The good, the bad and the ugly

Markus Naslund made one of the quietest moves in the offseason, ending 12 years in Vancouver. SUN...

Markus Naslund made one of the quietest moves in the offseason, ending 12 years in Vancouver. SUN MEDIA/Rob Kruyt

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

So long, summer!

Players across the NHL are packing their bags and heading for training camps.

Here's Sun Media's look around the league with camps set to open.

TOP 5 MOVERS

1. Olli Jokinen, Phoenix: The veteran centre has found a new home with the Coyotes. After 723 games with the Panthers and no playoff experience, Jokinen was dealt to Phoenix for Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton and a draft pick. The big question: Will Jokinen have a chance to play in the post-season with the Coyotes?

2. Dan Boyle, San Jose: Signed to a six-year, $39-million US contract by the Lightning at the trade deadline, Boyle thought he would be in Tampa for the long haul. But a new ownership group in Tampa did everything it could to get rid of him, threatening to put him through waivers if he didn't surrender his no-movement clause. Boyle is going to help the Sharks.

3. Markus Naslund, N.Y. Rangers: This may have been one of the biggest moves that went unnoticed. Naslund spent 12 years with the Canucks. Many thought when his agent Mike Gillis took over as GM in Vancouver, Naslund was a shoe-in to stay, but he signed a two-year, $8-million deal with the Rangers. He will face less pressure on Broadway because he won't be the captain.

4. Brian Campbell, Chicago: The Sharks tried to keep the unrestricted free agent, then turned to Boyle when Campbell picked Chicago. Campbell is the player expected to help push the Blackhawks into the playoffs.

5. Mats Sundin, free agent: OK, so he's kept everybody waiting, but here's betting he doesn't go back to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Coach Ron Wilson recently questioned the club's leadership and Sundin is technically still the captain until he signs elsewhere. Sundin's indecision has caused a lot of headaches for teams around the NHL that wanted to make moves.

TOP 5 SHAKERS

1. Tampa Bay: We're talking about a team that did a complete remake. GM Jay Feaster and coach John Tortorella were fired, while owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules brought in former agent Brian Lawton (as GM) and coach Barry Melrose. Among the acquisitions: Vaclav Prospal, Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi and Olaf Kolzig. The Lightning will be interesting to watch.

2. Toronto: Where do you start? Darcy Tucker, Bryan McCabe and, eventually, Mats Sundin will all be gone by the time the puck is dropped. GM Cliff Fletcher gave a lot of money to unknown D Jeff Finger. The Leafs are going to be young, they're going to rebuild and it looks like they're going to wait for Anaheim GM Brian Burke to become available.

3. San Jose: Sharks GM Doug Wilson can never be accused of sitting still. He made the right move by firing coach Ron Wilson, dealt with the Bolts to get Boyle and signed Rob Blake as an unrestricted free agent. The Sharks, with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, will challenge in the West again.

4. Florida: GM Jacques Martin is under huge pressure to make the playoffs. Florida has fallen off the map in its marketplace and owner Alan Cohen wants that to change. That's why he dealt Olli Jokinen to the Coyotes and hired coach Peter DeBoer from the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. Is it going to be enough?

5. Edmonton: Not only has the ownership group changed with Darryl Katz taking over, GM Kevin Lowe has been moved upstairs, replaced by Steve Tambellini. Don't think for a second Lowe won't still have a say. The Oilers dealt for LW Erik Cole and added D Lubomir Visnovksy and C Gilbert Brule in the off-season.

TOP 5 ON THE RISE

1. Chicago: GM Dale Tallon was aggressive in the off-season. Not only did he sign Campbell, but he also picked up G Cristobal Huet in free agency. There's a lot of talk G Nikolai Khabibulin is either going to be dealt or waived before the season begins. It won't be easy, but with the young talent, the 'Hawks will push for a playoff spot if RW Martin Havlat is able to stay healthy.

