The ship appears to be righted and the boys now appear to be on a mission. I'd like to look ahead a year to bring us back to what Jay may be looking at and would like to get some thoughts from the rest of you.

Next season, we gain 2+ million in cap space when Andy and Burke drop off the payroll (I won't count DiMaio since we're basically working around his cap number presently.) We potentially lose Sarich and Fedotenko which closes us in on another $4 mil. and the cap is expected to rise $2.5 mil. Taylor with his hip is another contract to possibly fall, although I doubt it. Richardson and Karllson are $1 mil. that gets replace with other filler. That gives Jay $8 - 8.5 million to play with next season with truly only Sarich's and Fed's spots to fill. However, and I mean however, if we don't make it to at least the conference finals this season, I suspect the PS&E honchos only allow Jay $4 mil to replace Sarich & Feds and other $4 - 4.5 would be untouchable unless we were leading the division at next season's trade deadline.

The big 4 are all signed, Prospal, Kuba, Denis are still under contract and no one else on the current roster is in position to ask for a large increase. If Jay chooses I think he could keep Sarich for close to the same $. I think he could replace Feds for close to the same $ with a more consistent player of similar ability. That's likely all the action we get without going deep this year. If he can spend the whole bankroll, he could possibly go after Freddy Mo for Feds' spot at a bit of a raise. Also, he could upgrade in goal if he wished, possibly a Denis +, for Khabby. He'd have enough $ to do it next season. (Editorial note: Khabby is an example, not neccessarily my desire.)

In order to secure the conference finals this season, Jay would have to add without subtracting much from the roster. This will have to wait right until the deadline for salary purposes. What do we need? A goalie upgrade now? A defenseman to assure that Richardson never sees the ice in the playoffs? A scoring winger? A power play specialist?

Unless we sign a Jason Allison to be primarily a power play guy - we're going to need to move draft picks/prospects to do these deals. What resources do we have and who/what should be deemed untouchable? Is the draft deep this year that we should hold the 1st? Some year soon we need to draft some more scorers. The goalies are probably our deepest position. Any untouchables? Ramo? May kill a good deal if he's not available. D'men? Could we lose Smaby or Mihalik? I don't see Egener/Rogers being that coveted. Do we have any forwards we can't afford to lose? What about overagers? Are R2 or A. Holmquist factors in trades or for us next year. Norrena has nearly established himself as the top goalie we've ever drafted. That at least will make a favorable impression with trade partners perhaps when discussing our Euro's.

Your thoughts please.


What about a guy like Zherdev in Cbus? I've read a few times he might be available. I wouldn't be willing to give up what I would for Lupul, but Z has a lot of offensive talent, and I think he could thrive with a guy like Richards feeding him the puck all night. They just resigned Modin to a pretty rich deal, so perhaps he could be had for a decent cost.

If not him, Cajanek was just placed on waivers by the Blues. Obviously he wouldn't be as gifted as Z, but he could be had without giving up anything. How bad could it be to take a chance? He couldn't be any worse than Fedotenko this season. Maybe playing in a new system, and again, with Richards doing all the work.

Defense is huge need.

When we consider what is needed we are missing the closer on 'D'. Boyle does a decent job but not physical enough to crunch at the end of the game. Sarich has the physical but still makes too many mental errors with the puck. Lot's of late period/game turnovers. So we need to trade for someone in that position. Much as we did in 04 the best deal was Sydor. He brought smartness and toughness in the corners at the end of the games that was an absolute must for the cup we achieved. So the money that is available now needs to be spent on that player or we are looking 1st or if we are really going bananas with scoring second round exit. So as this plays out into the end of February we can then focus on the future.

Next year. Ok, so we dump them all, and we again go thru the rebuilding of the bottom lines! No Thank You, this rebuild has been brutal to watch. Perin, Craig, (R2 will be back IMHO), Sarich (could be cheap compared to others of the same skill set), Pratt - same dollar amt and he's a keeper.

I think we are dreaming about a move of Denis. We signed him for just under 3 mil a year who would want that for someone who looks no better than a 3rd stringer. I'm hoping that he can go forward but the more I watch he reminds me of Grahamme...inconsistent. Holmqvist will get a raise to 1.2 - 1.5 if he continues his development. Remember we seem to be loaded with goalies at this time let's hope Ramo or Boutin can make the roundtrip back to the NHL and play like the organization anticipated. On the goal tending front we have numerous ??? marks...... only time will tell the next move.

The biggest problem for the team is consistency. You never know from game to game who or what is going to show up. They are not young kids, they have been here before, they are sounding more and more like the Bucs, "Ah we just need to execute". Execute a penalty on occasion better than 75% and maybe they can go someplace.


