Hawks become West's team to beat

Hossa brings his high-scoring game to Chicago. Harry How/Getty Images

The signing of Marian Hossa with the Chicago Blackhawks has subtly altered the balance of power in the Western Conference. Hossa's GVT in 2008-09 was plus-20, 15th in the NHL, and he was without a doubt the premier offensive player available on the open market. The Blackhawks were already the third-best team in the Western Conference last year, and adding Hossa's 20 GVT to their team GVT of plus-48 would have put them at plus-68, second in the NHL behind Boston.