5. Phoenix Coyotes » Believe it or not, this saga isn't finished. It's still waiting for word on whether prospective owner Greg Jamison has the finances to buy the team. If so, will the taxpayer watchdog Goldwater Institute finally stop suing the Glendale, Ariz., city council or will the team move?
4. Sidney Crosby » A long-term deal is reportedly on the table between the star center and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby's concussion history remains a legitimate concern, but he returned to finish the season strong to give the team some comfort with his health heading into 2012-13 and beyond.
3. Trades » A relatively weak free agent market on July 1 could be the impetus for a wild draft weekend in Pittsburgh. It's likely the only way for teams like the Caps to revamp their roster quickly.
2. Free agents » There are really just two elite names: New Jersey Devils winger Zach Parise and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter. Both would look good in Red Wings colors, and Detroit has a ton of salary cap space. But plenty of other teams will vie for their services.
1. Lockout » Everything pales in comparison to the new collective bargaining agreement. The old CBA with the Players' Association ends on Sept. 15. Training camps won't open without a new one and that's no guarantee as negotiations between the players and owners begin this summer.
- Brian McNally