Let's make a deal!

MIKE ZEISBERGER and LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 4:58 PM ET

The Stanley Cup is in Orange County, the Hart Trophy is on Sidney Crosby's mantle and former Sun Media columnist Mike Keenan is in Calgary. Now comes the quiet season for the NHL, right? Guess again. As the temperatures heat up, so, too, will player movement around the league. The festivities begin with the annual entry draft starting Friday in Columbus, an event many NHL executives feel might turn into an episode of Let's Make A Deal because of the large number of expected trades. In two weeks, the arrival of July 1 marks the opening of the free agency signing period. For big names like Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Sheldon Souray, Brian Rafalski and Scott Gomez, the prospect of having their bank accounts swell significantly is a juicy one, to be sure. Without further ado, here is a rundown of what each of the 30 teams face entering the summer.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Summer Sizzle: After making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup final, the Sens know they are close and ideally would like to trim some of the excess fat from the payroll.

The Buzz: Looking to dump G Martin Gerber but the two years and $3.7 million US remaining on his deal might be hard to shed ... Reports suggest Oilers have interest in D Wade Redden but he has a no-trade clause and a whopping $6.5 million salary ... D Tom Preissing is a pending UFA and not expected to be back ... D Joe Corvo could be had for the right price if there are any takers.

BUFFALO SABRES

Summer Sizzle: GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff have well-deserved contract extensions but will be hard pressed to keep pending UFAs Daniel Briere and Chris Drury in the Queen City.

The Buzz: At least 10 clubs are said to be interested in Drury, with the L.A. Kings the most mentioned team ... Will Briere join his buddy Marty Biron in Philly or are the Habs on the horizon? ... Sabres observers figure veteran D Teppo Numminen won't be back ... Don't be surprised if talented restricted free agent Thomas Vanek gets some offer sheets from other teams in the event Buffalo doesn't lock him up.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Summer Sizzle: Everything old seems new again after the Leafs re-signed the likes of Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Ian White.

The Buzz: With the team allocating about $6-7 million for free agents, upgrades at forward and between the pipes are priorities ... Minnesota Wild G Manny Fernandez is said to intrigue the Leaf brass, but Wild GM Doug Risebrough's asking price might be too high ... F Ryan Smyth would be a nice complement on Sundin's wing but it would cost the Leafs at least $5.5 million over each of the next five years to land the highly coveted UFA.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Summer Sizzle: With F Alexander Perezhogin off to the Russian elite league and D Sheldon Souray almost certain to leave via free agency, the Habs will have a different look in 2007-08.

The Buzz: By signing D Andrei Markov to an annual $5.75 million salary, GM Bob Gainey pretty much paved the way for Souray's departure ... Gainey must make better decisions during free agency and not make a mistake like the one a year ago that landed underachieving F Sergei Samsonov in Montreal ... After winning world junior gold and a Calder Cup in the past six months, young G Carey Price could make Cristobal Huet or David Aebischer expendable .... Is pending UFA Daniel Briere an option?

BOSTON BRUINS

Summer Sizzle: With his Bruins having little wiggle room under the salary cap, GM Peter Chiarelli must be creative in improving a team that finished 23rd in goals-for and 29th in goals-against.

The Buzz: G Hannu Toivonen recently was re-signed and is expected to battle Tim Thomas for playing time ... At what point will former Leaf draft pick Tuuka Rask come over from Finland and attempt to grapple the starter's job from Toivonen and Thomas? ... With free agent funds limited, B's must get more offensive punch from core of Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, Marco Sturm, Phil Kessel and Glen Murray.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Summer Sizzle: With about $24.5 million tied up in the salaries of the Big Four -- Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle -- GM Jay Feaster must get a lot of bang from his buck to fill out the roster.

The Buzz: With owner Bill Davidson approving a $44-million payroll last week, it appears Feaster will not have to deal one of the aforementioned Big Four ... Have already added depth to the forward ranks by signing free agent F Jan Hlavac and acquiring F Chris Gratton from the Florida Panthers ... Don't be surprised if the Lightning kicks a few tires on the goaltending front.

ATLANTA THRASHERS

Summer Sizzle: Disappointment reigns supreme in Atlanta, where trade deadline deals for F Keith Tkachuk and F Alexei Zhitnik could not keep the Thrashers from being swept by the Rangers in the first round.

