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02-07-2011, 05:34 PM
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I agree with the posts above that paying Suter/Weber isn't a problem-- you can use Sully and Dumont dollars to get them both to $6.5M.

You save some money by losing Ward/SOB (likely) and pay a bit more with some salary increases that are due. Most of the other UFA can be replaced within the system for roughly the same dollars (Blum for Sulzer) but it will cost you a couple of hundred thousand per for those.

Bottom line is probably the ability to bring in a $3.5M/yr type of guy (Mike Fisher) or a rental (Arnott) but not a pricier guy (Kessel) unless you shed salary. The only major salaries to be shed would be NTC guys (Dumont the most likely) or non-contributing (Lombardi), so I'd judge that as highly unlikely.

I tend to favor a rental or sticking with the current group, given our depth of forwards, understanding the risk that we fail to score enough to make an impact. If Weber signed long-term PRIOR to the trade deadline (which I think he will) and for sure if he signs for less than $6.5M, then I'd be more in favor a bigger splash (in part because I think Suter signs and we are safer giving up some defensive assets).

My guess is Poile will use the trade deadline to try to wrap up a contract.

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