NHL 2011-2012 Predictions: 4 Declining Playoff Contenders After Free Agency

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NHL 2011-2012 Predictions: 4 Declining Playoff Contenders After Free Agency
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Only a little over two weeks into the month of July and the 2011 NHL Free Agency period, much of the activity that was bound to occur has already happened.

With players like Ray Emery and Sergei Samsonov now the "highlights" of the free agents, most teams are now beginning to review their new roster for the upcoming 2011-2012 season and look towards training camp.

However, that's not to say that there still haven't been enough signings over the past 16 days to thoroughly shake up the league. Hundreds of players have switched teams, entire rosters in some cities have been transformed, and over a billion dollars (according to CapGeek.com) has been spent.

For teams who made the playoffs last April, no matter their fate once getting there, this offseason was about renewing the team to equal the task of meeting their goals yet again next year and, in many cases, even stepping it up another level from their 2010-2011 effort.

However, not all 16 playoffs teams were able to improve on last season's team during their free agency signings. These four, in particular, seemed to us that they even went downhill from their old roster.

Whether because of little maneuvering room due to the salary cap, poor decisions with trades and contracts, or simple inactivity in a busy time, each of these GM's might be a little more nervous about his franchise during the next regular season than he was in the last.

 

This slideshow is the second installment of a two-part series recapping the 2011 NHL offseason to date. Part One discussed five teams who became playoff contenders with their free agent signings.

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