Aug 1, 2012, 9:15 PM EDT
Still, depth players often make the difference between good and great teams during the slog that is an 82-game regular season.
With that in mind, here are some players whose production could go either way.
Dustin Penner – Mr. Pancakes waffled for years only to finally apply his size and skill during the playoffs. Perhaps a one-year deal will keep him hungry.
Jeff Carter – He helped the Kings take off in his limited time in Los Angeles. Will greater familiarity bring more production or mere indifference?
Simon Gagne – An outstanding sniper when he’s healthy – which is rare.
Justin Williams – Are his Gagne-like injury issues truly in the past? He managed to play every game last season.
Jonathan Bernier – Will Jonathan Quick have a seasoned backup – and at least a decent threat for playing time if he struggles – or will Bernier be traded?
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 8
- Sounds like it’s Rundblad, not TVR, in for Chicago on defense 15
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ 39
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 17
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 6
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 38
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ (49)