The NHL offseason is only a few weeks old. For those diehards in every NHL city and the spaces between, the wait for the 2011-2012 season has seemed like counting seconds between Feb. 29's on the calendar.
With the draft in our rear-view mirror and the Winnipeg Jets back where they belong, free agency is the next blip before a long summer of questions.
"Did my team make the right move?"
"I cannot believe we landed that guy!"
"How could they miss out on so-and-so?"
"Our cap is looking so bad, I hope the Mayans were right about 2012!!"
These are some of the questions and phrases that expect to be uttered by NHL followers after the first few days of July.
On the eve of free agency, it seems like a good idea to pair a player up with every NHL team. The purpose is to find a guy who helps put every team over the top.
What does "over the top" mean?
It could mean the difference between making the playoffs or not.
For some it means changing the culture in a losing dressing room.
Others it could be the one guy needed to stay near the top of the mountain.
Honestly, for this slideshow, believe it to mean whatever you want it to be.