(Top three in each division qualify for playoffs, plus wild-card teams marked with an *)
Chris O’Meara/The Associated Press
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Last season: 50-24-8, 108 points, second in Atlantic, lost in Stanley Cup final to Chicago
Who's gone: LW Brenden Morrow
Who's new: RW Erik Condra, G Kevin Poulin
Outlook: Top to bottom, there's no more talented team in the East than the Lightning, which boasts the "Triplets" line of Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov in addition to stalwarts Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman. The Stamkos contract situation is the only red flag for Tampa Bay.
2. Montreal Canadiens
Last season: 50-22-10, 110 points, first in Atlantic, lost in division final to Tampa Bay
Who's gone: LW Brandon Prust,
Who's new: RW Zack Kassian, RW Alexander Semin
Outlook: The Canadiens still have elite goaltender Carey Price and could produce more offence with the addition of Semin and the move of Alex Galchenyuk to centre. The defence will be deeper, too, with a full season of Jeff Petry joining P.K. Subban.
3. Detroit Red Wings
Last season: 43-25-14, 100 points, third in Atlantic, lost in division semifinal to Tampa Bay
Who's gone: C Stephen Weiss, D Marek Zidlicky, G Jonas Gustavsson
Who's new: C Brad Richards, D Mike Green
Outlook: The biggest departure is coach Mike Babcock, so it'll be apparent early how much of an effect he had on the Red Wings. Mini-Babcock Jeff Blashill is considered one of the best young coaches in hockey, and the team still has Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and a lot of good young forwards.
4. Ottawa Senators
Last season: 43-26-13, 99 points, fourth in Atlantic, lost in division semifinal to Montreal
Who's gone: RW Erik Condra, D Erik Gryba, G Robin Lehner, F David Legwand
Who's new: No one
Outlook: The Senators can't count on another Hail Mary late-season run to make the playoffs again. Andrew "Hamburglar" Hammond is Craig Anderson's backup now, but the team still has Norris winner Erik Karlsson and young talent up front that's still improving.
5. Buffalo Sabres
23-51-8, 54 points, eighth in Atlantic, missed playoffs
Who's gone: D Nikita Zadorov, D Andrej Meszaros, F Cody Hodgson, D André Benoit, D Tyson Strachan, C Mikhail Grigorenko
Who's new: C Ryan O'Reilly, C Jack Eichel, LW Evander Kane, G Robin Lehner, D Cody Franson, F David Legwand
Outlook: Under new coach Dan Bylsma and with an influx of talent, the Sabres will be much, much, much better than a year ago, when they wanted to be bad to nab a top draft pick. Lehner's comeback from a concussion is a question mark, as is the unproven blue line, but second-overall pick Eichel will be a star.
6. Florida Panthers
Last season: 38-29-15, 91 points, sixth in Atlantic, missed playoffs
Who's gone: LW Brad Boyes, RW Jimmy Hayes, LW Scottie Upshall, F Tomas Kopecky
Who's new: RW Reilly Smith
Outlook: The Panthers' young stars, including Aleksander Barkov, Calder Trophy winner Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau, are another year older and should take a step forward. But in a difficult East wild-card race, they'll be in tough to contend for a playoff spot.
7. Boston Bruins
Last season: 41-27-14, 86 points, fifth in Atlantic, missed playoffs
Who's gone: D Dougie Hamilton, LW Milan Lucic, RW Reilly Smith, G Niklas Svedberg, C Carl Soderberg, C Gregory Campbell, LW Daniel Paille, D Matt Bartkowski
Who's new: LW Matt Beleskey, RW Jimmy Hayes, LW Zac Rinaldo, D Matt Irwin
Outlook: Goaltender Tuukka Rask said confidently that he didn't believe the Bruins got worse. Objectively, without Lucic and Hamilton, they did and, although it won't be his fault, it could cost coach Claude Julien his job during or after the season.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs
Last season: 30-44-8, 68 points, seventh in Atlantic, missed playoffs
Who's gone: RW Phil Kessel, LW David Booth, F Zach Sill, C Olli Jokinen, D Tim Erixon
Who's new: RW Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, F Shawn Matthias, C Nick Spaling, LW Brad Boyes, F Mark Arcobello, RW Michael Grabner, D Matt Hunwick, D Martin Marincin
Outlook: The Lou Lamoriello/Mike Babcock era will begin with a team that works very hard but isn't talented enough to make much of an improvement. It's the start of the long building process for the Maple Leafs, and this won't be an easy season.
