Since the 2010-11 NHL Season came to a close, there have been a number of blockbuster trades executed, and many star players have changed addresses.
Teams like the Minnesota, San Jose, Columbus, Edmonton, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have all acquired front-line NHLers via trade during what has been a hectic Offseason.
General managers across the league fully understand that being able to lay claim to a superstar player is beneficial for a number of reasons. While the primary purpose of star players is obviously to bring their elite level abilities to the lineup, standout players also generate higher levels of fan interest and press for the franchise, so they're always a hot commodity in this league.
Teams are often willing to overpay for the services of a star player, either by means of signing a free agent or giving up valuable assets in a trade.
Currently, there are a number of teams who don't have a legitimate star player on their rosters, and at least a handful of them have proven to be willing to pay a hefty price for an elite level talent.
Here are the top six teams that fit that billing.
Late in the 2010-11 Season, the Colorado Avalanche decided it was time to find a new franchise goaltender, and moved Craig Anderson to Ottawa.
Then general manager Greg Sherman opted to fill the void in net by inking aging unrestricted free agent Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and trading first- and second-round picks to Washington in return for the talented but inconsistent Semyon Varlamov.
The Avalanche overpaid for Varlamov, but seeing as they've had multiple high draft picks in the last three years, the team must believe their time to take the next step is now.
With two talented players up the middle in Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene, the Avalanche need to secure some help for them on the wings. Trading top goal scorer Chris Stewart last season hurt, so it may now be time for the Avalanche to part with a pick or a top-end prospect in order to secure a sniper for their playmakers.
At the 2011 NHL Draft, General Manager Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers demonstrated that they want high-end talent, and are willing to give up a valuable asset in return.
After acquiring Brian Campbell from Chicago, Tallon signed a slew of high-profile free agents on July 1st, arguably overpaying for all of them.
Tallon learned during his time with Chicago that having stars not only produces good results on the ice, but makes them more popular off of it as well.
Seeing as the Panthers still don't have a bona fide offensive playmaker up front, they're a prime candidate to make a move for one.
After losing out on the Jeff Carter sweepstakes, the New York Islanders remain on the prowl for proven talent, and have an abundance of young talent to offer in return.
While players like John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo are likely untouchable, the Islanders have a collection of coveted prospects that they'd likely be willing to part with in order to get a star player on their roster.
The Islanders haven't had a superstar since Alexei Yashin's NHL career went into a free-fall, and they could desperately use a marketable face to stir up more fan interest on Long Island.
Seeing as they're hovering around the salary cap floor, they could take on a big contract, even if the player isn't quite worth his price tag.
While the Nashville Predators' first priority is to lock up franchise defenseman to a long-term deal, their next order of business will be trying to fill some holes up front.
In 2010, the Predators inked Matthew Lombardi to a three-year deal paying him $3.5 million annually. That experiment failed badly as Lombardi suffered a season-ending concussion early in the 2010-11 campaign, and this summer the speedy centerman was dealt to Toronto in what appears to be purely a salary dump of a trade.
With Lombardi and 2011 Playoff hero Joel Ward gone, the Predators are in need of offense, which is nothing new for General Manager David Poile. After being lead in scoring by Montreal Canadiens castoff Sergei Kostitsyn in 2010-11, the Predators need to bring in a top offensive player.
The Predators have the cap room to execute a trade, and if they want to keep Ryan Suter and Shea Weber for a while, they'd be well-advised to bring in some exciting forwards to play with them.
If there's one thing that Brian Burke has proven during his 13 years as an NHL General Manager, it's that he believes that having star players leads to success.
With the Vancouver Canucks, Burke swung deals to acquire the Sedin twins with the second and third overall selections in the 1999 Draft. During his time with the Anaheim Ducks, Burke acquired franchise defensemen Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, and each played key roles in the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup Championship.
Now entering his fourth season as the Leafs' General Manager, Burke has tried relentlessly to bring stars to Toronto. In 2009, he paid a hefty price to get Phil Kessel from Boston, and later that season he acquired future team captain Dion Phaneuf from Calgary.
After missing the Postseason during his first three years, Burke believes the time is now for his young Maple Leaf team, which is why it's more than likely he's working the phones to orchestrate a deal for a first-line forward.
Since winning the Eastern Conference Championship in 2007, the Ottawa Senators have been in a rapid decline.
There have been a number of reasons for this, but the departures of standouts Dany Heatley, Ray Emery, Wade Redden, Mike Fisher and Zdeno Chara have to be at the top of the list.
The Senators have a lot of cap space, and some enticing young talent (seeing as they had three First Round picks in 2011), so they could peddle a high-end prospect or two in order to get help for the present.
Jason Spezza still needs a goal scorer to play with, and Daniel Alfredsson isn't getting any younger, so the Senators could overpay (like they do on the free agent market) for the services of a high-end offensive talent.