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Atlantic Division's best team debated by NHL.com

Lightning, Maple Leafs, Panthers among contenders

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

It's never too early to take stock of where teams stand in the NHL. The 2019 NHL Draft has passed, and many of the big names in free agency have found a home for this season, so this is as good a time as any to look at the balance of power in the Atlantic Division. We asked nine NHL.com staff writers for their opinions on which team will be the best in the division this season.

Here are their thoughts:

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NHL Insider

Ristolainen remains in Sabres' plans with active trade rumors

Defenseman will be put 'in positions to have success,' GM says

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Rasmus Ristolainen remains in the plans of the Buffalo Sabres, general manager Jason Botterill said Saturday.

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NHL Insider

Thornton leaving Sharks is something Couture 'couldn't imagine'

Possible San Jose captain says veteran free agent has 'assets that you need in any dressing room'

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

LONDON, Ontario -- Joe Thornton and Logan Couture have been San Jose Sharks teammates for 10 NHL seasons. After all that time, Couture said it's hard for him to imagine not having Thornton around.

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NHL Insider

Nylander ready to 'dominate' for Maple Leafs this season

Forward determined to reach new heights after contract delay in 2018-19

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

STOCKHOLM -- William Nylander said he is ready to become one of the elite players in the NHL this season.

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NHL Insider

Aho thankful for contract with Hurricanes after Canadiens' offer sheet

Center says process helped ensure he'd start training camp on time

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

STOCKHOLM -- Sebastian Aho repeatedly expressed his happiness about returning to North Carolina for training camp with the Carolina Hurricanes next month.

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free agency

Laine, Marner, Rantanen among top unsigned restricted free agents

Connor, Point, Tkachuk, others waiting for contract or offer sheet

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

With about a month until training camps open, NHL.com takes a closer look at the top remaining restricted free agents.

A restricted free agent can receive an offer sheet contract from another team, which forward Sebastian Aho did from the Montreal Canadiens on July 1. His team can match the contract (which the Carolina Hurricanes did with Aho) or receive draft-pick compensation based on its value. Any restricted free agent who does not sign by Dec. 1 cannot play for the remainder of the NHL season.

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NHL Insider

Connor hopes to sign with Jets before training camp

Restricted free agent forward had NHL career-high 66 points last season

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Kyle Connor is hopeful of signing a new contract with the Winnipeg Jets prior to the opening of training camp in September. 

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NHL Insider

Richard was 'The Babe Ruth of Hockey'

NHL's first 50-in-50 scorer became League's biggest star, cultural hero in Montreal

by Stan Fischler / Special to NHL.com

Legendary hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler writes a weekly scrapbook for NHL.com. Fischler, known as "The Hockey Maven," shares his knowledge, humor and insight with readers each Wednesday.

This week he looks at Maurice Richard, one of the most famous players in NHL history and the first to score 50 goals in 50 games.

Long before there was a Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, the award presented annually to the NHL's leading goal-scorer, there was the "Rocket" himself.

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Hockey Is For Everyone

NHL introduces children of color to hockey at Martha's Vineyard festival

Kids try shooting, stickhandling, meet O'Ree at annual gathering of black families

by William Douglas @WDouglasNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. -- Jeff Lubin saw something Tuesday that he had never seen before: His children holding hockey sticks.

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NHL Insider

Schmidt ready to 'dial in' with Golden Knights

Defenseman eager for training camp after suspension, early playoff exit

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

EDINA, Minn. -- Nate Schmidt didn't enjoy the beginning or ending of last season, but the Vegas Golden Knights defenseman said he'll be raring to go when training camp opens in September.

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