2012 NHL Offseason Preview: Free Agency Shaping Up To Be Interesting

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 26: The NHL logo is displayed during Fan Fair as part of NHL All Star weekend at the Ottawa Convention Centre on January 26, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With some big-name trades and an interesting NHL draft, the 2012 NHL offseason is shaping up to be very intriguing.

Typically, when teams are gearing up for the NHL draft, the news and hoopla surrounding said draft is all about the young guns and the future of the sport. For the 2012 NHL draft, however, the draft was all about the movement of big-name current stars and how their changing addresses might lead to shifts in power. The moves also tip some teams' hands as the NHL heads into what should be an interesting free-agency period.

As Dirk Hoag explains, a team like the Anaheim Ducks set themselves up in free agency by moving defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders. The Ducks picked up a second-round pick in the bargain while also clearing nearly $6 million in salary cap space, giving Anaheim tons of room to make more moves.

Some other teams, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, also have set themselves up to make moves in the offseason after shipping off Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes.

For more on the 2012 NHL offseason and the league in general, be sure to vist SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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