Every NHL Team’s Biggest Priority This Offseason

Every NHL Team’s Biggest Priority This Offseason

Los Angeles Kings Arena
Richard Mackson - USA Today

The offseason is a perfect time for change. Some teams know what they need to do, while others seem to ignore large problems. Here is a breakdown of every NHL team's biggest priority this offseason.

30. Pittsburgh Penguins - Take Full Advantage of Organizational Changes

Pittsburgh Penguins Dan Bylsma
Charles LeClaire - USA Today

30. Pittsburgh Penguins - Take Full Advantage of Organizational Changes

Pittsburgh Penguins Kris Letang
Charles LeClaire - USA Today

With a new general manager, head coach, assistant coach and vice president of hockey operations, the Penguins have made a lot of changes to their organization during the offseason so far. Now, they need to focus on pulling all these changes together and getting the most that they can out of them. They need to work on lines, re-signing valuable UFAs and embracing the use of in-depth analytics.

29. Boston Bruins - Find a Future Replacement for Zdeno Chara

Boston Bruins
Winslow Townson - USA Today

29. Boston Bruins - Find a Future Replacement for Zdeno Chara

Boston Bruins Zdeno Charo
Winslow Townson - USA Today

The Bruins are already a well-rounded team, but they need to think ahead about the inevitable departure of their top defenseman, Zdeno Chara. They need to focus on re-signing one of their younger defenseman long term or bring in a new, young defenseman for Chara to mentor.

28. Columbus Blue Jackets - Build Around Their Young Teammates

Columbus Blue Jackets
Nick Foligno - USA Today

28. Columbus Blue Jackets - Build Around Their Young Teammates

Blue Jackets Penguins
Nick Foligno - USA Today

The Blue Jackets are becoming a force to be reckoned with. If they can sign more experienced players like Scott Hartnell, to work around their young players, it will add a much needed depth to the team.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning - Take Advantage of Draft Picks

Tampa Bay Lightning
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today

27. Tampa Bay Lightning - Take Advantage of Draft Picks

Tampa Bay Lightning Montreal Canadiens
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today

Tampa Bay needs to take full advantage of their two first-round draft picks, especially after the loss of veteran forward, Martin St. Louis. With these two draft picks, the Lightning should focus on obtaining forwards.

26. New Jersey Devils - Find a Replacement for Martin Broduer

Martin Brodeur
Ed Mulholland - USA Today

26. New Jersey Devils - Find a Replacement for Martin Broduer

Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils
Ed Mulholland - USA Today

Legendary goalie, Martin Brodeur will be testing free agency this year. Even if he decides to stay with the Devils, the Devils need to work on finding a solid netminder to take his place once he retires.

25. Anaheim Ducks - Find a Replacement for Teemu Selanne

Anaheim Ducks
Kirby Lee - USA Today

25. Anaheim Ducks - Find a Replacement for Teemu Selanne

Teemu Selanne
Kirby Lee - USA Today

The Ducks won't be able to replace Teemu Selanne's talent, but they need to work on finding another veteran player to add back to the roster. The Ducks' other veteran player, Saku Koivu, has not been offered a contract so far. If they do not sign Koivu, they will be left with mostly younger players.

24. Florida Panthers - Make Their Draft Pick Count

Florida Panthers
Robert Mayer - USA Today

24. Florida Panthers - Make Their Draft Pick Count

Panthers vs Maple Leafs
Robert Mayer - USA Today

The Panthers have always struggled as a team. This year, they have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2014 NHL Draft. They need to hold on to that draft pick and make it count, so they can start working on building a better team.

23. Los Angeles Kings - Not to Be Quick to Hasty Moves

Los Angeles Kings
Richard Mackson - USA Today

23. Los Angeles Kings - Not to Be Quick to Hasty Moves

LA Kings
Richard Mackson - USA Today

The Kings have won the Stanley Cup two times out of the past three years. They will be tempted with offers from other teams, but should be careful when making changes to their dynasty.

22. Philadelphia Flyers - Make a Big Free Agent Splash

Philadelphia Flyers
John Geliebter - USA Today

22. Philadelphia Flyers - Make a Big Free Agent Splash

Flyers
John Geliebter - USA Today

The Flyers traded one of their most beloved players, Scott Hartnell, for RJ Umburger of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Having a vacant space in the left-winger position means the Flyers need to take advantage of this year's large UFA market.

