With struggles dating back to 2008, it was time for the Islanders to stop waiting and make a move to establish themselves as a legitimate contending team over the offseason and that is exactly what they did.
The Predators, Blackhawks, Ducks, Lightning, Rangers and Islanders have all been banking wins of late to reach the top-tier of our NHL Power Rankings.
There are 11 NHL teams all within five points of each other at the top of the standings, but the Blackhawks, Ducks, Red Wings, Penguins and Blues headline our rankings.
The Leafs signed Jake Gardiner to a five-year extension worth $20.25 million, which is a fair value for a defenseman of his ability even though a two-year bridge deal would have been less risky.
With Nashville being a small market team, the franchise has financially strict parameters. David Poile has always done his best to work around that, often resorting to short-term solutions to try to keep the team in the playoff hunt.