Team-by-team capsules for the Eastern Conference, listed in 2007-08 season order of finish:

ATLANTIC DIVISION
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
LAST SEASON: 47-27-8, 102 points. Lost to Detroit 4-2 in Stanley Cup finals.
COACH: Michel Therrien, 4th season, 108-80-27; 7th overall, 185-170-50.
ADDED: LW Matt Cooke, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, RW Eric Godard, D Danny Richmond, RW Miroslav Satan, RW Bill Thomas.
LOST: G Ty Conklin, RW Adam Hall, RW Marian Hossa, RW Georges Laraque, LW Ryan Malone, LW Gary Roberts, LW Jarkko Ruutu.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Any doubts surrounding G Marc-Andre Fleury were put to rest after he went 10-2-1 following an ankle injury and followed that with a stellar playoff performance. He could come close to Vezina Trophy consideration if he can carry that over into a full, injury-free season.
ins lost Sergei Gonchar for four to six months due to a shoulder injury, and Ryan Whitney until at least January because of a foot ailment. Ryan Whitney and Kris Letang will inherit greater offensive responsibilities, while Brooks Orpik, Hal Gill and Darryl Sydor try to take care of the physical side. ... The Penguins' depth on offense behind C Sidney Crosby and C Evgeni Malkin took a hit with Hossa and Malone both leaving via free agency. Former New York Islanders forwards Fedotenko and Satan are veterans, but have been known to disappear at times during the season. ... Pittsburgh's 26 home wins were the most in the East and third-highest in the NHL behind Detroit and Anaheim. ... The Pens open the season with two games against Ottawa at Stockholm, Sweden, this weekend before starting a four-game homestand.
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NEW JERSEY DEVILS
LAST SEASON: 46-29-7, 99 points. Lost to N.Y. Rangers 4-1 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Brent Sutter, 2nd season; 2nd overall.
ADDED: G Scott Clemmensen, C Bobby Holik, C Brian Rolston.
LOST: RW Arron Asham, LW Sergei Brylin, D Karel Rachunek.
after appearing in 77 of 82 games last season, and needs to put together a better postseason than the previous two to ease concerns of fatigue.
ICING: The Devils, who had the fourth-worst offensive team in the league last season, revisited their championship past by bringing back Holik and Rolston. Rolston grew into a four-time 30-goal scorer after leaving the Devils during the 1999-2000 season, but will a return to a defense-first system prevent a fifth? Rebound seasons by LW Patrik Elias (20-35-55), RW Brian Gionta (22-31-53) and RW Jamie Langenbrunner (13-28-41) are much-needed. ... New Jersey is still lacking a puck-moving defenseman, but the corps is strong defensively. The top pair of Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya had a combined plus-47 rating last season, and Colin White provides grit when healthy. Veteran Bryce Salvador, acquired at the trade deadline, was re-signed. ... The penalty-killing unit should still be one of the league's best if LW Jay Pandolfo can stay healthy.
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NEW YORK RANGERS
LAST SEASON: 42-27-13, 97 points. Lost to Pittsburgh 4-1 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Tom Renney, 5th season, 133-98-35; 7th overall, 172-151-44.
ADDED: C Dan Fritsche, D Dmitri Kalinin, LW Markus Naslund, D Wade Redden, C Pat Rissmiller, LW Aaron Voros, RW Nikolai Zherdev.
tian Backman, LW Ryan Hollweg, RW Jaromir Jagr, D Marek Malik, LW Martin Straka, D Jason Strudwick, D Fedor Tyutin.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Henrik Lundqvist has been a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league's top goalie in each of his three years in the NHL. He led the league with 10 shutouts in 2007-08 and was fourth with 37 wins, becoming the second player in league history to post 30 wins in each of his first three seasons.
