NHL Preview Capsules: Pacific Division
LAST SEASON: 34-36-12, 80 points. Missed playoffs by finishing 11th in the Western Conference.
COACH: Bruce Boudreau, 2nd season with Ducks, 27-23-8; 6th overall, 228-111-48 in NHL.
ADDED: D Bryan Allen, D Sheldon Souray, G Viktor Fasth, LW Daniel Winnik, RW Brad Staubitz.
LOST: D Lubomir Visnovsky, LW Niklas Hagman, D Sheldon Brookbank, G Dan Ellis.
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks' top playmaker heads into his contract year coming off the worst statistical season of his decorated career. The NHL and Olympic champion needs a huge season with Corey Perry, who's also heading for free agency.
OUTLOOK: Anaheim bolstered its defense with Allen and Souray, but largely kept its offense intact despite last season's disappointments. Even with few changes, the Ducks believe their star-studded veteran roster should be in the playoff hunt again
LAST SEASON: 42-35-5, 89 points. Missed playoffs by finishing 10th in the Western Conference.
COACH: Glen Gulutzan, 2nd season, 42-35-5.
ADDED: C Cody Eakin, LW Ray Whitney, C Derek Roy, RW Jaromir Jagr, D Aaron Rome.
LOST: C Mike Ribeiro, D Sheldon Souray, C Steve Ott, D Adam Pardy, C Jake Dowell, RW Radek Dvorak.
PLAYER TO WATCH: LW Brenden Morrow. It's a contract year for the captain, who scored 35 goals last season.
OUTLOOK: The Stars recently signed G Kari Lehtonen to a five-year contract extension after two relatively healthy seasons in Dallas. The Finn and a relatively solid defense should keep the Stars on the fringes of playoff contention. Seeing how much Dallas can get from the 40-year-old Jagr in the lockout-shortened season will be worth watching.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
LAST SEASON: 40-27-15, 95 points. Won Stanley Cup.
COACH: Darryl Sutter, 2nd season with Kings, 25-13-11; 12th overall, 434-333-142 in NHL.
ADDED: RW Anthony Stewart.
LOST: RW Kevin Westgarth.
PLAYER TO WATCH: C Anze Kopitar. The Kings' leading scorer in five straight seasons injured his knee in Sweden shortly before the lockout ended. He's not expected to play on opening day, and if his injury lingers, Los Angeles' offense will be compromised.
OUTLOOK: With Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown and every significant player returning from the first championship team in franchise history, the Stanley Cup holders believe their continuity in a short season gives them a strong chance at a repeat.