstars, it's going to be difficult for general manager Ray Shero to fill the rest of his roster with anything but minimum-salary players. That leaves one major weakness: goaltending.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Penguins are embarrassed that they got bounced in four straight by the Bruins, and they want another chance to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. They are loaded with talent—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz and James Neal—and the humiliating defeat should fuel them in 2013-14. However, if goalie Marc-Andre Fleury doesn't bounce back, they will have issues in next year's playoffs.

San Jose Sharks

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    2013 Finish

    Third place in Pacific Division; lost to Los Angeles Kings in conference semifinal.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Sharks need an infusion of youth. It's clear that the Sharks are in the process of transitioning the team from Joe Thornton's leadership to Logan Couture's, but they need some young hustlers who will bring more energy at key moments.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Sharks went through several ups and downs last season, and there was little consistency. This manifested itself with a 2.42 goals per game average, ranking 24th in the league. They need more scoring if they are going to remain a playoff team with a chance to advance.

St. Louis Blues

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    UPDATE: Saturday, July 6, at 6:15 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to Aaron Ward of TSN, former Vancouver Canuck center Derek Roy signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Blues.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 6:35 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie, former Vancouver Canuck forward Maxim Lapierre signed a two-year, $2.2 million contract with the Blues.

     

    2013 Finish

    Second place in Pacific Division; lost to Los Angeles Kings in first round.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Blues have a fundamentally sound team, and this has manifested itself with back-to-back strong regular seasons. However, they have not had enough clutch scoring in the playoffs, and they need a sniper who can score when the game is on the line.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Blues were knocked out in the conference semifinal in 2012 and the first round last year. If they can't find playoff success, major changes could be at hand next year.

Tampa Bay Lighnting

27 of 31

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 3:10 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, ESPN reporter Pierre LeBrun has reported that former Detroit Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula has signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Lightning. Filppula is a solid two-way player who brings a lot of responsibility to the Lightning. The price tag does seem a bit high.

     

    2013 Finish

    Fourth place in Southeast Division; failed to make the playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Lightning have a very dangerous offensive team led by Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, and first-round draft pick Jonathan Drouin should add to the explosiveness. But the Lightning rarely play adequate defense, and they need some competent defensemen who can stand up the opposition.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Lightning have fallen on hard times since reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011. They need to recapture their fanbase by returning to the playoffs and becoming a winning team once again.

Toronto Maple Leafs

28 of 31

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5 at 10:32 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss

    Sportsnet's John Shannon has reported that goaltender Jonathan Bernier and the Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed on a two-year, $5.8 million contract.

     

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 1:56 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to TSN reporter Darren Dreger, David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils has agreed to a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Clarkson gives the Leafs a big and physical forward who can provide the Buds with a signficant front-of-the-net presence.

    The Leafs have also re-signed Tyler Bozak to a five-year, $21 million extension, according to Dreger.

     

    2013 Finish

    Third place in Northeast Division; lost to Boston Bruins in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Maple Leafs made progress last year and made the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04. Once they got there, they pushed the Bruins to the limit before losing in heartbreaking fashion. In order to avoid any more postseason collapses, they need more strength and toughness on defense. They need players who won't let opposing forwards anchor themselves in the slot so they can jump on rebounds.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    A heartbreaking defeat like the one the Maple Leafs suffered will stay with the team for a long time. If they can't overcome it in 2013-14, they could be destined to a series of postseason disasters. They need to get tougher.

Vancouver Canucks

29 of 31

    2013 Finish

    First place in Northwest Division; lost to San Jose Sharks in first round.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Canucks need some kind of personality transplant. They have lost 12 of their last 14 playoff games dating back to Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. That's one of the reasons they brought in hard-edged John Tortorella to take over as head coach. They need physical, grinding players who won't shy away from contact.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Canucks continue to play effectively in the regular season, but they have lost in the first round of the postseason the last two years. If the Canucks are going to remain an elite team, they must turn things around quickly by getting tougher.

Washington Capitals

30 of 31

    UPDATE: Friday, July 5, at 12:40 p.m. ET by Steve Silverman

    According to RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie, Washington Capitals center Mike Ribeiro has signed a four-year, $22 million deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.

     

    2013 Finish

    First place in Southeast Division; lost to New York Rangers in first round of playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Capitals have one of the most viable free agents in center Mike Ribeiro. They made several attempts to sign him during the regular season and beyond, but he has chosen to become a free agent. If the Caps can't re-sign him, they will lose much of their offensive balance and they won't be as dangerous on the offensive end.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Capitals overcame a rough start and seemed to get it under first-year head coach Adam Oates in 2013. However, if they are too reliant on superstar Alex Ovechkin, they will become predictable and easier for opponents to defend.

Winnipeg Jets

31 of 31

    2013 Finish

    Second place in Southeast Division; failed to make the playoffs.

     

    Biggest Offseason Need

    The Jets were in contention for a playoff spot most of the season, but they struggled with clutch scoring and keeping the puck out of their own net. They need a forward who can score and a hard-nosed defenseman who can punish opponents that try to anchor in front of the Winnipeg net.

     

    What's at Stake as Free Agency Begins

    The Jets have grateful fans who were thrilled to get an NHL franchise when the Atlanta Thrashers decided to relocate. It's time for the team to reward its loyal fans with a playoff appearance.

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