21. Colorado Avalanche - Re-sign Paul Stastny

Colorado Avalanche
Chris Humphreys - USA Today

21. Colorado Avalanche - Re-sign Paul Stastny

Avalanche Paul Stastny
Chris Humphreys - USA Today

Even though Paul Stastny is testing free agency this year, the Avalanche need to re-sign him at all costs. Stastny has been an asset to the team and it would be silly of the Avalanche to just let him go.

20. New York Rangers - Re-sign Martin St. Louis

New York Rangers
Eric Bolte - USA Today

20. New York Rangers - Re-sign Martin St. Louis

Rangers Martin St Louis
Eric Bolte - USA Today

Martin St. Louis proved to be a great investment for the Rangers last year, as he helped the Rangers make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. With St. Louis' caliber, they need to lock him down long term.

19. Buffalo Sabres - Make Their Draft Pick Count

Buffalo Sabres
Timothy T. Ludwig - USA Today

19. Buffalo Sabres - Make Their Draft Pick Count

Sabres
Timothy T. Ludwig - USA Today

The Sabres are another team that has been struggling. They need to realize the importance of a No. 2 draft pick, keep it and take full advantage of using it to help build their team.

18. Detroit Red Wings - Obtain a Fresh Face

Detroit Red Wings
Greg M. Cooper - USA Today

18. Detroit Red Wings - Obtain a Fresh Face

Red Wings Mike Babcock
Greg M. Cooper - USA Today

The Red Wings have been a decent team, but they are capable of so much more. Whether they decide to use their draft pick or trade it, the Red Wings need to work on signing a player that will bring that much needed "oopmh" to the team.

17. Calgary Flames - Work on Rebuilding Their Team

Calgary Flames
Sergei Belski - USA Today

17. Calgary Flames - Work on Rebuilding Their Team

Flames
Sergei Belski - USA Today

The Flames have lost a lot of valuable players over the years. That is why they need to be smart about their draft pick and work on rebuilding their team.

16. Montreal Canadiens - Obtain a Forward

Montreal Canadiens
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today

16. Montreal Canadiens - Obtain a Forward

Canadiens
Jean-Yves Ahern - USA Today

The Canadiens have a lot of what they need already. A top-six forward however, would help them become Stanley Cup champions.

15. Minnesota Wild - Let Ilya Bryzgalov Go

Minnesota Wild
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today

15. Minnesota Wild - Let Ilya Bryzgalov Go

Wild NHL
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA Today

Bryzgalov has proven to be a wash, no matter what team he plays for. At this point, it would be a waste of money for the Wild to re-sign him.

14. Vancouver Canucks - Trade Ryan Kesler

Vancouver Canucks
James Guillory - USA Today

14. Vancouver Canucks - Trade Ryan Kesler

Ryan Kessler
James Guillory - USA Today

Ryan Kesler won't come at a cheap price, so whoever he ends up being traded for is likely to bring that much needed spark to the Canucks. Kesler has already asked for a trade, so the Canucks need to take this opportunity to get him out of there, and move forward with building the team.

13. Chicago Blackhawks - Rework Contracts

Chicago Blackhawks
Jerry Lai - USA Today

13. Chicago Blackhawks - Rework Contracts

Blackhawks
Jerry Lai - USA Today

The saying, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it," is the perfect way to sum up the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have a few contracts expiring that they need to work out, but that's about all they should worry about doing this offseason.

12. Phoenix Coyotes - Rebuild Team

Phoenix Coytoes
Matt Kartozian - USA Today

12. Phoenix Coyotes - Rebuild Team

Arizona Coyotes
Matt Kartozian - USA Today

The Coyotes are another team that hasn't been doing so hot. If they make the right decisions with their draft picks, they will be on their way to rebuilding a better team.

11. New York Islanders - Find a Goalie

New York Islanders
Eric Bolte - USA Today

11. New York Islanders - Find a Goalie

Islanders
Eric Bolte - USA Today

The Islanders have already been working on rebuilding their team. One missing piece to their puzzle however, is a goalie. The Islanders have been unable to reach an agreement with their current goalie, Evgeni Nabokov, which means the search for another goalie is even more dire.

