Helene Elliott's NHL team-by-team preview
Leading scorer: Daniel Sedin, 31-51.

Outlook: Adding Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich firmed up their defense so they won't miss free-agent Mattias Ohlund and will gain puck-moving and physical elements. Luongo (2.34 goals-against average, .920 save percentage) remains their franchise, and they're sunk if anything happens to him. Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin (22-60 -- 82) worked well with winger Alex Burrows (28 goals, 51 points) but that spot could be up for grabs.


2008-09 record: 51-21-10=112 points.

Power play: 25.5% (first). Penalty killing: 78.3% (25th).

Leading scorer: Pavel Datsyuk, 32-65.

Outlook: They've lost a lot. Hossa's 40 goals, Jiri Hudler's grit, Mikael Samuelsson's size and skill and Tomas Kopecky's two-way talent, but they have a flow of young talent ready to step up in Justin Abdelkader, Ville Leino and Darren Helm. Tomas Holmstrom and Daniel Cleary are the league's most effective operators around the net. Detroit will have to improve defensively (its 2.88 team goals-against average was 19th last season) and on the penalty kill. Brad Stuart is error-prone but Niklas Kronwall is a punishing hitter and Nick Lidstrom remains a puck-moving marvel at 39.

Up front, stalwarts Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper are nearing the end but Henrik Zetterberg (31 goals, 73 points) and Johan Franzen (12 playoff goals) are in their prime. The Red Wings could get to the finals again, but it won't be easy.


2008-09 record: 46-30-6=98 points.

Power play: 17.0% (21st). Penalty killing: 83.4% (fourth).

Leading scorer: Jarome Iginla, 35-54.

Outlook: Their defense is big and tough and punishing with Jay Bouwmeester joining Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr but they'll miss the scoring provided by Michael Cammalleri, who left for Montreal as a free agent. Iginla is a character guy but he's got mostly popguns around him. Brent Sutter, who left New Jersey to coach closer to home -- and to work for his brother, Darryl, the Flames' general manager -- will drive them hard and make them better defensively.


2008-09 record: 46-24-12=104 points.

Power play: 19.3% (12th). Penalty killing: 80.6% (18th).

Leading scorer: Martin Havlat, 29-48.

Outlook: They think losing Havlat to Minnesota won't hurt much because they believe Patrick Kane (25 goals), Jonathan Toews (34), Patrick Sharp (26) and Kris Versteeg (22) are capable of even more. But they won't have game-breaker Hossa until November because he underwent rotator cuff surgery. Checking center John Madden and former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky were good signings, but rugged right wing Adam Burish, out six months after knee surgery, will be missed. Their defense moves the puck well but Brian Campbell must have a bounce-back season for the Blackhawks to go far.


2008-09 record: 42-33-7=91 points.