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New York Islanders

Off-season needs
Top 2 defenseman; depth pivot.

Done so far
Mike Sillinger is far from being a depth pivot, but the Islanders signed him anyway and now boast a pretty good quartet of centermen. Brendan Witt is more of a stay-at-home, No. 3 defenseman but the Islanders signed him anyway, too. They also signed offensive blueliner Tom Poti but he's no No. 2 guy. Tough guy Chris Simon, who may see improved production as a potential favorite of coach Ted Nolan's, also joined the Isles.

Still left to do
The only big-name defensemen still out there are Brian Leetch and Eric Desjardins. The Islanders may want to stay youthful and just stick with what they have. Garth Snowbecoming the team's GM has left a void at the No. 2 or 3 goaltending spots.

New York Rangers

Off-season needs
Sign or replace Martin Straka, Petr Sykora and Martin Rucinsky; find a second-line center; add size up front.

Done so far
The Rangers re-signed Straka and then added Matt Cullen as their second-line pivot. Cullen adds size, as does the acquisition of winger Adam Hallfrom Nashville. Moreover, they packed on more size and injected offense, grit, and leadership in the form of former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan.

Still left to do
The Rangers look to be finished, with the exception of possibly re-signing Sykora. However, the addition of Shanahan greatly reduces the importance of that move. Rucinsky was lost after he signed with St. Louis.

Ottawa Senators

Off-season needs
Sign or replace Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden; add a bonafide No. 1 goalie.

Done so far
The Senators brought in Martin Gerber to be their new No. 1 guy in net and re-signed Wade Redden. Free agent acquisition Joe Corvo will replace the departed Brian Pothier just fine, but the loss of Chara to Boston is devastating. The Sens then shipped Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski out of town, which brought in rearguard Tom Preissing and some prospects. Journeymen forwards Dean McAmmondandSerge Payerhave also been added for depth at the forward ranks. Ottawa has cut enough payroll to keep the team together next summer (and not have another Chara-type loss). At the same time, they restocked the prospect shelves.

Still left to do
Most of the pieces are still in place but the Sens need another big defenseman to fill a depth role. For now, they seem to have settled on free agent Jamie Allison.

Philadelphia Flyers

Off-season needs
Add some depth at all positions; solve a potential goaltending controversy. All of the aforementioned must be done without popping an already strained budget.

Done so far
An array of low-priced 'B' players have been brought in at discount prices: Geoff Sanderson, Randy Robitaille, Brad Tapper, Nolan Baumgartner and Marty Murray. GM Bob Clarke was wise in adding top defensive prospect Lars Jonsson into the fold. He may turn out to be a steal. Of significance up front, Clarke also swapped Michal Handzusto Chicago for Kyle Calder.

Still left to do
Depth has been added to all positions without adding a lot to the overall salary structure. However, there is still their matter of two goaltenders: Robert Esche and Antero Niittymaki. Both want the No. 1 job but neither one has proven he can run with it.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Off-season needs
Two stay-at-home defensemen; a scoring winger or two.

Done so far
Mark Eaton is an okay stay-at-home defenseman, while trade acquisition Nils Ekmanandfree agent signeeMark Recchi will provide some goals. Pesky wingers Jarkko Ruutu and Ronald Petrovickywill bring loads of dirt.

Still left to do
At the very least, the Penguins need an experienced, NHL-caliber defensive rearguard. With Evgeni Malkin seemingly out of the picture for this year, the Pens will need a No. 2 center, or they must be hoping that 2006 second overall pick Jordan Staal is ready.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Off-season needs
A true No. 1 goaltender; depth on defense and on the wings.

Done so far
The Lightning traded for Marc Denis, thereby solving their netminding problem completely. They also added defensemen Luke Richardson, Filip Kuba, Doug Janik and Andy Delmore. However they lost Pavel Kubina (free agency) and Darryl Sydor (trade).

Still left to do
The Lightning seem ready to start the season, minus the depth up the front.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Off-season needs
Sign or replace Bryan McCabe; find a No. 1 goaltender; add some secondary offense.

Done so far
GM John Ferguson Jr. secured McCabe to a long-term deal and then traded to acquire goalie Andrew Raycroft. He also brought in secondary offense on the blueline in Pavel Kubina, and added defensive responsibility and size in Hal Gill. Up front, the addition of Michael Pecadefinitely bolsters their shut-down game.

Still left to do
With much of the budget tied up in Mats Sundin, McCabe and Tomas Kaberle, the Leafs need to find a second-line offensive winger who will come cheap. Anson Carter rumors have been swirling in Leafland for weeks now, but the signing of Peca may have pushed them out of their salary range for now.

Washington Capitals

Off-season needs
Lots of experience and leadership; a couple of rearguards; about three forwards for the Top 2 lines.

Done so far
The Caps are bringing back Alexander Semin and they acquired former Washington draft pick Richard Zednik (249th overall in 1994) from Montreal. They also signed Brian Pothier to shore up some of the defense and Donald Brashearto head the muscle department.