ICING: On the heels of two straight second-round playoff exits, the Rangers again decided to retool their roster with veteran free agents and trades while saying goodbye to Jagr, Straka, Avery, whose agitating style will be sorely missed, and possibly LW Brendan Shanahan. Promising forwards Ryan Callahan, Nigel Dawes, Brandon Dubinsky and Petr Prucha will be counted on to fill the void. ... Naslund will be trying to resurrect his career in New York after having his point total slip in each of the last five seasons to just 55 in 2007-08, his lowest production since 1997-98. ... The defense will have a more puck-moving style with the additions of Redden and Kalinin, but physicality is lacking beyond second-year blueliner Marc Staal. ... The Rangers were 20-7-1-4 against Atlantic Division foes last season.
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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
finals.
COACH: John Stevens, 3rd season, 63-71-22.
ADDED: RW Arron Asham, D Bryan Berard, D Steve Eminger, C Glen Metropolit, D Ossi Vaananen.
LOST: RW Jesse Boulerice, D Rory Fitzpatrick, RW Sami Kapanen, D Jaroslav Modry, LW Vaclav Prospal, RW Stefan Ruzicka, C Ryan Potulny, D Jason Smith, LW Patrick Thoresen, LW Denis Tolpeko, C R.J. Umberger,
PLAYER TO WATCH: LW Simon Gagne was limited to 25 games last season with concussion-like symptoms and is working his way back into playing shape. When healthy, Gagne is a dangerous scorer with 95 goals in his last 173 games and could reach 80 points in a season for the first time in his career.
es, Braydon Coburn and Ryan Parent will assume bigger roles this season with the defection of Smith to Ottawa and the uncertain health of Derian Hatcher, who was limited to 44 games last season. Kimmo Timonen, a consistent 40-point producer, returns with acquisitions Eminger and Vaananen rounding out the group. ... Coach John Stevens received a two-year contract extension in August that will keep him with the team through the 2010-11 season.
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NEW YORK ISLANDERS
LAST SEASON: 35-38-9, 79 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Scott Gordon, 1st season; 1st overall.
ADDED: G Yann Danis, RW Mike Iggulden, D Mark Streit, C Doug Weight.
LOST: C Shawn Bates, D Bryan Berard, LW Kip Brennan, D Rob Davison, G Wade Dubielewicz, D Drew Fata, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, D Aaron Johnson, RW Matt Keith, LW Steve Regier, RW Miroslav Satan, D Matthew Spiller, C Josef Vasicek.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Rick DiPietro won 26 games in the second season of his 15-year contract, but again was hampered by a hip injury that required surgery. He also had a knee operation in the offseason. Dubielewicz, who led the Islanders to the playoffs in 2007, is gone, leaving minor leaguers Danis and Joey MacDonald as the backups.
after a rift with general manager Garth Snow about the direction of the team, and replaced by Scott Gordon, the reigning AHL coach of the year. He inherits a team that had the fourth-fewest points in the NHL and heading into a youth movement. ... RW Bill Guerin and C Mike Comrie were the only 20-goal scorers last season for the Isles, who averaged a league-worst 2.3 goals per game in 2007-08. Guerin's 23 represented a 13-goal drop from the previous season in St. Louis, but it could rise again with the addition of Weight, his former linemate in Edmonton. Comrie led the club with a paltry 49 points. ... The Islanders were ravaged by injuries last season. C Jon Sim had the longest layoff, missing 80 games due to reconstructive knee surgery, while five of the six returning defensemen sat out at least 13.
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NORTHEAST DIVISION
MONTREAL CANADIENS
LAST SEASON: 47-25-10, 104 points. Lost to Philadelphia 4-1 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Guy Carbonneau, 3rd season, 131-90-25.
ADDED: G Marc Denis, RW Mike Glumac, C Robert Lang, RW George Laraque, LW Alex Tanguay.
LOST: C Mikhail Grabovski, RW Michael Ryder, C Bryan Smolinski, D Mark Streit.
ut the move paid off as Price, the AHL's playoff MVP the previous spring, went 12-3 down the stretch before shutting out Boston in Game 7 of the quarterfinals.
