The Atlantic Division
When it comes to player movement, no division changed as much as the Atlantic. The New York Rangers kicked things off by signing Scott Gomez away from rival New Jersey, and then adding Chris Drury from the Sabres. By re-signing Brendan Shanahan and Henrik Lundqvist, plus rising star Petr Prucha, the Rangers should be on the way up after finishing sixth in the conference last season.
Speaking of big-name acquisitions, nobody was busier than the Flyers. Philadelphia will be significantly better with a revamped roster that includes Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Joffrey Lupul up front, plus Jason Smith and Kimmo Timonen on the blue line.
After a breakout season which included a 47-point turnaround and a playoff berth, Pittsburgh locked up Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby to a five-year, $45 million extension. In addition, the Penguins retained their veteran presence by re-signing Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts. Pittsburgh also added veteran defenceman Darryl Sydor and forward Peter Sykora.
New Devils head coach Brent Sutter takes over a team that lost Gomez, as well as defenceman Brian Rafalski. New Jersey's biggest reinforcement is 60-point forward Dainius Zubrus, who signed from Buffalo. The Devils also retained 31-goal scorer Zach Parise, who was re-signed to a four-year deal.
The Islanders took the biggest offseason hit in the Atlantic, by losing Ryan Smyth to Colorado and Jason Blake to Toronto, as well as Viktor Kozlov, Tom Poti, Richard Zednik, and Sean Hill. Alexei Yashin's days on the island are also over, as he'll play in Russia after being bought out. Newcomers Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, and Ruslan Fedotenko will find their new team hard-pressed to return to the playoffs.