3 teams likely to take a step back in 2015-16
The 2014-15 season saw the Los Angeles Kings fail to make the postseason - four points shy of the final wild-card spot in the West and one year removed from their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
The Kings are a great example of how success one season can easily be mitigated the next. Great outputs and team dynamics change from year-to-year and who was once hot can cool right down.
With that, here are three teams that are likely to take a step back this upcoming season:
The Ottawa Senators surprised the hockey world last season by refusing to lose in the final weeks of the regular season.
The team went on an amazing 23-4-4 record in the final 31 games to take the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The team rode the hot hand of goaltender Andrew Hammond who went an incredible 20-1-2 in 24 games with a .941 save percentage and a 1.79 GAA.
However, the team's record and the play of "The Hamburglar" are both unlikely to be repeated next season.
The Senators got off to a very rocky start to the year, which saw the dismissal of head coach Paul MacLean. Sure they turned it around, but the Senators aren't likely as bad as they were to start the season and not nearly as good as they were to end it.
The team's success was largely due to the unbelievable season by goaltender Carey Price. Price finished first in the league with 44 wins, a save percentage of .933, and a 1.96 GAA. He also finished second with nine shutouts.
His career-year was capped off with Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and Hart Trophy honors. It is largely for that reason that the Canadiens can expect to take a step back next season.
Price had a fantastic 2014-15 and he should push to lead the league in most goaltending categories again, but the chances of Price replicating the numbers of last season are slim.
To add to that, the Canadiens once again failed to bolster the team's needs on offense during the offseason. The team is not at risk of missing the postseason, but another 50-win season might be a stretch.
It wasn't long after the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted their third Stanley Cup in six years, that members of the team were shipped out.
The team saw forward Brandon Saad dealt to the Blue Jackets, Brad Richards picked up by the Detroit Red Wings, Antoine Vermette head back to the Arizona Coyotes, and Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya head to the Dallas Stars.
The team brought in the likes of Artem Anismov, Marko Dano, Trevor Daley, and Ryan Garbutt and though these players are not necessarily scrubs, they are a downgrade from the players the Blackhawks lost this offseason.
But coupled with the fatigue of playing so many games in recent years - the Kings seemed to fall victim to that last season - and many important pieces leaving the organization, the club is likely to take a step back next season.