ICING: The Canadiens are hoping to end their 100th NHL season with a 25th Stanley Cup championship. There are no apparent weaknesses on offense or defense, and if Price can avoid a sophomore slump, then a second straight Northeast Division title and longer playoff run will be likely. ... The Habs had 262 goals last season, the first time they led the NHL in that category since 1979-80, and owned the best power-play unit for the second straight campaign at 24.1 percent. RW Alexei Kovalev carried the team with 35 goals and 84 points, but will inconsistency catch up with him again? C Tomas Plekanec, LW Andrei Kostitsyn and LW Christopher Higgins all enjoyed career years and will be joined by veterans Lang and Tanguay. ... The defense has a nice mix in offensive star Andrei Markov (16-42-58), shot-blocking guru Mike Komisarek and veteran stalwart Roman Hamrlik. Youngsters Josh Gorges and Ryan O'Byrne should be ready to take the next step. ... Montreal addressed its weakness at power forward by signing Laraque, who chipped in 13 points and 141 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh last season.
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OTTAWA SENATORS
irst round.
COACH: Craig Hartsburg, 1st season; 7th overall, 184-190-69.
ADDED: G Alex Auld, D Filip Kuba, D Alexandre Picard, LW Jarkko Ruutu, C Ryan Shannon, D Jason Smith.
LOST: D Mike Commodore, G Ray Emery, RW Martin Lapointe, RW Brian McGrattan, D Andrej Meszaros, D Lawrence Nycholat, D Wade Redden, D Luke Richardson, C Randy Robitaille, LW Cory Stillman.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Martin Gerber finally has the No. 1 job to himself now that Emery is gone. But the pressure will be on him to produce, especially in the playoffs, where he is 1-5 in his career.
a and Heatley had trouble developing chemistry in his absence. C Mike Fisher and LW Antoine Vermette appear to be constant 20-goal producers. ... Smith brings veteran leadership to a blue line that has been lacking it since Zdeno Chara left two seasons ago. He was captain in Edmonton and Philadelphia.
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BOSTON BRUINS
LAST SEASON: 41-29-12, 94 points. Lost to Montreal 4-3 in first round.
COACH: Claude Julien, 2nd season; 5th overall, 160-124-37.
ADDED: D Johnny Boychuk, RW Michael Ryder, C Martin St. Pierre, C Stephane Yelle.
LOST: D Bobby Allen, G Alex Auld, C Glen Metropolit, RW Glen Murray, C Pascal Pelletier.
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Patrice Bergeron expects to make his long-awaited return to the lineup almost 11 months after sustaining a severe concussion and broken nose against Philadelphia on Oct. 27. Bergeron had seven points in 10 games last season following consecutive 70-point campaigns.
Chuck Kobasew established themselves as two-way forwards with positive plus-minus ratings. ... The offense should improve with the addition of Ryder, a two-time, 30-goal scorer who played under Julien in Montreal, and the return of Bergeron. ... The goaltending situation is intriguing. Manny Fernandez was acquired from Minnesota before last season, but was hampered by a knee injury that limited him to four games. Tim Thomas filled in admirably, posting 28 wins with a 2.44 GAA while leading the charge into the playoffs. Both are back, as is top prospect Tuukka Rask, who will likely spend one more season in the AHL. ... LW Milan Lucic and C David Krejci both impressed in their rookie seasons with 27 points apiece. Lucic became an instant fan-favorite in Beantown with his gritty style.
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BUFFALO SABRES
LAST SEASON: 39-31-12, 90 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Lindy Ruff, 12th season, 397-320-103.
ADDED: LW Mathieu Darche, LW Matt Ellis, G Patrick Lalime, D Craig Rivet.
LOST: RW Steve Bernier, D Dmitri Kalinin, D Nolan Pratt, C Michael Ryan, G Jocelyn Thibault.
Lalime.
ICING: The Sabres couldn't overcome the losses of Danny Briere, Chris Drury and later Campbell and missed the playoffs last season after winning the Presidents' Trophy in 2006-07, becoming the third team in the expansion era to accomplish the dubious feat. Buffalo, which retained most of its roster, missed the postseason by four points and could turn to its 1-7-5 slump that bridged the new year and 4-9 shootout record as key reasons. ... C Derek Roy emerged as one of the team's top scoring threats and has increased his goal total in each of his four seasons, including 32 in 2007-08. Conversely, LW Thomas Vanek dropped 20 points last season to 64 in the first of a lucrative seven-year contract, but did pump in 19 power-play goals and nine game-winners. ... Miller and RW Jason Pominville were locked up to long-term contracts over the summer. Pominville was the team's second-leading scorer last season with 80 points, one behind Roy. ... C Tim Connolly has been limited to 50 games over the past two seasons because of concussion problems, but did have 40 points in 48 games in 2007-08. ... C Paul Gaustad will miss up to the first three weeks of the regular season after he had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb on Sept. 30.