10. Edmonton Oilers - Continue Rebuilding Their Team

Edmonton Oilers
Perry Nelson - USA Today

10. Edmonton Oilers - Continue Rebuilding Their Team

Oilers
Perry Nelson - USA Today

The Oilers just recently acquired defenseman, Nikita Nikitin from the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was a smart move, since they needed to upgrade their defense. This is just one step in the right direction to rebuilding their team.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs - Let Dave Bolland Go

Toronto Maple Leafs
Marc DesRosiers - USA Today

9. Toronto Maple Leafs - Let Dave Bolland Go

Maple Leafs
Marc DesRosiers - USA Today

As Dave Bolland is testing free agency, the Maple Leafs need to be conscience of their options. Bolland is asking for a substantial amount, so if he can find a team willing to sign him for as much as he is asking, the Maple Leafs need to let him go.

8. Carolina Hurricanes - Pick Up a Defenseman

Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Hartline - USA Today

8. Carolina Hurricanes - Pick Up a Defenseman

Hurricanes
Eric Hartline - USA Today

The Hurricanes are lacking in the defense department. Picking up a defenseman during the draft or attempting to acquire one in a trade would be a smart move for the franchise.

7. Nashville Predators - Take Advantage of Free Agency

Nashville Predators
Marilyn Indahl - USA Today

7. Nashville Predators - Take Advantage of Free Agency

Predators NHL
Marilyn Indahl - USA Today

The Predators have a few missing links in their club, one of them being a top forward. If the Predators are able to achieve this, then they are one step closer to becoming a better team.

6. St. Louis Blues - Acquire a Top Center

St. Louis Blues
Jerry Lai - USA Today

6. St. Louis Blues - Acquire a Top Center

Blues NHL
Jerry Lai - USA Today

The Blues are looking better and better each year, but something is still missing from their team. If they are able to acquire a top center, they will be a team to watch out for next year.

5. Dallas Stars - Acquire a Backup Goalie

Dallas Stars
Jerome Miron - USA Today

5. Dallas Stars - Acquire a Backup Goalie

Stars NHL
Jerome Miron - USA Today

The Stars haven't made any offers to Tim Thomas and are allowing him to test free agency. With that being said, the Stars need to be on the look out for another goalie. Preferably one that is as good, if not better than Kari Lehtonen.

4. San Jose Sharks - Build Around Young Players

San Jose Sharks
Kyle Terada - USA Today

4. San Jose Sharks - Build Around Younger Players

Sharks NHL
Kyle Terada - USA Today

The Sharks already have their fair share of older, more experienced players, but building around them doesn't seem to be working. The Sharks need to take the opportunity this offseason to reevaluate their roster, and start focusing on building around their younger players.

3. Washington Capitals - Take Advantage of New Coach

Washington Capitals
Geoff Burke - USA Today

3. Washington Capitals - Take Advantage of New Coach

Capitals NHL
Geoff Burke - USA Today

The Capitals have excellent players, but they just can't seem to keep it together. Earlier this year, the Capitals hired Barry Trotz as their new head coach. Trotz will be bringing new coaching approaches to the Capitals that should help them tap into their potential.

2. Winnipeg Jets - Move up in The Draft

Winnipeg Jets
Sergei Belski - USA Today

2. Winnipeg Jets - Move up in The Draft

Jets NHL
Sergei Belski - USA Today

The Jets need a rebuild. In order to begin achieving this, the Jets should focus on snagging a higher draft pick. There are plenty of great centers available and obtaining one of them would be a great stepping-stone for the Jets.

1. Ottawa Senators - Trade Jason Spezza

Ottawa Senators
Kim Klement - USA Today

1. Ottawa Senators - Trade Jason Spezza

Senators NHL
Kim Klement - USA Today

Several teams have their eyes on Jason Spezza already, which is an excellent thing for the Senators. Even though Spezza's contract doesn't end until next year, it is clear that he wants out of Ottawa. Ottawa needs to take this opportunity and trade Spezza immediately. Spezza won't come cheap, so the Senators are likely to get a talented, fresh face in return.

Amanda Sklarek is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandabukowski, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

Around the Web