"The big 4 are all signed, Prospal, Kuba, Denis are still under contract and no one else on the current roster is in position to ask for a large increase. "

Holmqvist does deserve a significant raise from $600K because he's getting the bulk of the goaltending work?
Perrin, Craig, Janik don't deserve significant raises from their $450K one year contracts?

NHL contracts that expire in June 2007:

Sarich ($1.9M)
Fedotenko ($1.65M)
Pratt ($625K)
Holmqvist ($600K)
Richardson ($500K)
Karlsson ($500K)
DiMaio (probably retired)
Perrin ($450K)
Alexeev ($450K)
Tarnasky ($450K)
Janik ($450K)

If we don't sign any of the above they will have to be replaced with a comparable substitute and since most were at $450K-$500K who's salary is comparable?

FYI - Non-NHLer's whose contracts expire in June 2006:

Deveaux (?)
Greco (probably gone)

re: Raises

Wow, potentially we could lose 1/2 or our starting 6 D-Men.

There will have to be signing/trades cos’ I don’t think we have 3 guys in Springfield that are ready to step up.

No good deed goes unpunished

Miss K.

By the way, thanks for your passion in tracking contracts. You are a valuable resource to the Lightning faithful.

Deserving Raises

Holmquist, Perrin, Craig and Janik do desrve nice raises, but do they have the contract status to get them?

I'm not sure of the new CBA paramaters, but Craig I'm sure is RFA and I'm not sure if he's arbitration eligible. That'll put a big clamp on what he gets.

Gotta love Perrin, but he's pushing 30 in his 1st full NHL season and isn't producing offensiveely enough to be considered a top 2 liner in pay. I love him, but what's a top 3rd liner worth?

Janik may have UFA status as a long term minor pro and is also in his 1st full season. What's his on-ice value versus holding down Smaby, Rogers, or Egener another year. Janik gets a nice contract and someone may be forced to stay down no matter how capable they are in the NHL.

Holmquist is also in his first full season as a middle aged type prospect. How much do you pay when you're not sure he's not the next Jim Carey or Patrick Lalime? I'd say financially, he's a moderate risk at a position of organizational strength right now. Also, the ability to unload Denis' contract will play into that negotiation. And again, is he beyond RFA status? The main factor as to what Holmquist is worth won't be fully known or appreciated until we see what he does in the playoffs. Remember, Khabby wasn't the confirmed #1 until March of the year. He wasn't any great shakes through this point in the season. He made his wealth during the cup run.

In summary, I'd say Craig will get his money when his time comes. Perrin doesn't have a lot of leverage dollar wise, although if he's UFA he'll have a lot of suiters at reasonable money to choose from. Janik's value as a quiet stay at home guy is compromised by whe talent level of who he might be holding back. And, Holmquist is the riddle due to the fact that his worth won't truly be established til the playoffs.

I'm not an expert, but following all the other capped sports, that's about the way it shakes out with these guys.

Re: Deals

I think payroll next season depends on 1.) making the playoffs and 2.) going at least one round in the playoffs. A lack of success and I think you will see PS&E pull back on the budget.

As far as the stretch run goes: all the speculation is that Feaster is looking for a defenseman for good reason. This team only has 3 d-men who are really top-4 caliber (Boyle, Ranger and Kuba). They need another guy to even out their defense. Allegedly, Feaster is looking for a puckmover, but I would be looking for a big physical stay-at-homer. Ideally, you could get that AND find a way to bring in a scoring line forward. With Columbus being down and out, I wouldn't be shocked to see Feaster re-acquire Modin at the deadline for a draft pick with the intention of re-signing him for next season, providing the team's record come March merits the confidence that the team is a contender for more than the outhouse.

There is absolutely no way in hell they should trade Ramo. Mihalik and Smaby would also be untouchable to me. Rogers, Egener and O'Brien would be available.

I don't think Feaster will trade R2 and I don't think the interest in Andreas Holmqvist will be that strong. In both R2 and Andreas' cases, I see them being re-signed next season. Alexeev's relative success has reopened some doors that might've been otherwise shut for the older Dudley picks IMO.

Ok, O'brien is the "D"



It looks like the boys have picked up the Defensive player they were in need of, let's hope that it works out as the price Coleman and a 1st round pick seems to be pretty steep. I'm not sure he is that good but we will see. He does come with the tag of puck mover along with toughness. They filled a real need and should he be decent he should be pretty easy to sign in the off season. The question that nags at me though is does he have the experience that we need? Not sure on that one but it is probably the best we could do with our limited resources and $$$$ to pay for someone.

It will be interesting to see who starts to sit? Pratt, Janik or Sarich?

Something to keep in the back of the mind is the fact that we have given up our number 1 pick for a few years now and that will hurt in the future. Let us all hope that some of the 2nd, 3rd and later round picks step into place real soon.