Alex Brandon/The Associated Press
1. Washington Capitals
Last season: 45-26-11, 101 points, second in Metropolitan, lost in division final to Rangers
Who's gone: RW Troy Brouwer, F Eric Fehr, RW Joel Ward, D Mike Green, D Tim Gleason, LW Curtis Glencross
Who's new: RW Justin Williams, RW T.J. Oshie, G Philipp Grubauer
Outlook: Alex Ovechkin is poised for yet another 50-goal season, even with centre Nicklas Backstrom working his way back from hip surgery. The blue line has to stay healthy (again), but goalie Braden Holtby is elite and he'll prove it into the playoffs.
2. New York Rangers
Last season: 53-22-7, 113 points, first in Metropolitan (won Presidents' Trophy), lost in conference final to Tampa Bay
Who's gone: RW Martin St. Louis, LW Carl Hagelin, G Cam Talbot, D Matt Hunwick
Who's new: RW Emerson Etem, G Antti Raanta, C Jarret Stoll, F Viktor Stalberg
Outlook: It'll be a challenge making up for the retirement of St. Louis and trade of Hagelin, but this is still an Alain Vigneault-coached team with Henrik Lundqvist in goal. The Rangers' Cup window is still open for now, but it won't be for very long.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins
Last season: 43-27-12, 98 points, fourth in Metropolitan, lost in division semifinal to Rangers
Who's gone: D Paul Martin, C Brandon Sutter, D Christian Ehrhoff, RW Steve Downie, LW Blake Comeau, G Thomas Greiss
Who's new: RW Phil Kessel, C Nick Bonino, F Eric Fehr, D Tim Erixon, F Sergei Plotnikov
Outlook: Put Kessel on the wing with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin and watch the former Maple Leafs star score 40 goals – or more. Pittsburgh has a star-studded top-nine forwards, but the young, untested defence is what the season will hinge on.
4. New York Islanders*
Last season: 47-28-7, 101 points, third in Metropolitan, lost in division semifinal to Washington
Who's gone: RW Michael Grabner, D Lubomir Visnovsky, G Michal Neuvirth
Who's new: D Marek Zidlicky, RW Steve Bernier, G Thomas Greiss
Outlook: Their new digs in Brooklyn will take some getting used to, although the talented roster is still the same, led by captain John Tavares and defenceman Johnny Boychuk. The Islanders are a sure-fire playoff team again in a competitive Metropolitan Division.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets*
Last season: 42-35-5, 89 points, fifth in Metropolitan, missed playoffs
Who's gone: C Artem Anisimov, RW Marko Dano
Who's new: LW Brandon Saad, C Gregory Campbell
Outlook: The Blue Jackets were the most injury-plagued team in the NHL last season, and still they made a late run to show what they can do when healthy. Saad is a young superstar who joins a terrific core that includes Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
6. Philadelphia Flyers
Last season: 33-31-18, 84 points, sixth in Metropolitan, missed playoffs
Who's gone: D Nicklas Grossmann, LW Zac Rinaldo, G Ray Emery
Who's new: F Sam Gagner, D Evgeny Medvedev, G Michal Neuvirth, D Radko Gudas, F Chris Porter
Outlook: GM Ron Hextall brought in a new coach in Dave Hakstol and is trying to stockpile defensive prospects with an eye on building the right way, as the Kings did. That could happen to make Philadelphia a contender down the line, but not this year.
7. Carolina Hurricanes
Last season: 30-41-11, 71 points, eighth in Metropolitan, missed playoffs
Who's gone: RW Alexander Semin, G Anton Khudobin
Who's new: D Noah Hanifin, D James Wisniewski, RW Kris Versteeg, G Eddie Lack
Outlook: This is a turning-point season in Carolina, with captain Eric Staal and starting goalie Cam Ward's contracts up next summer. Ron Francis could turn this into a complete youth movement, although that'll mean more years without a playoff appearance to come.
