One of the things about the structure of the NHL and its salary cap is that teams go through cycles of winning and losing, giving almost every fan base their turn at an era of competitiveness. Teams build through the draft, rise to the top, add free agents, then inevitably decline and restart the process.
Three clubs have reached their peak and will be in "win-now" mode in 2015-16, and this week we're counting them down on ESPN Insider. These teams have done everything possible in the offseason to set themselves up to be Cup contenders and will be buyers come deadline time. They also aren't set up to win for the foreseeable future, unlike the Chicago Blackhawks or Tampa Bay Lightning. It's now or never!
Our No. 1 "win-now" team is the Anaheim Ducks, whose season ended with a Game 7 loss to the Cup-champion Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. While the Ducks had strong teams in the past, the 2014-15 finish was perhaps the most disappointing. Not only did Anaheim lead the Western Conference standings with 109 points, but it also made a go-for-it move before the season to stock the top six by adding star two-way center Ryan Kesler.