As the NHL season winds down, contenders and non-contenders alike will begin to hound the trading wire and the free agent market, each looking to add pieces which can help their team in the future.
With San Jose's Joe Thornton and Washington's Alexander Semin having signed contract extensions in-season, and Niklas Lidstrom far more likely to retire than play for anyone but the Red Wings, the NHL's 2011 free agent class is devoid of any game-changing players.
Instead, it is a player pool deep in talented defensemen, high upside goalies and second line scorers.
Not one of these players is likely to ever be a Hall of Famer, but all of them are potential All-Stars who possess the skills to make a good team better.
They are the types of players who turn contenders into champions.
With that in mind, what follows is a ranking of the top NHL free agents for the upcoming 2011 offseason.
Their order is determined by the potential impact they could have on their new clubs relative to their expected salary.