The Buzz: Despite handing out a king's ransom to acquire him from St. Louis, the Thrashers will not offer Tkachuk a contract before he becomes a UFA on July 1 ... F Slava Kozlov could stir up a lot of interest on the free agent market if the Thrashers are unable to lock him up ... There is pressure in Atlanta to re-up sniper Marian Hossa, who has one year left on his contract..

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Summer Sizzle: One year after winning the Stanley Cup, the Canes missed the playoffs, leaving GM Jim Rutherford working feverishly to get his team back into the post-season.

The Buzz: The recent re-signings of G Cam Ward, F Ray Whitney, and D Glen Wesley symbolizes Rutherford's attempt to right the ship ... F Scott Walker, however, turned down the Canes offer ... D Anton Babchuk is said to be on the trading block ... Canes are waiting on D Bret Hedican, who continues to have hip problems, to decide if he is going to retire, a move that would free up cap space.

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Summer Sizzle: An upgrade in goaltending must be the priority for the underachieving Kitty Cats, a young, talented team that can not rely on Alex Auld or Ed Belfour between the pipes.

The Buzz: By dealing F Chris Gratton to Tampa, Panthers freed up about $1.5 million in cap space to take a run at a free agent goalie ... Are expected to make a pitch for pending UFA J-S Giguere, who could command an annual salary of about $7 million ... Re-signed D Bryan Allen to a five-year, $14.5 million pact ... If they don't lock up young F Nathan Horton, a number of NHL executives expect him to receive one or more offer sheets from opposing teams.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Summer Sizzle: Time is running out on GM George McPhee, who had better start surrounding young superstar Alexander Ovechkin with a better cache of talent.

The Buzz: Might take a run at pending UFA F Michael Nylander if Rangers don't re-sign him ... D Bryan Muir is not expected to be retained ... F Niklas Backstrom, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 entry draft, is expected to complement Ovechkin and F Alexander Semin after recently signing a bonus-laden, three-year deal that could pay him up to $2.2 million per season ... Caps hold fifth overall pick in next weekend's entry draft and must make the selection pay off.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Summer Sizzle: With F Scott Gomez and D Brian Rafalski poised to test the free agent waters, can GM Lou Lamoriello continue to work his magic and keep this franchise competitive?

The Buzz: Scuttlebutt going around the Big Apple suggests the rival Rangers might attempt to land Gomez, a scenario that would be a huge blow to a Devils team that will move into a new rink in Newark next season ... Will assistant John MacLean finally get a well-earned shot at the head coaching position? ... Rumblings out of Montreal suggest D Sheldon Souray might consider a return to The Swamp.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Summer Sizzle: With the Devils already under the huge shadow of the Broadway Blueshirts, landing former New Jersey F Scott Gomez would be a nice coup for the Rangers.

The Buzz: F Michael Nylander parted ways with agent Paul Theofanous, who reportedly had been closing in on a three-year, $3.75-million deal for his client ... If Rangers can't re-sign Nylander, published reports out of New York indicatate they will take a hard look at Gomez and fellow pending UFA F Chris Drury, the co-captain of the Buffalo Sabres ... OHL playoff MVP Marc Staal should find a home on the Ranger blue line ... Will veteran F Brendan Shanahan be back?

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Summer Sizzle: With F Sidney Crosby named the league's MVP, F Evgeni Malkin the NHL's top rookie and plans for a new arena falling into place, this one-time wonky franchise finally is finding some stability.

The Buzz: The biggest off-season question revolves around the status of pending UFAs Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts ... GM Ray Shero already has held discussions with representatives of both players ... Roberts brought some much-needed sandpaper after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Florida Panthers ... Recchi lives in the Pittsburgh area, but how much of a home-town discount would he be willing to take?

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Summer Sizzle: Alexei Yashin has been voted off the Island, just the latest episode of the ongoing soap opera taking place in Uniondale.