Still left to do
The defense is still pretty thin, so they may yet add a depth defenseman. No matter how one puts it, though, the Caps are in a rebuilding phase and management will let this team grow and mature together.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Atlanta Thrashers

Off-season needs
Sign or replace Marc Savard; open up a roster spot or two on the point for Braydon Coburn and Marc Popovic (who are ready); find a backup for Kari Lehtonen.

Done so far
After seeing goalie after goalie fall to injury last year,Johan Hedberg, one of the better backup goaltenders in the league, and Fred Brathwaite, as the third-stringer, were brought on board by GM Don Waddell. Savard was lost to Boston and Atlanta has replaced him with Steve Rucchin. Jaroslav Modry was moved as part of a package to Dallas because Coburn or Popovic should be ready to step in.

Still Left to do
If the Thrashers feel that Steve Rucchin is the answer for the loss of Savard, then Atlanta is in for a long season. Vet playmaker Jason Allison, despite his lack of speed, is the only free agent pivot available with the offensive talent to play with Ilya Kovalchuk. A trade is possible unless 2006 first-rounder Bryan Little steps up in camp and steals a job.

Boston Bruins

Off-season needs
Add two-thirds of a second line; acquire some value for goalie Andrew Raycroft (who is too good to be a third-stringer); upgrade the defense; also, the entire fourth line from last season is currently on the unrestricted free agent market.

Done so far
Adding Marc Savard to play with Glen Murray and signing Petr Tenkrat to play on the left side are great steps to solidify a second line. The Bruins also signed Zdeno Chara and acquired Paul Mara for Nick Boynton in a trade with Phoenix. Both moves improved the back end in terms of offense. Moreover, while David Tanabewas let go, journeyman blueliner Nathan Dempseywas added via free agency. Adding top prospect Tuukka Rask in return for Raycroft was an astute move.

Still left to do
Adding depth players Shean Donovan and Mark Mowers is just the beginning. Boston needs to add one more checking center. Boyd Devereaux, Trevor Linden and Rem Murray are all still available on the market. A spot on one of the wings can be won in camp by either Martins Karsums or Petr Kalus.

Buffalo Sabres

Off-season needs
Find a quarterback for the power play; sign or replace Jay McKee; lock up the glut of restricted free agents; trade Martin Biron for a goaltender that would be more suitable in the backup role.

Done so far
The Sabres scooped up Jaroslav Spacek off the market--he's coming off a great season in which he displayed the ability to run a power play. McKee was lost to St. Louis and has not been replaced. Fortunately, their glut of restricted free agents were re-signed.

Still left to do
A top-notch, stay-at-home defenseman is desperately needed. Only second-level rearguards such as Alexander Khavanov can be had via the free agent route. Buffalo would address this need best in a potential trade involving Biron.

Carolina Hurricanes

Off-season needs
A backup goaltender for Cam Ward; a desperate need for depth at each wing.

Done so far
John Grahame failed to live up to the starter's role that was given to him in Tampa Bay last season. However, he has shown to be a solid backup in the past. The Hurricanes were smart in adding him for that job. They also signed winger Trevor Letowski and acquired veteran Scott Walker(the latter from Nashville forJosef Vasicek).

Still left to do
There is certainly no shortage of depth wingers on the market, and defending Stanley Cup Champions can afford to take their time to pick and choose. Boyd Devereaux, Todd Harvey, and Richard Park are all available.

Florida Panthers

Off-season needs
Sign one or two defensemen; make sure franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo is under contract long-term; more scoring punch up front.

Done so far
After failing to lock up Luongo long-term, GM Mike Keenan dropped a bombshell on the hockey world by trading him and Lukas Krajicek to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld. The scoring punch problem up front is certainly solved with Bertuzzi, but Auld is no Luongo. The Panthers also signed defenseman Ruslan Salei and veteran goaltender Ed Belfour.

Still left to do
The defense has been significantly upgraded, as has the offense. Goaltending, however, remains a question mark. Belfour, now 41, has been showing signs of wear and tear. That being said, it's most likely that this is the team Florida goes into camp with, barring the addition of another depth defenseman.

Montreal Canadiens

Off-season needs
Size pretty much everywhere; depth on defense; sign or replace Cristobal Huet.

Done so far
They have re-signed Huet, cut Richard Zednik loose in the form of a trade with Washington and replaced his spot on the roster by acquiring Mike Johnson from Phoenix. Furthermore, the Habs added an elite winger in Sergei Samsonov.

Still left to do
The Habs are looking like they now have the team they want, despite an evident need on the blueline.

New Jersey Devils

Off-season needs
Sign or replace Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner; find a backup goaltender who is willing to play as little as... er... zero games; some defensive depth.

Done so far
It pushed them to the brink of the salary cap, but the Devils managed to secure the services of both Elias and Langenbrunner. Now, the cap is near bursting with the re-signing of Colin White.

Still left to do
The arbitration award toScott Gomezhas pushed the Devils well over the salary cap. They will need to cut that back by October. John Madden and Richard Matvichuk are also both making a lot of coin, so GM Lou Lamoriello needs to free up some of that spare change. A trade is a possibility. They can no longer afford a backup goalie that makes any more than the league minimum.
 
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