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TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
LAST SEASON: 36-35-11, 83 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Ron Wilson, 1st season; 15th overall, 518-446-127.
ADDED: C Mikhail Grabovski, D Jeff Finger, LW Niklas Hagman, LW Ryan Hollweg, G Curtis Joseph, RW Jamal Mayers, D Mike Van Ryn.
LOST: G Scott Clemmensen, LW Simon Gamache, D Bryan McCabe, C John Pohl, G Andrew Raycroft, RW Darcy Tucker, C Kyle Wellwood, D Andy Wozniewski.
PLAYER TO WATCH: RW Nik Antropov finally had a healthy season in 2007-08 and reached career highs in goals (26) and points (56). If he can stay out of the trainer's room, he could reach the 30-goal plateau that only Mats Sundin attained last season.
with from 1998-2002. The move will also give Vesa Toskala the bulk of the work this season and let top goalie prospect Justin Pogge hone his skills in the AHL for one more year. ... Toronto lost 23 one-goal games last season, 12 in regulation and 11 in overtime or the shootout.
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SOUTHEAST DIVISION
WASHINGTON CAPITALS
LAST SEASON: 43-31-8, 94 points. Lost to Philadelphia 4-3 in first round.
COACH: Bruce Boudreau, 2nd season, 37-17-7; 2nd overall.
ADDED: C Keith Aucoin, G Jose Theodore.
LOST: LW Matt Cooke, D Steve Eminger, G Cristobal Huet, RW Joe Motzko.
PLAYER TO WATCH: It hard to imagine reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin exceeding last season's 65-goal, 112-point outburst, but it could happen if C Michael Nylander can stay healthy. Nylander's first season in Washington was marred by a torn left rotator cuff that cost him 42 games, but he did have 26 assists and 37 points while playing on the top line.
nd young stars like C Nicklas Backstrom and D Mike Green continue to develop. ... The goaltending situation if finally settled after the Caps signed Theodore to a two-year, $9 million contract. Olaf Kolzig finally moved on after 16 seasons in D.C., but remains in the division with Tampa Bay. Huet was one of the heroes down the stretch last season after being acquired from Montreal at the trade deadline and cashed in with a lucrative contract in Chicago. Brent Johnson remains the backup. ... Clark's return should help a penalty-killing unit that ranked 25th last season.
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CAROLINA HURRICANES
LAST SEASON: 43-33-6, 92 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Peter Laviolette, 5th season, 155-115-28; 7th overall, 232-183-47.
ADDED: D Anton Babchuk, LW Dan LaCouture, D Josef Melichar, D Joni Pitkanen.
LOST: C Keith Aucoin, RW Erik Cole, G John Grahame, C Jeff Hamilton, D Bret Hedican, C Trevor Letowski, G Glen Wesley.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Cam Ward had his best regular season statistically with 37 wins, a 2.75 GAA and .904 save percentage, but was inconsistent at times and prone to soft goals. Ward needs to regain the form that earned him the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
in Rod Brind'Amour had left knee surgery days earlier, the same knee that required reconstructive surgery in February after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. ... The Canes continued to overhaul their defensive corps during the offseason with the additions of Pitkanen and Melichar. Babchuk is back after spending last season in his native Russia, and Joe Corvo paid immediate dividends after his midseason acquisition from Ottawa with 21 points in 23 games, including five power-play goals. ... Waiver pickup Sergei Samsonov surprised with 14 goals and 32 points in 38 games with Carolina, but has to prove he can produce in consecutive seasons.
