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02-21-2013, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
The off-season will be tough. They have only 10.5 mil in cap space with four 'regulars' as RFA's, Clowe, Handzus, Gomez, Kennedy, Murray, and Greiss as UFA's. They will probably find a way to re-sign Irwin and put him on the big club. That means they will have to trade or buyout a d-man. If it's not Boyle then it's Braun or Demers. I would prefer Boyle but chances are it will be Demers the way they have handled him.

The only way this team will get another superstar is via the draft one way or the other. Either they draft and develop one themselves or they accumulate solid draft picks and trade them for one like how Thornton was originally acquired. Problem is, they will still be good enough to make the playoffs next year to do a rebuild since neither Marleau nor Thornton will be traded, I feel. I think Havlat could be dealt since his clause seems to have windows but I wouldn't since his speed and puck-handling are needed on this team.

I'm hoping the team finally gets it in their head that they need to build a scoring 3rd line rather than a pathetic attempt at a shutdown line. If not, they will be a two-line team again that is streaky.
Assuming all the RFA's (except Demers) are qualified, they'll have $6.5M with 10 forwards and 6 defenseman signed. Unless Demers and/or Clowe take a discount, I don't see how they could keep both. They'll likely let Clowe walk. Say they get a 4th liner + 13th forward for $1.5M, they leaves $5M to replace Clowe and re-sign Demers. Next season will hinge on whether one of Galiardi/Sheppard/Wingels, or maybe even Kennedy can step into that role before this season is over.

This is also hoping that none of the RFA's have delusions of grandeur and holdout, but I don't think that will happen considering they're all project players.

Knowing DW, though, I'll bet he gives Clowe, Murray, and Handzus raises and deals Boyle for a 2nd to clear cap space.

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