Columbus has improved a lot as well. At least they're showing their fans they are going to try and make this playoffs this year.
Torres, Huselius, Tyutin, Umberger, Backman. It at least says something.
Lost Brule, Zherdev, Fritsche, Hainsey, possibly Peca but word is he's re-signing. They were the loser of the Zherdev trade even though it helped their Defense but they shouldve re-signed Hainsey and signed another Defensemen and kept Zherdev and Fritsche. Umberger is the best thing going for them as far as new players go. I give them a B grade in improvement.
Lowe turned a 3rd line center that was -23 and had 36 points, aswell as a 3rd pairing defenseman into the 3rd highest scoring defensemen since the lockout. What Stoll is capable of is irrelevant because we didn't see it last season. We weren't a 9th place team with the Stoll that was +4 and had 68 points...if we had that player we probably could have been in the 6-8th seed.
After getting Visnovsky Lowe was able to trade Pitkanen without hurting our blue line at all and he turned him into a top 6 forward that is a heart and soul guy and has won a Cup.
He also turned an underachieving Torres isn't a struggling prospect with a lot of upside. Torres barely even played last season so it's not really hurting the team that played last season anyways.
Coming in: Visnkovsky, Cole and Brule.
Leaving: Stoll, Greene, Pitkanen and Torres....3 of the 4 were either lazy, underachieving or both.
The Rangers and Detroit by far .....Rangers lose what Jagr and avery and gain Naslund, Redden ,the Buffalo guy, and Zerdev also who knows maybe Jagr signs with them. Redwings lose no one and gain hossa enough said.
So far, the most improved teams are probably TB (much better offense, though still has questionable D and G) and Edmonton (Cole and Visnovsky are good adds and Brule could turn it around) and Columbus (a very nice D core now and Juice and Torres replacing Brule and Zherdev, although probably not enough to make the playoffs this year). Rangers are doing pretty decent too - I wasn't sure they would be able to fill their top 6 after signing Redden and Roszival but they are doing a decent job with Naslund and Zherdev.
Honorary mentions: Phoenix, Montreal and Detroit for their big name pick-ups. Also, I'm fairly impressed by Minny even though I think overall they have gotten slightly worse: Brunette and Zidlicky are solid additions.
Worst would probably be Vancouver (only minor signings when they need a big one), Atlanta (what the heck??) and above all Toronto (JFJ > Fletcher??).
Everyone seems to be forgetting the Rangers lost Jagr, Straka, Avery, Tyutin, Backman, and possibly Shanahan and Mara. I'm not saying they've gotten worse, but there are numerous questions surrounding players like Naslund, Redden, and Zherdev. Alot of "boom/bust" going on there.
Like I said I'm not saying they're worse but I hardly see how you can put them under the "most improved" category yet.