The NHL draft and the bulk of free agency are behind us, and general managers across the league will now begin to turn their attention to the new season.
They will all be looking to put finishing touches on rosters that have already been re-modeled and for many teams, almost changed completely.
Many of them will find that they still have pieces missing. Fortunately for them, there are still some elite free agents on the market, and they are all looking for a new workplace next season.
We match each team with one remaining free agent that will help to improve their squads in regards to next season.
Note: All projections are made without salary cap projections.
Teemu Selanne - RW - Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim need defenders badly but Teemu Selanne is probably the best free agent still on the market. The 41-year-old Finn is coming off knee surgery, and there is a good chance he'll retire, but a player who scored 31 goals and added 49 assists last year is a crucial pick-up for Anaheim.
They've got some good young right wingers in Rikard Rakell and Emerson Etem, and who better to mentor them?
If he comes back, he'll be a Duck.
Nikolay Zherdev - RW - Philadelphia Flyers
Boston's biggest need is a big scorer. Last year, a tremendous full-team effort and a hot goalie allowed them to ride all the way to the Stanley Cup, but you have to ask yourself, what would have happened had Tim Thomas played like a mere mortal during the playoffs?
By going after Russian Nik Zherdev, they get a proven scorer that has gotten unlucky in recent years.
At his best, the winger will be able to give you 30 goals (career best 27) and 60 points (career best 61), numbers that would be very welcome at TD Garden.
If the Bruins treated him well and put him on a line with good, hard-working players (Milan Lucic and David Krejci, for example), picking up Zherdev for what would be around $1.5 million could be an absolute steal.
Alex Kovalev - RW - Pittsburgh Penguins
The Buffalo Sabres have spent the last few seasons building a team they feel can compete, whether it be through the draft or free agency. They have done a great job. They now have a young, skilled team that you can expect will make a serious playoff run this next season.
The one knock on them? With Mike Grier likely leaving, there isn't much quality on the roster in terms of experience, something that has shown to be crucial in the NHL playoffs. Russian Kovalev can fix that.
The 38-year-old is certainly in the twilight of his career, but he showed last season that he can still produce and be a meaningful player. With some good wingers on the roster, Kovalev would have to fight for playing time but he still definitely has the potential to be a producing third-line winger.
Could the Sabres take a look?
Paul Mara - D - Montreal Canadiens
The one big area where the Flames need help is at defense. Behind Corey Sarich, Mark Giordano and Jay Bouwmeester, the position is thin. With Steve Staios gone, there is definitely a hole to fill.
Paul Mara could do that job perfectly. While he won't be a top pair defenseman, he could play with highly touted prospect TJ Brodie, who appears ready to step up, on the third pairing.
Mara could be effective as a depth defenseman for the Flames, so don't be surprised to see them offer him a one-year contract.
Nick Boynton - D - Philadelphia Flyers
With some top defensive prospects in Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy working their way through the system, the Hurricanes have no need long-term to add any more D-men.
Right now, they are building up a physical force at that position in fact, having added big veteran Bryan Allen to complement Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen. Why not add another big hitter to that equation?
While it is not a necessity, the signing of Boynton could pay huge dividends for the 'Canes. A graduate of the Flyers school of hitting, Boynton, 32, wouldn't produce anything offensively but could be effective on the bottom pairing playing with and standing up for Bobby Sanguinetti or Faulk if the Hurricanes feel either is ready.
Chris Clark - RW - Columbus Blue Jackets
Having lost Tomas Kopecky, Troy Brouwer and Marty Turco to free agency, the Blackhawks have lost a lot of leadership.
They also have a gaping hole at the third-line center position to back up Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, and while they have gotten a lot tougher, those players are not going to show any flair offensively. The 35-year-old Chris Clark is the perfect answer.
Formerly a captain and 30-goal scorer with the Washington Capitals, Clark has experienced a lot of injury problems these past few years. He can still produce however, and he may be the perfect fit until some of the younger prospects come through the system.
Cory Stillman - LW - Carolina Hurricanes
More than any other signing on this list, this one makes sense. The Avalanche have made some great moves this offseason, especially the Semyon Varlamov one, but they still find themselves beneath the salary cap floor.
With Tomas Fleischmann leaving through free agency, the Avs have a need for a left winger for their top two lines.
