Parity has become a staple of the NHL. Aside from teams that are starting from scratch, nearly everyone has a shot to make the postseason -- and we aren't completely ruling out the Vegas Golden Knights this season. A reduction in scoring over the past decade combined with a hard salary cap gives almost every non-playoff club from the previous season a shot to turn things around quickly.
Last season, there were seven new playoff teams compared to the previous postseason. We saw the Florida Panthers go from the top of the Atlantic Division to sixth place, and the Edmonton Oilers jumped from last to second place in the Pacific.
Which non-playoff teams from 2016-17 can we expect to be competing for the Stanley Cup, and which can we expect to still be playing golf come spring? Here's a rundown, from the teams most likely to be alive this spring to those that are more realistically waiting another year. And for the teams in the opposite situation (threatening to fall out of the playoff mix after being there last season), go here.