Before we focus on the 16 teams that qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs, a word or two on the 14 that didn't.
Oddly enough, the scent of major change is wafting through very few of the non-playoff cities, partly because some made coaching or management adjustments last summer or during this season.
But the heat is on in a few places.
In Washington, head coach Glen Hanlon may be in trouble. In Columbus there is great frustration that the Blue Jackets finished 23 points out of a playoff berth while the other three most recent expansion teams - Nashville, Atlanta and Minnesota - are all part of the playoffs. President and GM Doug MacLean is under a lot of heat in Columbus, and some news reports suggest he might not survive.
In Phoenix, meanwhile, an awful 67-point season means somebody is going to lose their job. Already, some reports suggest GM Mike Barnett and senior V.P. Cliff Fletcher will be fired, but very few believe Wayne Gretzky won't be back as coach.
Which brings us to the Maple Leafs.
There's no shortage of voices that would argue John Ferguson should be dumped as GM, and by picking up his option for next season during this season, all the Leafs did was ensure he'll be going right back into that lame duck situation next fall that he was in last fall.
Ideally, the Leafs would fish or cut bait, either make a long-term commitment to JFJ and his plan or find a new manager to kick around.
But don't bet on it.
The best guess from here would be that a multi-year deal won't be forthcoming now with the club having missed the playoffs and that Ferguson will have to work under the option year.
Which is really no decision at all and only ensures another year of speculation over Ferguson's future.
Leaf ownership and senior management have had lots of time to evaluate JFJ.
Either they like him or they don't. Either they think he can get them to a championship or they don't.
People like to criticize Lou Lamoriello, but he makes tough decisions and lives with them. Simply keeping Ferguson under the terms of his option year means Leaf ownership is unwilling to make that kind of difficult choice.