If we sell at the deadline then I think we could offer sheet someone. Of course in my dream world I would offer sheet a young potential 2nd line center (Dubinski) for the first and third compensation and then try to sign another yound person with the second round compensation. That would completly tilt out team towards the Cup. And I know that we would be giving away our first three picks but if Montador and Connely both get seconds then we would have a lot of picks for this year that could be used to get players so we wont really need as many picks next year.
But I'm not a GM, nor should I be, so this is all impossible.
I think GM's are aware of this and we will not see so many RFA's make it to July 1st. They would rather go over the CAP and dump another salary, either via trade or AHL, than risk losing a prized RFA to an offer sheet.
I believe we have reached a point where draft picks are not as important as they once were. At least for the next two seasons. This is not due to the talent in those drafts ( though this year it does play a role ) but rather is the result of insane parity within the league. There are only 3 or 4 teams who you could claim are out of it. They are the only ones pressing for picks, everyone else has a shot and therefore is willing to move a bit of the future for the present. There is more demand for NHL ready youth, or players in their prime... The CAP going up also puts further pressure on small market clubs to get into the playoffs from a buisness standpoint. The potential revenue and exposure of the game gained from a trip to the playoffs is worth the risk of adding salary at the deadline. Parity compounds this by placing more teams, many of the small market variety, in the thick of playoff contention. How can a GM keep his job if his team is only 3 or 4 points out of the playoffs can he starts dumping contracts left and right for picks?
I don't see this parity going away...not the way most teams are set up in terms of the CAP. The big market teams have much of their cores on lockdown...signed to long term contracts that won't expire for at least 3 seasons. Even with the CAP going up they cannot flex their big market wallets to push beyond their small market rivals. The only key they have is that they can send guys down to the AHL to free up space for other players...Something I bet the new CBA will target. Having a core on lockdown means fewer roster spots available for kids coming up...leaving prospects to develop into trade bait, or to make trade bait of their superiors on the big club...either way, in a competitive market that roster spot needs to be filled with NHL ready talent...and GM's want NHL ready talent coming back if they move their assets. The future is now!
Because of the high demand for NHL ready skill teams are now looking beyond the sellers for a better...well more fair...trade market. Why give up your best prospect for Hemsky when you can move your surplus D man for a young sniper with potential from a team that has a surplus of wingers? Screw the sellers and their high demands!