Last season, Stillman put up 12 goals and 39 points in 65 games. He has been a feared playmaker for a while, twice putting up 55 assist seasons. He has two Stanley Cups under his belt and would bring a great deal of veteran experience to the Avalanche roster and to his two young potential linemates.
How does a second line of Cory Stillman, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog sound?
Pascal Leclaire - G - Ottawa Senators
With a suddenly brilliant first line, the key to the Blue Jackets success may well be the play of Steve Mason, who has struggled with inconsistency throughout his short career.
Columbus could do with a new backup goalie and former Jackets first-rounder Pascal Leclaire might be the answer.
A player who has always shown flashes of his great ability and potential, but has always had significant injury problems. With a lesser workload, Leclaire could potentially be able to resist the injury bug and contribute this year.
A lack of quality goaltending prospects might mean Leclaire, 28, could be a permanent solution.
Vaclav Prospal - LW - New York Rangers
The Dallas Stars have without a doubt the most underrated player in the league in Loui Eriksson, and they need to find him a line-mate after the Brad Richards signed for the New York Rangers.
Could "Vinny" Prospal move the other way?
While he is a veteran at 36, he showed last season that he can still score, going at almost a point a game in a season plagued by injuries.
Could also help mentor fellow Czech winger Tomas Vincour, who might be ready for NHL duty as soon as this season.
Kris Draper - C/RW - Detroit Red Wings
With Draper unsigned, the Red Wings are a whole lot younger and more inexperienced. The team is going through a transition at the moment where a wave of younger players are being given an opportunity.
You need to balance that with veteran play and hard work.
Draper is a legend in Detroit. He has played his whole career there and is the heart and soul of the team. Not having him back would open up another spot for a prospect, but the Devils need to ask themselves if that's what they need right now.
If not, Draper is back.
Mike Grier - RW - Buffalo Sabres
It is no secret that the Oilers have a long line of highly skilled young forwards. By bringing Grier back they would acquire a bit of grit and checking line play to go along with that skill.
They definitely lack depth at the right-wing position, and Grier would slot in perfectly on the third line behind Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle, competing with Linus Omark for a spot.
Originally drafted by the St Louis Blues, Grier would soon be traded to the Oilers, and they gave him his first chance in the NHL. He would be more than happy to return.
Alexei Yashin - C - SKA (KHL)
The Florida Panthers have a very bright future, especially on defense. Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov will in time create a dangerous defensive pairing that will be among the league's elite.
They went out and got Ed Jovanovski and Brian Campbell to create a defensive unit that is going to compete with the best. Why not complement it with some offensive flair?
At 37, Alexei Yashin is far beyond his best, but he can still produce as he showed last year playing for St Petersburg in the KHL, putting up 33 points in 52 games. He would find a spot as the team's second or third line center and could help to mentor youngsters Dmitry Kulikov and Evgeny Dadonov.
This signing would be a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Panthers.
Sergei Samsonov - LW - Florida Panthers
The Kings have worked hard this offseason. Despite missing out on Brad Richards, they acquired Mike Richards in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers leaving them with a powerful one-two punch at center with Anze Kopitar.
They now need to fill out on the wings.
Samsonov is a clever choice because he has generally put up pretty good numbers on unsuccessful teams, and he can play both wings.
If he plays on the right, the Kings would be left with Simon Gagne, Dustin Penner, Dustin Brown and Samsonov as their top four wingers. Impressive.
Marty Turco - G - Chicago Blackhawks
With new additions Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi in town, the offense is now at least somewhat taken care of. Unfortunately, you sacrificed your best defender in Brent Burns to it. Now, you improve your goaltending by signing Marty Turco.
Turco, said by Don Cherry to be "the smartest goalie in the NHL," ended an illustrious career with the Dallas Stars last year when he signed with the Blackhawks. He will be on the move again.
Available at what will be a bargain price, Turco would undoubtedly be brought in to be a leader in the locker room, and with Backstrom carrying the vast majority of the workload, Turco likely wouldn't see much playing time.
Last year in Chicago he backed up and mentored youngster Corey Crawford. He'd be expected to back up again in Minnesota.
Jarkko Ruutu - RW - Anaheim Ducks
The Canadiens don't like Ruutu. The fans remember when he elbowed Maxim Lapierre, and they still hate him for it. The bottom line is, though, that the Canadiens need to get a lot tougher. They don't have anybody who will stand up for his teammates on the ice and that is what Ruutu brings.
He has the potential to become a fan favourite, zero-to-hero player in Montreal.
While he won't give you much offensively, he can be a Matt Cooke kind of a player; you love to have him on your team, but hate to play against him.
Montreal have the squad to be a serious contender. Ruutu could be the final piece of the puzzle.
Marek Svatos - RW - Ottawa Senators
Nashville still need a scorer. While Slovak Marek Svatos has failed to do so consistently since returning from the KHL last season, he has showed in the past that he can do that. With Samsonov heading to Colorado, he is the best option on the market.
With career highs of 32 goals and 50 points, Svatos would be a good pickup for the Preds. With a full training camp and good linemates, he definitely has the potential to go out and be a 30-goal scorer again.
Kyle Wellwood - C - San Jose Sharks
Coming off a year split between the KHL and the San Jose Sharks, Wellwood would join a team deep at the center position. He would create some healthy competition with Dainius Zubrus and Jacob Josefsson for the second- and third-line center roles.
The Devils could use a third-line center, and though Wellwood has struggled in recent seasons with injuries, he can still be an effective player. A heart and soul guy who can penalty kill, Wellwood would be a solid pickup for the Devils.
Ray Emery - G - Anaheim Ducks
The Islanders biggest problem has always been goaltending. When Rick DiPietro is healthy, that problem doesn't exist, but he's never healthy.
Therefore, they always have to rely on average backups to carry the majority of the workload. It's about time they sign an NHL quality starting goalie to compete with DiPietro.
That player is Ray Emery, a man who has all the skill and talent to be one of the league's elite but has always brought a bad attitude to everything. Now is his chance to redeem himself in an organization that he will be given a lot of opportunities in.
Can the Islanders pass up on a great player at a great price?
Steve Staios - D - Calgary Flames
Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy and Bryan McCabe have all left. The Rangers need to fill those gaps on D.
It starts with Tim Erixon, who will be in the NHL next season. The top prospect needs to find a veteran to play with next season, to help him ease the transition. That player is Steve Staios.
Staios has played 18 seasons in this league and at 37, can still be a reliable player. A good penalty killer and a good lockeroom influence. Good be a good one-year patch-up until the better free agency crop of next year.
Mike Comrie - C - Pittsburgh Penguins
With the sixth-overall pick in last month's draft, the Sens picked up Swede Mika Zibanejad.
He's going to be a real good player in this league for a long time, but if he's not ready next year the team needs to sign a new center to fill the third line until "Ziba" is ready to step up and take it in his first, developmental season.
It is important to know that Comrie returning to Ottawa would only be a temporary fix. Ottawa is in the middle of a rebuilding stage right now, and they need to be patient with it.
If Comrie can come in, play on the third line and contribute 10 goals and 20 assists for around $1.5 million, he'd be a good pickup.
John Madden - C - Minnesota Wild
The Flyers lost their top two centers and replaced them with one fourth-liner and one touted prospect. They need to add John Madden to that mix.
Assuming Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn take the top two lines, Madden and Maxime Talbot would battle it out for the bottom two line duties.
Talbot has been ready for third-line play for a while but was buried on the depth chart in Pittsburgh. At 38, Madden is a calming presence in the locker room and a great penalty killer.
The Flyers need better defensive forwards.
Steve Eminger - D - New York Rangers
The Phoenix Coyotes are in the middle of a tough stage which likely means relocation. It was difficult for them to find players in free agency willing to take the risk.
That is why they have to be active now, when players are desperate and scrambling to find new teams, to sign a good defenseman.
The fact that Eminger has player for six teams in five years as a 27-year-old has nothing to do with how good or bad he is. He just always gets on the wrong end of trades.
The Coyotes need a defenseman to round out their top six, and the former Capitals first-rounder is a solid option.
Steve Bernier - RW - Florida Panthers
A team low on right wingers find a really good one in Steve Bernier. One of the more underrated players in the NHL is a really solid option on the second or third lines, and while he may not be Sidney Crosby's new winger, he has always produced consistently and still will at only 26.
Last year, he managed only 15 points, but injuries as well as a weak Florida team hampered him. The right opportunity to play with players like Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke could be just what he needs to take off and realise his full potential.
