article

Sportsnet ranks the 4 most improved teams of the summer.

The four most improved teams of the summer?

Share on Facebook

There has been a great deal of movement this offseason, even more than usual due to the expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. As a result the look of many teams has changed, and on Tuesday Sportsnet broke down their four most improved teams of the summer.

You may be surprised to learn that only one team on this list made it to the postseason in the 2016-2017 National Hockey League season, and in fact that team only made it to the very first round.

At the top of Sportsnet's list are the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes shored up their biggest weakness when they acquired goaltender Scott Darling from the Chicago Blackhawks, quickly signing him to a long-term deal that should presumably fix their issues between the pipes. 

They also added veteran depth up front with the acquisition of forward Justin Williams in free agency as well as forward Marcus Kruger who was acquired via a trade.

Up next are the Dallas Stars who had one of the most active offseasons of any team in the NHL this summer. The moves by general manager Jim Nill speak for themselves, and there have been some very significant ones. 

In just a few short months the Stars have added goaltender Ben Bishop, who signed long-term with the team, Russian superstar Alexander Radulov, who also signed a long-term deal with the Stars, defenseman Marc Methot, and forward Martin Hanzal.

Coming in at number three are the lowly Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes had a lot of room for improvement and they did just that this summer with general manager John Cayka making some very significant trades of his own. 

Perhaps' Chayka's biggest pickup was Niklas Hjalmarsson, a player once described by Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman as a player with Hall-of-Fame level talent. Hjalmarsson will also be joining veteran forward Derrick Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta who were also picked up in trades from Chayka this summer.

Last but not least the only Canadian team on the list, and the only one to have made the playoffs this past season are the Calgary Flames.

The Flames picked up veteran goaltender Mike Smith who's less-than-friendly comments about his former team, the Arizona Coyotes, suggest he's much happier to be on a team with some skilled players. 

The Flames also added some talent that will give Smith a helping hand on the back end by picking up defenseman Travis Hamonic in a trade with the New York Islanders, and convincing Michael Stone to remain with the Flames, signing him to an extension just prior to his free agency this summer.

Do you agree with the names on the list? Who would be your top four?