Erlendsson: More to the Afanasenkov/Karlsson Situation
Erlendsson posts more on his blog shedding light on the manuevering going on as the Lightning try to give themselves the cap flexibility to make a trade. According to Jay Feaster, if Afanasenkov and Karlsson clear waivers they will not be assigned to the minors unless a deal is done and the Lightning need the cap room to fit a new player in. The Lightning will have 30 days or 10 games played for each player in which to make a deal and send them down before they have to send each of them through waivers. Basically, Feaster is attempting to give himself a one month window in which he has the opportunity to free $1.2M under the cap to make a deal.
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Now, from the Falcons' standpoint, sending Afanasenkov and Karlsson down to Springfield probably isn't a boon anyway because the Falcons are already over their limit of veterans with Zdenek Blatny being scratched on almost every night. If they went down to Springfield, they might have to be loaned out to another AHL team in exchange for non-veteran talent or there will be three veterans scratched on any given night.
Erlendsson goes on to mention several defensemen the Lightning might be pursuing with Vaclav Prospal or Ruslan Fedotenko as potential bait. Prospal is making $1.9 million this season while Fedotenko is making $1.65 million meaning if either were moved and Afanasenkov and Karlsson were sent down the team would have between $2.85 and $3.1 million free along with whatever minor players like, say, Luke Richardson that might be thrown into the deal. Luke Richardson makes $500K and Nolan Pratt makes $650K meaning the Lightning, in such a scenario, could pick up between $3.35M and $3.75M in salaries.
Among the defensemen mentioned by Erlendsson, here are the salaries:
Eric Brewer: $2.014M
Derek Morris: $3.9M
Ossi Vanannen: $998K
J.M. Liles: $1.25M
Brad Stuart: $2.4M
Paul Mara: $3M
Erlendsson also mentions Dallas as a potential trade partner:
Jaroslav Modry: $1.9M
Phillipe Boucher: $2.5M
Now, to me the interesting part of Erlendsson's blog post is that several of the defensemen he mentions could easily be acquired without freeing $1.2M in cap space if they were acquired in exchange for Prospal or Fedotenko. It's only players like Morris, Stuart, Mara or Boucher that would require the Lightning to make $1.2M worth of cap room to make a deal work. The message being sent is that Feaster is not looking to make a small deal. Feaster is going big trophy fishing.