ETA for Every NHL Team to Contend for the Stanley Cup

June 3rd, 2016 by Steve Macfarlane Leave a reply »
As the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks battle for NHL supremacy, the rest of the teams in the league are already plotting their course for the coming season—and at least a handful beyond that. 

Some teams are just a tinker or two away from a realistic shot at the Stanley Cup. Others are just starting rebuilds and focusing more on the draft than the free-agent pool in order to improve. There are teams nearing the end of their window to make a deep run based on aging players, declining skills or the loss of a key free agent.

Those trapped in rebuilds can't realistically expect to compete anytime soon but are creating road maps looking down the road for three or more years.

Tweeners have a mix of veterans and youth but a lack of telltale signs suggesting they are clearly headed in one direction or another. In those cases, hard decisions must be made.

Click ahead to find out where your favorite team lands as we assess each team's closest window to win, excluding your 2015 Stanley Cup Final competitors.


All stats via unless otherwise noted. Salary-cap numbers from ...

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