8. New Jersey Devils
Last season: 32-36-14, 78 points, seventh in Metropolitan, missed playoffs
Who's gone: C Scott Gomez, LW Dainius Zubrus, RW Steve Bernier, D Bryce Salvador, RW Michael Ryder, LW Martin Havlat
Who's new: LW Jiri Tlusty, D John Moore, C Kyle Palmieri, D David Schlemko
Outlook: The remaking of the Devils post-Lou Lamoriello begins now under new GM Ray Shero and coach John Hynes. Goals will be difficult to come by with this roster, so it'll be a rough one, but Cory Schneider will steal more than a few points.
(Top three in each division qualify for playoffs, plus wild-card teams marked with an *)
Ann Heisenfelt/The Associated Press
1. Minnesota Wild
Last season: 46-28-8, 100 points, fourth in Central, lost in division final to Chicago
Who's gone: RW Chris Stewart, LW Matt Cooke, F Kyle Brodziak
Who's new: D Mike Reilly
Outlook: The Wild's pace after acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk midway through last season portends some great things to come. Minnesota has a crazy deep blue line from Ryan Suter down and star power in the form of Zach Parise that makes it a Stanley Cup contender.
2. Chicago Blackhawks
Last season: 48-28-6, 102 points, third in Central, won Stanley Cup
Who's gone: LW Brandon Saad, F Patrick Sharp, D Johnny Oduya, G Antti Raanta, C Antoine Vermette, RW Kris Versteeg, LW Daniel Carcillo, C Joakim Nordstrom, D Kimmo Timonen
Who's new: C Artem Anisimov, D Trevor Daley, RW Marko Dano, LW Artemi Panarin, F Viktor Tikhonov
Outlook: The Patrick Kane sexual assault investigation must unfold off the ice. On the ice, the Blackhawks are a little like they were in 2010-11: in the process of mixing in new players, something that could take time – even a season – to happen.
3. St. Louis Blues
Last season: 51-24-7, 109 points, first in Central, lost in division semifinal to Minnesota
Who's gone: RW T.J. Oshie, D Barret Jackman
Who's new: RW Troy Brouwer, F Kyle Brodziak
Outlook: The Blues hope some small tweaks make a major difference come playoff time. The regular season has been the place for them to shine, so perhaps letting off the gas a bit over 82 games will help them get closer to winning 16 games later.
4. Winnipeg Jets*
Last season: 43-26-13, 99 points, fifth in Central
Who's gone: F Michael Frolik, LW Jiri Tlusty, RW Lee Stempniak, C Jim Slater
Who's new: F Alexander Burmistrov, RW Nikolaj Ehlers, C Andrew Copp, F Matt Fraser
Outlook: The Jets at one point last season were missing half of their regular defence and still made the playoffs. Throw out a first-round sweep because of even more injuries and some notable departures when considering this season, because Winnipeg will be just as good thanks to coach Paul Maurice.
5. Dallas Stars*
Last season: 41-31-10, 92 points, sixth in Central
Who's gone: D Trevor Daley, LW Ryan Garbutt, G Jhonas Enroth
Who's new: F Patrick Sharp, D Johnny Oduya, G Antti Niemi
Outlook: The return of young Valeri Nichushkin and the additions of Sharp and Oduya should make the Stars take the next step, according to GM Jim Nill. That next step should be back into the playoffs with Kari Lehtonen and Niemi splitting time in goal.
6. Nashville Predators
Last season: 47-25-10, 104 points, second in Central, lost in division semifinal to Chicago
Who's gone: F Matt Cullen, LW Taylor Beck, D Cody Franson, F Mike Santorelli
Who's new: F Cody Hodgson, D Barret Jackman, RW Steve Moses
Outlook: The Peter Laviolette effect happened to the Predators as it did to the coach's previous NHL teams, but the Central Division is probably the deepest in hockey. Nashville could hit 90 points and still miss out because of the playoff format.
