BEAR: New Jersey Devils
With this roster, they are $5M over the salary cap when Patrik Elias comes back. As stated below, Lou Lamoriello is the best GM in the business, but it’s going to hurt to lose some combination of Friesen, Brylin, Langenbrunner, and Kozlov.
BEAR: St. Louis Blues
The Devils lost Niedermayer and Steves, the Blues have lost Pronger and MacInnis. The Blues have some good young defensive players, but they won’t be the sub-elite team they have been for the last 15 years in this west.
There are a lot of teams that look good on paper starting through training camp, or, at least ones that look a lot better. The market is still hanging on to favorites like Detroit, Colorado, and Philadelphia. Only Philadelphia deserves its high valuation. Some of the new risers, like Edmonton, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Chicago, will fall flat. Some will outperform. If you wait until after the first 10 games, you might have some insight, but by then, a lot of the market moves will be made. Out of this group, I think Pittsburgh has the highest expectations and Chicago the lowest. You can trade on that, but none of these teams are worth a serious long move for the Cup yet–arbitrage only.