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02-24-2013, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Originally Posted by
One goal in his past 12 games? I don't think it will be to damn difficult to replace that.
That's still just 12 games. In a shortened season it's a significant fraction of the games, but still. I do question Heatley's conditioning and what the hell he was actually up to during the lockout, but he could bounce back next season. Not to mention that the organization seems to love him, which makes it unlikely for him to be bought out or traded.
Buying him out frees up $7.5 million in cap space, not to mention the other $13 million that will be gone assuming we don't re-sign Backstrom, Bouchard, and Cullen. That's over $20 million to go out and get a solid free agent right wing (Horton, Perry, Semin are the big ones). Maybe down to about $15-17 million with Clutter and Spurgeon's likely pay raises. Not to mention there's always the trade route. Maybe we could even trade Heater himself and get something for him instead of buying him out. And is it too hard to believe that maybe Coyle could possibly be ready for a 1st line role next year? He hasn't looked great so far but he certainly hasn't looked completely out of place either. Basically what I'm saying is that there's plenty of ways to replace what Heater brings to the team.
I think we may have to use the buy-out on Harding, as sad as it is. That means Bäckström would be re-signed. But the other two will probably walk, like you said.
I'd imagine Heatley's trade value is far from high right now, so if anything, we could probably get a decent prospect, but not a winger upgrade. Unless he goes in a package deal. But he has a NMC, which makes things even more complicated.
Coyle may or may not be ready next year, but is he going to produce 30 goals? I doubt it. Eventually maybe, but next year may be too early.
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