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.
While it may seem impossible for the Blackhawks to put talent around their two young superstars, it is unlikely that they will have any issues due to the rising salary cap and other talented players on long term deals already under contract.
Weeks after stepping in as general manager of the Canucks, Jim Benning has already had a huge impact on the club. It is now very obvious that the Canucks have committed to a a semi-rebuild, adding new prospects, draft picks and also making signings to keep the club in the playoff hunt for the 14-15 season.