2. Washington: It seems a little strange to say a team that finished No. 3 in the East is on the rise, but many believe the Caps are going to be a team to watch. Alexander Ovechkin has to carry the ball, but the arrival of G Jose Theodore could provide a boost. The Caps are young, speedy and getting better. There may not be any holding them back this year.

3. Philadelphia: They finished No. 5 in the East last season, but it says here the Flyers are going to challenge for the top spot. GM Paul Holmgren was able to keep his team together and sign C Jeff Carter. The Flyers made a serious pitch for Mats Sundin, but they'd have to move money to do it. They'll be a force to be reckoned with.

4. Tampa Bay: After finishing at No. 15 in the East, this club has to be better with all the changes that were made. C Vinny Lecavalier was retained and signed to a lifetime contract. The pressure is going to be on G Mike Smith to take his game to another level while the club's defence is suddenly young with Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle.

5. Phoenix: You just get the feeling if anybody slips in the Western Conference, this might be a team that gets into the post-season. G Ilja Byzgalov is only going to improve while the deal to get Olli Jokinen should help the Coyotes. They pushed for a playoff spot last year and, at some point, coach Wayne Gretzky is going to get them over the top.

TOP 5 ON THE SLIDE

1. Toronto: This could be a brutal year for Leaf Nation. There is no question the Maple Leafs had to make changes, but D Tomas Kaberle is going to have to carry this team on his back. Coach Ron Wilson's "genius" status is going to be put to the test.

2. Colorado: Quick quiz: Who is the GM of the Avs? No, it's not Pierre Lacroix (he's long gone). It's Francois Giguere. Don't worry if you didn't know, not many NHL GMs have his phone number either. Joe Sakic is back, but something says the Avs are just going in the wrong direction. Hard to call this franchise elite anymore.

3. Nashville: Trying to figure out if they did anything to improve. The Preds just barely made the playoffs, the club has had ownership problems and they don't score a lot of goals. This might be the year they miss the playoffs.

4. Vancouver: GM Mike Gillis did a lot of talking, but accomplished nothing. He sat around all summer waiting for Mats Sundin to sign a contract and it never happened. He made a lot of promises, but about all he did was allow Markus Naslund to walk away. Here's a guess: The Canucks won't improve.

5. Buffalo: What have the Sabres done to get better in the off-season? They have let players walk away. G Ryan Miller can't do it by himself. They missed the playoffs last year and they could fade even further this year. Teams behind them -- with the exception of the Leafs -- have made changes to improve. Coach Lindy Ruff is one of the best in the league. He's going to have to perform miracles.

POWER RANKINGS

1. Detroit: Wings look untouchable -- again.

2. San Jose: Time for talk to turn to action.

3. Anaheim: Still a force to be reckoned with.

4. Montreal: Habs won't be a surprise this year.

5. Pittsburgh: The young guns should still be firing.

6. Washington: Alex Ovechkin only gets better.

7. Dallas: The Stars are always contenders.

8. Philadelphia: Set up for a strong future.

9. N.Y. Rangers: They've made positive changes.

10. Ottawa: Still plenty of offensive power up front.

11. New Jersey: Martin Brodeur can go a long way.

12. Minnesota: Not exciting, but consistent.

13. Chicago: Might surprise with a playoff berth.

14. Calgary: Jarome Iginla is the key.

15. Carolina: Will find a way to bounce back.

16. Boston: Claude Julien has a hard-working team.

17. Phoenix: They'll push for a playoff spot again.

18. Tampa Bay: Will changes bring success?

19. Nashville: This ranking will get better.

20. Edmonton: Oilers have a lot to prove.

21. Buffalo: Not sure they will succeed this year.

22. Colorado: This team could take a shocking fall.

23. Florida: Are Jacques Martin's changes enough?

24. St. Louis: Paul Kariya has to be dominant again.

25. Islanders: Coach Scott Gordon has a big task.

26. Atlanta: Thrashers didn't do a lot to improve.

27. Toronto: The Leafs are going to fall fast.

28. Los Angeles: GM Dean Lombardi deserves better.

29. Vancouver: Mike Gillis is all talk, no action.

30. Columbus: Haven't made necessary improvements.


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