The Buzz: Isles bought out the final four years of Yashin's deal for $17.63 million ... The move will mean a $2.2 million cap hit for the next eight years ... By bidding adieu to their former captain, observers feel the door is open to re-sign F Ryan Smyth and present him with the "C" ... Offensive spark plugs Smyth and fellow sniper Jason Blake are both pending UFAs, leaving Isles with some more tough decisions.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Summer Sizzle: By dumping F Peter Forsberg and D Alexei Zhitnik at the trade deadline, GM Paul Holmgren is armed with a gaggle of top prospects, a cache of high draft picks and significant free agent cash to spend.

The Buzz: Back up G Antero Niittymaki was recently re-signed and will back up Marty Biron ... Biron is expected to use his influence to help woo former Sabres teammate Daniel Briere, a pending UFA ... Flyers will also kick tires on Fs Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and blue liners Kimmo Timonen and Sheldon Souray, all pending UFAs.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Summer Sizzle: GM Brian Burke is about to see why the past seven Cup winners found it hard to repeat.

The Buzz: Burke has made G J-S Giguere his top priority, but if he can't be enticed back for about $6 million, the line of teams forms to the left, starting with the state-rival Kings. Giguere already lives near Kobe Bryant .... As much as they like RW Teemu Selanne, it would be a cap relief if he retires or goes to the East ... D Chris Pronger, a buddy of LW Ryan Smyth's, could lure him west ... Other UFA's: D Sean O'Donnell, D Joe DiPenta, D Ric Jackman, F Sean Thornton and F Brad May.

CALGARY FLAMES

Summer Sizzle: Pummelled by Detroit in the playoffs, Calgary has changed tack again. Muscle was going to make a comeback here to augment the skill, even before Mike Keenan was named coach.

The Buzz: C Matthew Lombardi's play at the world championship increases value ... D Brad Stuart could be headed to his original team in San Jose .... Will G Jamie McLennan choose retirement or try and join old Panthers' pal Roberto Luongo in Vancouver? ... D Roman Hamrlik will likely stay ... Other UFAs, RW Tony Amonte, RW Darren McCarty, C/RW Byron Ritchie, LW Jeff Friesen, C Wayne Primeau.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Summer Sizzle: The whole town's talking about Jonathan Toews and Chicago winning the draft lottery.

The Buzz: The sudden rise of C Kyle Turris to the top of the Central Scouting's North American rankings leaves the Hawks wondering whether to wait for him to develop at the University of Wisconsin, or pick someone who might break right in, such as Russian Alexei Cherepanov or Patrick Kane ... C Michal Handzus, who played only eight games because of knee surgery, wants to see the direction the Hawks take in the off-season before re-commiting.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Summer Sizzle: No playoffs for the first time in 12 years puts the pressure on GM Francois Giguere.

The Buzz: They'll likely keep Peter Budaj as No. 1 and ride out G Jose Theodore's last year rather than explore a buyout of his $6-million deal .... RW Milan Hejduk and D John-Michael Liles are the only marketable players .... Won't have D Patrice Brisebois to kick around anymore, but expect to pick up the option on RW Ian Laperriere ... C Tyler Arnason wants a multi-year deal, but the Avs prefer shorter deals to keep him hungry ... D Ossi Vaananen likely back, but D Ken Klee will only return if it's a bargain price. RW Scott Parker likely through.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Summer Sizzle: New GM Scott Howson inherits a talented team, but difficult cases such as C Sergei Fedorov, RW Nikolai Zherdev and D Bryan Berard.

The Buzz: Some talk about Zherdev to Vancouver or Pittsburgh, but he'd have to get off to a hot start ... Picking seventh at a draft they are hosting, Jackets are hoping Calgary junior D Karl Alzner drops a spot or two ... Other UFAs: D Anders Eriksson, G Brian Boucher.

DALLAS STARS

Summer Sizzle: Dallas needs some offence, which has cost it dearly in recent playoff series.

The Buzz: Second-highest scorer LW Ladislav Nagy is a UFA, and might just be one of those second tier stars that a budget-conscious team can fit in ... D Darryl Sydor is still respected in places such as Tampa Bay and L.A., but he's 35 ... With 26 points in 49 games, there is debate on getting another year out of C Eric Lindros.

DETROIT RED WINGS

Summer Sizzle: Birth certificates mean nothing here, with D Chris Chelios and G Dominik Hasek coming back.