Fredrik Sjöström - LW/RW - Toronto Maple Leafs
The Sharks could do with some bottom-line grit, some aggressiveness, some physical play. Fredrik Sjöström could bring that.
It seems the Sharks' problem has always been that they've been too good offensively and that their system buckles in the postseason when they can't play the gritty stye that the playoffs require. The Swede would change that.
Sjöström can be so valuable because he plays a high-octane, hard-working, hard-hitting game without giving up many penalties. In the past three seasons, he's had only 26 PIMs.
If placed on the third line, he can produce. The Sharks have a terrible postseason curse. Could Fredrik Sjöström change that?
Brent Sopel - D - Montreal Canadiens
The St Louis Blues have one of the brightest prospect pools in the league, and it is strong on defense. They also have two great young defenseman in their lineup in Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo. Why not bring in someone to help mentor them?
While defense is far from an immediate need for the Blues, if they were to sign one more free agent 34-year-old Brent Sopel would be a good choice.
He's never been a flashy defenseman, but he can still be effective on the bottom defensive pairing as a shot-blocker and penalty killer. He has a cup under his belt and the Blues could use his experience on the back line.
Chris Drury - C - New York Rangers
The Tampa Bay Lightning have invested heavily in their star Steven Stamkos, and they now have to surround him with role players. Drury is still a good player, despite being bought out by the Rangers this off-season, and he can still produce on the second or third line.
An injury-plagued season saw him play just 24 games and manage only five points, but he has shown his talent in the past with career high seasons of 37 goals and 69 points.
Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos will take the top two lines. Drury and Dominic Moore will battle it out for the bottom lines. At his best, the Bolts can expect a 15-goal, 30-point season.
In a worst-case scenario, he'll provide some good leadership from the fourth line for not much money.
Bryan McCabe - D - New York Rangers
The Toronto Maple Leafs have improved their blue line a lot but lack a power-play quarterback. McCabe will do that for them.
While he has gotten slower in recent years, he can still be effective off the bottom defensive pairing playing with one of the Leafs top prospects, Keith Aulie or Jake Gardiner. While he is a shadow of his old self, he is one of Toronto's all-time best offensive defenseman and would bridge the gap nicely until Jesse Blacker and Stuary Percy are ready to step up full time.
Last season, McCabe appeared in 67 games and tallied 28 points. If he manages a full season, Leafs fans can expect around 30 points.
Scott Hannan - D - Washington Capitals
The Vancouver Canucks lost a key defenseman this past offseason, and they have yet to replace him. THey don't have many places where they need to improve, but they could do with signing Scott Hannan.
While he won't be nearly as valuable as Christian Ehrhoff was, he can be really solid, as he showed with Washington last year and will compete with Chris Tanev for playing time.
He has a big lack of offensive skill, but likes to pinch and will shoot looking for rebounds and deflections. As far as shot-blocking and penalty killing go, you don't get much better.
This late in free agency, he'll be cheap and would be a really good addition to a hungry Canucks squad.
JP Dumont - C - Nashville Predators
The Washington Capitals are arguably the most improved team this offseason, and they are finally ready for what will be a long postseason run. If they were to improve in one area this offseason, it would be at the third-line center position.
Heading into the new season, that player will likely be Brooks Laich, who would be playing out of position. While it is far from a problem that needs to be solved, the Caps could do with signing JP Dumont.
The Canadian was bought out after a disappointing season with the Preds, but the truth is he was never really given a chance. If the Caps signed him, it's likely his line mates would be Troy Brouwer and Mattias Sjögren, two gritty players who can score.
Dumont could be really successful with the Caps, and if signed on a one-year contract, he would create the perfect bridge until Cody Eakin is ready to step up and take the spot.
Jack Hillen - D - New York Islanders
At defense, the Winnipeg Jets are very top-heavy. Their top three or four defensemen are world class, while the bottom three or four are fringe players. Jack Hillen would definitely be a positive addition to the Jets blue line.
At 25, Hillen is the youngest player on this list. He is a good puck-mover and can is good in all three zones. As far as where he may fit in with the Jets, it is hard to tell.
His versatility means he could play either with Zach Bogosian on the second pairing or as a solid shut-down third pairing. Would come cheap and would be a really good pickup for the Jets.