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Letdowns lead to clean slates in Tampa, St. Louis

Updated: July 17, 2006, 3:50 PM ET
By Terry Frei | Special to ESPN.com

There are a lot of intriguing stories as NHL franchises go through the first full summer of dealing with the salary cap. A year ago, the post-lockout scrambling involved frantic changing on the fly. Now, and from here on, it's more about balancing a coherent long-term plan with the need to fill holes and juggle the numbers for the upcoming season.

Two of the stories that especially intrigue me are unfolding in St. Louis and Tampa, Fla. (No, not "in Tampa Bay," because Lightning general ...

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