Training camp is a time of hope. Every NHL team thinks it's made the right changes over the summer to improve its fortunes. Every young prospect dreams of impressing enough to make the jump to the top of the hockey heap.
In reality—especially in our modern salary cap world—most rosters are essentially determined well before preseason begins. Teams know exactly how they'll allocate their money.
Still, there are young players who come into camp with jobs to lose based on lackluster performances, and there are veterans who are striving for new or improved roles. Player personnel staffs have lots to sort through before the regular season begins on October 1.
Most NHL teams are currently carrying rosters of about 40 players. They'll need to get down to 23, with salary commitments of $64.3 million or less, by September 30.
Here's a look at the most difficult roster decision each team will have to make before the regular season gets underway.