The Buzz: Assuming he recovers from his playoff arm injury, expect them to bring back 38-year-old D Mathieu Schneider as well ... UFA RW Todd Bertuzzi might have saved his place here with a good playoff ... Can they afford to bring back 52-point C Robert Lang and LW Kyle Calder (one point in 13 playoff games)? ... Other UFAs: D Danny Markov.

EDMONTON OILERS

Summer Sizzle: From the gloom of losing Chris Pronger, trading Ryan Smyth and missing the playoffs, they have a shot at fast-tracking their rebuilding program with three first-rounders, theirs, Islanders and Ducks.

The Buzz: Top scorer Petr Sykora wants back in, but he might have to await other personnel moves and contract issues ... D Daniel Tjarnqvist, a big disappointment, won't likely return ... Seeking back up help other than G Jussi Markkanen ... There is still the stigma that Edmonton is not an attractive city, which could hinder UFA signings ... One or more picks could be packaged in a trade.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Summer Sizzle: Lots of disgruntled fans watched neighbouring Anaheim win the Cup while Kings took a step backwards.

The Buzz: Goaltending an issue, but Kings would have to pay a price to get Dan Cloutier out of the extension he received, paying him $3.1 million over each of the next two seasons ... G Mathieu Garon is up, as is full-time D Aaron Miller ... This is the perfect place for misfit C Alexei Yashin.

MINNESOTA WILD

Summer Sizzle: No big change in philosophy, given 104 points and NHL-best 191 goals-against.

The Buzz: Rise of Niklas Backstrom makes FA Manny Fernandez a useful trade chip for a forward ... C Todd White has played for two of the best checking clubs in Ottawa and Minnesota, but could be more of a scorer elsewhere ... UFAs: D Wes Walz, D Martin Skoula.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Summer Sizzle: The rebel yell might become an old-fashioned Hamilton Oskie Wee Wee, uncertainty that won't help get big names here on long-term contracts.

The Buzz: Before anything else is addressed, the Preds have to learn some lessons from two playoff eliminations ... Losing long-serving D Kimmo Timonen would hurt as much as LW Paul Kariya or C Peter Forsberg ... Forsberg's foot problem is fixed, but his nomadic ways likely point out of town, perhaps back to Sweden.

PHOENIX COYOTES

Summer Sizzle: How much autonomy will new GM Don Maloney get from managing partner/coach Wayne Gretzky, especially if the Coyotes don't contend?

The Buzz: D Ed Jovanovski's body might be too worn down ... G Curtis Joseph wants to finish his career back in Toronto, but will his pride allow him to handle a reduced role? ... RW Owen Nolan has a few miles left in him ... Despite retirement talk, C Jeremy Roenick could wind up back here.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Summer Sizzle: Long-awaited trade for one of their rotating goalies is needed to get depth beyond conference final after four tries since 2002.

The Buzz: G Evgeni Nabokov has a no-trade clause, but would waive it. Tampa Bay could be in the running for him, ironically while state rival Florida is said to have interest in Vesa Toskala ... RW Bill Guerin, almost 37, dried up in the playoffs and is the most likely of four UFAs to split ... D Craig Rivet made an impact as a right-hand shot, D Scott Hannan is a fixture, but C Mark Smith is hearing footsteps from the kids. Sharks have no first-round pick.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Summer Sizzle: Renewed hope for present and future, with three first-rounders, eight picks in the first four rounds and Andy Murray's late-season success as coach.

The Buzz: Likely to lose C Glen Metropolit and LW Ville Nieminen, both acquired in trades last year ... There is a chance they'll make a pitch to re-sign RW Radek Dvorak, while the jury is out on injured RW Vladimir Orszagh ... Kane is the Blues' targeted draft pick but no guarantees he'll be there at ninth spot, so a trade up could occur.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Summer Sizzle: Ten UFAs means lots of decisions ahead for GM David Nonis.

The Buzz: Fourteen under contract with about $8 million to spend ... Looking into possibility of packaging unsigned college G Cory Schneider with a player or pick for scoring help ... Unlikely to bring back D Brent Sopel, who made $2.4 million last year, as well as C Bryan Smolinski, C Tommi Santala and D Yannick Tremblay ... Trying to get around an awkward situation involving the aging C Trevor Linden. Have a better chance with C Jan Bulis, playoff hero LW Jeff Cowan and D Rory Fitzpatrick.


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