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FLORIDA PANTHERS
LAST SEASON: 38-35-9, 85 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Peter DeBoer, 1st season; 1st overall.
ADDED: D Keith Ballard, G Chris Beckford-Tseu, D Nick Boynton, D Rory Fitzpatrick, D Bryan McCabe, C Cory Stillman.
LOST: D Jassen Cullimore, C Olli Jokinen, D Magnus Johansson, LW Chad Kilger, D Branislav Mezei, C Garth Murray, D Steve Montador, C Jozef Stumpel, D Mike Van Ryn.
med to during his days in Nashville.
ICING: With Jokinen gone, the pressure will be on RW Nathan Horton, C Stephen Weiss, LW David Booth, RW Rostislav Olesz and C Kamil Kreps to finally realize their potential or else it will be eight straight seasons without a playoff berth. Stillman, a two-time Cup winner, was brought in for veteran leadership. ... The Panthers allowed an average of 33.5 shots against last season, second-worst in the NHL behind Atlanta. Ballard, Boynton and McCabe join D Jay Bouwmeester on the blue line, and the foursome should ease Vokoun's workload. ... RW Richard Zednik is making a comeback from his scary injury on Feb. 10, when his throat was slashed by Jokinen's skate and his carotid artery was sliced during a game at Buffalo. He had 15 goals and 11 assists in 54 games during his first season with the Panthers. ... DeBoer guided the Kitchener Rangers to two OHL championships and a Memorial Cup title during his seven-year tenure. Two of his former players include Weiss and F Gregory Campbell.
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ATLANTA THRASHERS
LAST SEASON: 34-40-8, 76 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: John Anderson, 1st season; 1st overall.
ADDED: D Ron Hainsey, RW Junior Lessard, RW Joe Motzko, C Marty Reasoner, D Mathieu Schneider, C Grant Stevenson, RW Jason Williams.
D Ken Klee, D Joel Kwiatkowski, LW Brad Larsen, D Steve McCarthy, D Mark Popovic, RW Mark Recchi, D Alexei Zhitnik.
PLAYER TO WATCH: LW Ilya Kovalchuk tied a career high with 52 goals last season and turned into a one-man offense after Marian Hossa was dealt to Pittsburgh. Could he grow disgruntled without an established pivot and mounting losses?
winning two Turner Cup titles when the team was in the International Hockey League and two more after a shift to the AHL, including 2007-08.
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TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
LAST SEASON: 31-42-9, 71 points. Out of playoffs.
COACH: Barry Melrose, 1st season; 4th overall, 79-101-29.
ADDED: RW Brandon Bochenski, D Matt Carle, C Adam Hall, D Andrew Hutchinson, LW David Koci, G Olaf Kolzig, C Zenon Konopka, LW Ryan Malone, D Andrei Meszaros, LW Vaclav Prospal, RW Mark Recchi, LW Gary Roberts, C Wyatt Smith, RW Radim Vrbata.
LOST: D Dan Boyle, LW Mathieu Darche, G Marc Denis, D Doug Janik, C Andreas Karlsson, RW Junior Lessard, D Filip Kuba, D Brad Lukowich, C Craig MacDonald, D Alexandre Picard, RW Andre Roy, LW Karl Stewart, RW Kyle Wanvig.
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 pick in last summer's draft, is already penciled in as the team's second-line center and arrives with high expectations after signing a three-year, $2.625 million contract in July. He had 100 goals and 97 assists in 124 games over two seasons for Sarnia in the OHL.
eading to the resignation of general manager Jay Feaster. Melrose is back behind the bench for the first time since 1995. The roster was redone with playoff-savvy veterans at both ends of the ice to help in the locker room, including Prospal, who is back for a third stint with the team after being dealt to Philadelphia at last season's trading deadline. ... C Vincent Lecavalier signed an 11-year, $85-million contract extension in July and was named captain two months later. He had 40 goals last season after recording a career-high 52 in 2006-07. ... The team is hoping Kolzig, a 16-year veteran, can mentor young netminders Mike Smith and Karri Ramo. Smith was acquired from Dallas in the Brad Richards deal last February and was 3-10 with a .893 save percentage last season.

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