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.