Ranking the 10 Most Tumultuous Offseasons in NHL History

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Ranking the 10 Most Tumultuous Offseasons in NHL History
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

With the NHL’s salary cap set to slim down to $64.3 million and the rise of a particularly celestial draft class, the summer leading up to the 2013-14 season has the potential to go down as one of the more tumultuous in league history.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary variously defines the term “tumultuous” as “loud, excited and emotional," “tending or disposed to cause or incite a tumult” or “marked by a violent or overwhelming turbulence or upheaval.”

When one applies the adjective in question to an NHL offseason, it can thus range from describing anticipation to anxiety to anguish.

It could entail simultaneous melancholy and euphoria as a team relocates, thus leaving one fanbase to jubilantly await a new era and another to brace itself for when the cold reality of a much emptier winter sinks in.

It could involve a sense of catharsis as a long-deprived market regains NHL membership through relocation or expansion or, in rare cases, the return of all member clubs to normal activity after more than a year-long hiatus.

Summertime tumult could involve a league-wide eagerness to see a new young star break in, as is the case this year with Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones. Or it could describe an accelerated appetite for action after watching familiar faces compete in an offseason international tournament.

Here are 10 of the most memorable NHL offseasons that were defined by one or more of these sorts of developments.

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