7. Colorado Avalanche
Last season: 39-31-12, 90 points, seventh in Central, missed playoffs
Who's gone: C Ryan O'Reilly, D Jan Hejda, F Daniel Briere
Who's new: D François Beauchemin, C Carl Soderberg, D Nikita Zadorov, C Mikhail Grigorenko, LW Blake Comeau
Outlook: The building blocks are there for future winning seasons, most notably Nathan MacKinnon and captain Gabriel Landeskog. Colorado will be competitive under Patrick Roy, but it's hard to envision a return to the playoffs just yet.
Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press
1. Anaheim Ducks
Last season: 51-24-7, 109 points, first in Pacific, lost in conference final to Chicago
Who's gone: D François Beauchemin, LW Matt Beleskey, C Kyle Palmieri, LW Tomas Fleischmann, RW Emerson Etem, D James Wisniewski
Who's new: LW Carl Hagelin, D Kevin Bieksa, G Anton Khudobin, F Mike Santorelli, RW Chris Stewart, C Shawn Horcoff
Outlook: Some teams give and take in the off-season, while the Ducks just seem to get better and deeper. Beauchemin played big minutes for them, but he and others can and will be replaced as Anaheim wins another Pacific Division title.
2. Calgary Flames
Last season: 45-30-7, 97 points, third in Pacific, lost in division final to Anaheim
Who's gone: D Raphael Diaz
Who's new: D Dougie Hamilton, F Michael Frolik
Outlook: A healthy Mark Giordano, even with T.J. Brodie out early, plus Hamilton immediately makes Calgary better. Coach of the year Bob Hartley got so much out of the young Flames last season, and he'll do even more with bigger expectations.
3. Los Angeles Kings
Last season: 40-27-15, 95 points, fourth in Pacific, missed playoffs
Who's gone: D Slava Voynov, RW Justin Williams, C Mike Richards, C Jarret Stoll, D Robyn Regehr, G Martin Jones, D Andrej Sekera
Who's new: LW Milan Lucic, D Christian Ehrhoff
Outlook: Distractions are gone, and the Kings will rely on younger players more than ever before. But there's too much talent on the roster to think two-time Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles will miss the playoffs for a second straight season.
4. San Jose Sharks
Last season: 40-33-9, 89 points, fifth in Pacific, missed playoffs
Who's gone: G Antti Niemi, D Matt Irwin
Who's new: D Paul Martin, G Martin Jones, RW Joel Ward
Outlook: The Sharks went into youth mode and now seem to be more concentrated on winning in the present. That's a good thing because Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau aren't getting any younger, but they're only a playoff team if Jones can be a legitimate starter.
5. Edmonton Oilers
Last season: 24-44-14, 62 points, sixth in Pacific, missed playoffs
Who's gone: G Viktor Fasth, C Derek Roy, C Boyd Gordon
Who's new: C Connor McDavid, D Andrej Sekera, G Cam Talbot, D Darnell Nurse, D Griffin Reinhart, D Erik Gryba, LW Lauri Korpikoski
Outlook: McDavid ushers in a new era of Oilers hockey, even if it takes a year or two to come together. This is a better team all around, from the net out, and coach Todd McLellan will make sure the results are substantially better than last season.
6. Arizona Coyotes
Last season: 24-50-8, 56 points, seventh in Pacific, missed playoffs
Who's gone: F Sam Gagner, LW Martin Erat, LW Lauri Korpikoski, F Mark Arcobello, D John Moore
Who's new: C Max Domi, LW Anthony Duclair, RW Steve Downie, C Antoine Vermette, G Anders Lindback, D Zbynek Michalek, D Stefan Elliott, D Nicklas Grossmann, C Boyd Gordon
Outlook: Arizona won't suddenly go from one of the worst teams in the NHL to a playoff contender, but the infusion of talent to this roster, including veterans and prospects, will help. Dave Tippett can coach 'em up, too.
7. Vancouver Canucks
Last season: 48-29-5, 101 points, second in Pacific, lost in division semifinal to Calgary
Who's gone: D Kevin Bieksa, C Nick Bonino, G Eddie Lack, F Shawn Matthias, RW Zack Kassian
Who's new: C Brandon Sutter, D Matt Bartkowski, LW Brandon Prust
Outlook: The Canucks shook off one missed playoff appearance under John Tortorella and got back last year, but this is indeed a team in transition. Daniel and Henrik Sedin can still produce, but goalie Ryan Miller and this roster is aging all too fast.