For part 1 of this, see here. Quick summary: I’m Doug Wilson and have just traded Niemi and Marleau for Rick Nash. We now have $11.6M in cap space and 12 roster spots left to fill (8 forwards, 3 defensemen, 1 goalie). I’m assuming I want to keep my numbers (players and salaries) similar to last year, even with all of the roster movement.
Big deals suck up a lot of time, so now I’ve got to get a lot done in short order. I’ll probably end up resigning a good chunk of my old team because continuity and locker room chemistry matter more than people think. First, though, I turn my attention to the situation between the pipes. With Nemo having departed, I’m going to trust that Greiss is close to being ready for primetime. I’d like some good competition in the pipes, though, so I look to Minnesota and I sign Josh Harding, he looked great when he played last year, but I think he’s going to be coveted. I’ll sign a goalie about to go into his prime who’s shown flashes of brilliance for $1.5M per year for 3 years. You might think I’m overpaying, but, again, HE WILL BE COVETED. More importantly, after three 1-year contracts in a row, he’s ready to leave Minny. He and Greiss will battle in camp for that starting spot. Other than that, I’ll trust in the magic of SJ goaltending that Sexsmith, Sateri or Stalock will be ready if the call comes.
I need to fill my D slots. So I resign Braun for $900k per for 2 years, and I like a Matt Carkner-type for $800k for a season to eat up any minutes Vandermeer played. For the last D slot I sign Sheldon Souray. Souray’s 35 and back in the NHL consciousness because of his “big” season last year. “Big” in quotation marks because he only had 21 points in 64 games. But the puck explodes off his stick and he will want to win a Cup before he retires, he will see us as his best chance. The big strike against him is that he’s a bit of a defensive liability, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take with the strong Harding/Greiss combo. We can get him for $2M.
That leaves me with 9 forward positions I need and $6.4M left in space. I’m going to believe that my top 6 will be Pavelski/Thornton/Nash and Clowe/Couture/Havlat. My only returning guy from last year’s bottom 6 is Zeus. I will resign Winnik and Galiardi to prove they weren’t mistakes, and I can likely get them for a little more than I paid them last year. Winnik maybe takes $1mm per, so I’ll give him 2 years. Galiardi maybe $700k. Tommy Wingles and Ben Ferriero both showed great scoring capability when paired with Joe Thornton, which is to say we don’t know how good they will sustain that type of ability without someone floating them perfect saucer passes. But I like both of them, and they’ve come up through the system which I also like I see Seto upside here, so they both come back. Wingles gets $900k, Ferriero gets $750 Also bringing back last year’s team rookie-of-the-year is a must, so Desjardins comes back at a pay raise to about $1M a year. $2M left and 4 spaces to fill.
One guy I always liked was Kyle Wellwood. He had magic hands, and I also kind of liked that he had the guts to wear #20 THE YEAR AFTER NABBY LEFT. I wanted him to retire as a Shark, and now he can, because I’m Doug Wilson. Only trouble is that last year he had his best as a pro, so he’s going to cost us $1.2M.
We need someone who’s ready to start a donnybrook when needed. Not just sandpaper, we need someone who can fight. George Parros comes over from Anaheim, and we insert a “no moustache, no pay” clause into his contract. He’s a tough guy who’s 5-years in, though, so we can get him a little cheaper than last season. Maybe $800k. We also bring back Brad Staubitz who runs us $600k, planing to platoon the two of them.
$0.05 left for one more player. Who do I sign? Me. Remember, I’m Doug Wilson. Kidding. I plan to bring guys in and out of the lineup from the minors as injuries occur, assuming I can match injured players with Worcester salaries. Don’t want that press box to get too filled, now.
So, yes, I’m right up against the cap, but I have the team in place that will make a serious run in the playoffs. Scenario 1 starting lineup:
- Goalies: Harding/Greiss
- In the press box: Staubitz, Wingles, Braun, Ferriero, Carkner and mix of Worcester dudes.
Monday I’ll post on what could be done if we were focusing on moving a lot more players. I will update odds on the remaining possibilities as well: Option 2) Make a mediocre splash. (Odds TBD). Option 3) Do nothing (Odds: Infinity-1).
Want to debate a list? Tweet me @bluelineboomer
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