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Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (L) celebrates his first period goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets with teammate forward Ben Maxwell (49) during the first period of NHL pre-season action in Winnipeg September 20, 2011. (FRED GREENSLADE/REUTERS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (L) celebrates his first period goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets with teammate forward Ben Maxwell (49) during the first period of NHL pre-season action in Winnipeg September 20, 2011. (FRED GREENSLADE/REUTERS)

A capsule look at the seven Canadian-based NHL teams Add to ...

The 2011-12 Ottawa Senators surprised nearly everyone by qualifying for the postseason as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, before pushing the New York Rangers all the way to Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. Rookie coach Paul MacLean was widely lauded for getting standout years from many of his stars, including Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek. But no one did more than defenceman Erik Karlsson, whose 78 points earned him the Norris Trophy and a new seven-year, $45-million deal. How Karlsson handles NHL superstardom and MacLean’s continued ability to push the right buttons will go a long way to determining whether the Senators take another step forward or slide backward in their quest to return to the league’s elite.

Say hello to …

F Guillaume Latendresse, D Michael Lundin, D Marc Methot

Say goodbye to …

F Bobby Butler, F Nick Foligno, G Alex Auld, D Matt Carkner, D Matt Gilroy, F Rob Klinkhammer, F Zenon Konopka, D Filip Kuba

Top prospect – Jakob Silfverberg

The Swedish winger introduced himself to Senators fans with a two-game sortie on the team’s fourth line in last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs, but given his play in the AHL this year, he clearly has designs on a spot higher up the pecking order. With 13 goals and 15 assists on Binghamton’s top line, Silfverberg has earned comparisons with Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson, and provided his hot hand doesn’t drop off, he may find himself suiting up alongside his countryman when the big club opens its season.

NHLers abroad during lockout

F Erik Condra (EV Fussen, Germany), F Kaspars Daugavins (Dinamo Riga, KHL), D Sergei Gonchar (Metallurg, KHL), F Colin Greening (Aalborg, Denmark), D Erik Karlsson (Jokerit, Finland), F Milan Michalek (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic), F Peter Regin (SC Langenthal, Switzerland), F Jason Spezza (Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland), F Kyle Turris (Karpat, Finland), F Jesse Winchester (TuTo, Finland)

WINNIPEG JETS

2011-12: 37-35-10, missed playoffs for the fifth consecutive season (first four as Atlanta Thrashers).

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Winnipeg’s first NHL season in 15 years was an overwhelming success, except in the standings, where its 11th-place Eastern Conference finish was all too reminiscent of the majority of the years the franchise spent in Atlanta as the Thrashers. The offence was middle of the pack, but that stands to take a decided upswing this season, thanks to the signings of centre Olli Jokinen, winger Alexei Ponikarovsky and the likely promotion of centre Mark Scheifele, who had a productive world junior tournament in Russia, scoring five goals and three assists in six games. Given the defensive woes (26th overall in goals against), the Jets are likely counting on surviving shootouts to better last season’s finish.

Say hello to …

F Olli Jokinen, F Alexei Ponikarovsky, G Al Montoya, G Mark Dekanich, F Maxime Macenauer

Say goodbye to …

F Tanner Glass, F Eric Fehr, D Mark Flood, G Chris Mason, F Tim Stapleton, D Randy Jones

Top prospect – Mark Scheifele

Jets fans were likely salivating at the play of the Barrie Colts’ centre during the world juniors, where he put up five goals and three assists in six games for Team Canada, and he will be given every chance to nail down a roster spot at Winnipeg’s training camp.

NHLers abroad during lockout

F Nik Antropov (Barys Astana, KHL), D Tobias Enstrom (EC Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), F Eric Fehr (HPK, Finland), F Antti Miettinen (HPK, Finland), G Ondrej Pavelec (Bili Tygri Liberec, Czech Republic), F Alexei Ponikarovsky (Donbass, KHL), F Blake Wheeler (EHC Red Bull Munchen, Germany)

CALGARY FLAMES

2011-12: 37-29-16, missed playoffs for third consecutive season.

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While it seems apparent to everybody that the Flames need to embrace a full-scale rebuild, the Calgary braintrust is not so easily swayed and will continue to stay the course. Exactly what that course is is not immediately apparent after three straight seasons of missing the postseason, but general manager Jay Feaster remains unfazed, adding some more pieces to the puzzle in the hope that the big picture reveals springtime hockey.

Say hello to …

F Jiri Hudler, F Roman Cervenka, D Dennis Wideman

Say goodbye to …

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