|Ilya Kovalchuk is the Fantasy gem of the Southeast Division. (US Presswire)|
Contributors: Tobias Enstrom, Jason Williams, Ron Hainsey, Slava Kozlov, Colby Armstrong, Kari Lehtonen
Sleepers: Bryan Little, Boris Valabik, Zach Bogosian, Angelo Esposito
Wannabes: Johan Hedberg, Niclas Havelid, Todd White, Eric Perrin
Offseason analysis: The new coaching staff in Atlanta will have their work cut out for them this season as the Thrashers simply don't have enough offensive weapons to contend in a pretty tough Southeast division. Kovalchuk is still an elite scorer and 40 goals is always within reach. The Thrashers landed a big catch as they traded for Schneider just before the season began. He will help a struggling defense and could be a good pairing for Hainsey -- Atlanta's other big defensive acquisition. Williams joined the fold after an injury-plagued 2007-08 with Chicago and he will help boost the Thrashers' power-play unit.
Must-haves: Eric Staal, Ray Whitney
Contributors: Joe Corvo, Rod Brind'Amour, Cam Ward
Sleepers: Matt Cullen, Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk
Wannabes: Sergei Samsonov, Justin Williams (injured)
Offseason analysis: The Hurricanes just missed out on the playoffs last season, and didn't make too much noise during the summer with the Erik Cole for Pitkanen trade their only real significant move. Josef Melichar could also contribute on the blue line. The loss of Williams to Achilles' surgery in September was a big one.
Must-haves: Tomas Vokoun, Nathan Horton, Bryan McCabe
Contributors: Stephen Weiss, Keith Ballard, Jay Bouwmeester, Cory Stillman, Rostislav Olesz
Sleepers: Michael Frolik, Shawn Matthias
Wannabes: Cory Murphy
Offseason analysis: Things look a little brighter in 2008-09 for the Panthers, as the team addressed its weakness on the blue line with the addition of Ballard, Nick Boynton in the trade with Phoenix for Olli Jokinen, the franchise's top scorer, and the acquisition of wily veteran McCabe. On the offensive side, the Panthers added Stillman, who has two seasons with more than 75 points in his career.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Must-haves: Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis
Contributors: Vaclav Prospal, Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata
Sleepers: Steven Stamkos, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith
Wannabes: Jason Ward, Michel Ouellet
Offseason analysis: While their two key components are still around in Lecavalier and St. Louis, this year's Lightning is going to look a lot different than it did last year after a ton of offseason moves. Barry Melrose returns to an NHL bench after 13 years of broadcasting and there have been too many on-ice changes for me to even mention in this small space. Key additions, however, include Malone, Vrbata and Prospal, who returns to the team he spent four years with earlier this decade. A key addition right in front of goalie Mike Smith is Matt Carle, who came over via trade following a disappointing season in San Jose.
Must-haves: Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Michael Nylander
Contributors: Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Viktor Kozlov, Jose Theodore
Sleepers: Chris Clark, Tomas Fleischmann, Eric Fehr
Wannabes: Matt Bradley, Dave Steckel
Offseason analysis: Jose Theodore came on strong in the second half last season with the Avalanche and could have a nice campaign if the Caps live up to expectations. Matt Cooke left for Pittsburgh, but he has never been much of a Fantasy contributor anyway.
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