In the NHL, there's an emphasis on and obsession over the "window to win."
It's something Kyle Dubas was inherently aware of when taking over the Pittsburgh Penguins as president and general manager.
"I heard a lot of people that were highly skeptical of the team's ability to contend here," he said. "The way I view it: If people want to bet against Mike Sullivan, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and others, they can go ahead and do so. But I'm going to bet on them. I do think that it's a group capable of contending to win a championship."
The Penguins aren't the only team trying to prop their window open. But what happens when that window slams shut?
That's where the Future Power Rankings come in.
These rankings consider how teams are set up for success this season as well as the next three seasons. We had a panel of writers and editors rate each team in four categories -- roster (with an emphasis on players 26 and under); prospects; cap situation and contracts; and front office, ownership and coaching -- using this scale:
100: A+ (elite)
90: A (great)
80: B (very good)
70: C (average)
60: D (very bad)
50: F (disastrous)
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the four categories was weighted to create the overall score: roster (35%), prospects (25%), cap/contracts (20%) and owner/GM/coach (20%). The result is a comprehensive ranking based on how well each team is positioned for the future, plus insights on every team from Ryan S. Clark, Kristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski.