marakh wrote:That would be nice, but it would mean:
- Cheechoo buyout
- Cullen, Volchenkov bye bye
- Foligno or Campoli not re-signed
Kovalev on LTIR for half the year, and/or Cheechoo playing in the minors / bought out, may well be enough. Volchenkov is almost certainly gone anyway.
Anyway, it's so tricky playing this game at this time of year, but here goes.
Our 2010-11 roster needs a minimum of 12 forwards, 6 D, and 2 goalies, or 20 players total. Last year, we went with 22 or so most of the season, however, so I'll proceed assuming that we may well do the same again.
Right now, we have $32.158 mil tied up in 9 forwards (Spezza, Kovalev, Alfie, Michalek, Fisher, Kelly, Neil, Ruutu, and Shannon). Shannon may well be gone, but who knows. We can also safely assume that Smith will make the team (10 forwards; new forward total: $32.741 mil). That leaves 2, maybe 3 roster spots open, with Cullen a UFA and Foligno, Regin, and Winchester RFAs. Cullen will probably cost about $3 mil; Foligno and Regin about $1.5 a piece; and Winchester about $800K. If you go the cheap route, you just sign the RFAs (13 forwards; new forward total: $36.541 mil). If you keep Cullen and trade, say, Foligno, you add about $1.5 mil to that (13 forwards; new forward total: $38.041 mil).
Then you turn to D. Right now, we have $10.075 mil tied up in 5 D here (Kuba, Phillips, Karlsson, Lee, and Carkner). Like Shannon, Lee may be gone, but who knows. Then there's Campoli -- who knows what he'll make; let's say $1.5 mil (6 D; new D total: $11.575 mil). From here, we need at least one D, and this is where it gets really, really tricky. It could be Volchenkov, or Sutton, or a mystery signing, or someone like Gryba. That brings the price range for this 7th D (who will probably not be the real 7th -- I'm assuming that's Lee) from anywhere to $622K, to $2.5-3 mil, to $4-4.5 mil (Gryba, Sutton, and Volchenkov, respectively). That means our total D costs could be $12.197 mil, or $14.075-14.575 mil, or $15.575-16.075 mil. That's a pretty wide range, I know, but that's as precise as it gets at the moment.
Our goaltending is, mercifully (for the purposes of this exercise, anyway), settled. 2 goalies (Elliott, Leclaire), $4.650 mil.
The most likely scenario (I think):We lose Cullen and Volchenkov, but keep Regin, Foligno, Winchester, Campoli, Sutton, and Gryba:
$36.541 mil + $12.197 + $4.650 + $562K (Emery's buyout - I included Alfie's in his salary) = $53.950 mil. If I'm off on Sutton, then add another $500K ($54.450 mil). If Melnyk insists on buying out Cheechoo, add yet another $1 mil ($55.450 mil). That figure is still a million+ dollars under the current cap. If the cap raises slightly, and/or if we ship Smith and Gryba back and forth between the AHL and the NHL all season long, and/or Kovalev spends any time on the LTIR, we should be more than fine. This strikes me as the most likely scenario, because the most affordable.
I just don't see how we can fit in Volchenkov at $4+ mil, and at forward, it's either got to be Cullen or Foligno, but not both. Keeping Cullen would mean losing Volchenkov and Sutton, tho', and having to find a replacement for them at no more that $1.5 mil. Cowen or Wiercioch would fit the bill there, incidentally, if either were ready. Meanwhile, keeping Volchenkov and Cullen along with Regin, Winchester, and Campoli,
while losing Sutton and Foligno and buying out Cheechoo, is not an option: that would cost
$60.328 mil, which is way, way too much.
We're in a tight spot money-wise for sure, but I don't think it's unmanageable. Once you realize that we're pretty much guaranteed to lose Volchenkov and one of Cullen or Foligno this off season, barring some big trade (which will throw all our speculations out of whack), then the picture gets clearer. Then it just comes down to how much you have to pay Regin and Campoli, and whether you re-sign Sutton, find an alternative through trade or UFA, or give a spot to one of the kids.