Dale Tallon is a genius. Even after the shopping spree this past summer, the Panthers are slated to have over $24 million dollars in cap space with Samuelsson, Sturm, Weaver, Garrison, and Clemmensen slated to beome UFAs while Versteeg, Kulikov, and Ellerby will become RFAs. From that group, Versteeg, Kulikov, and Garrison are locks to be back. I'm assuming they could all be resigned for less than $10 million total. Add Huberdeau and Howden's cap hits (worth about $4.5 mil combined) and we're looking at about $10 million in cap space (and possibly more). Who does Tallon go after?
Some big names available:
If there is 10million free, as the OP stated, then I can guarantee we won't have the money under our our internal cap to sign Parise for the 7+ million he will command.
I'm sure we'll have another great free agency, just not in terms of elite-talent. I expect more solid depth signings for reasonable contracts.
He will have more than $10 million. Next summer, we will be at least $24 million under the cap, which doesnt count a probable rise in the cap. With an internal cap, only having to re-sign Kuli, Steeg, and Garrison, and with most positions set (with Huberdeau), Tallon can go out and get a top four Dman or top six forward. Its probably not realistic to get a Parise, Semin, or Suter, but there will be a chance to upgrade the talent nonetheless.
I believe Parise can be sold on a nice 3-5 year deal. You sell him on the fact he can finish his career in a big market. Those years he would be here should be playoff years. Plus, his prime years spent in FLA. Win-win for all parties involved.
Hemsky: Very good player when healthy. With our luck, he'll be injured as soon as he signs a contract with us.
Semin: Talent is there, but, is the passion there? Not saying that because of the Russian factor, but from what Caps fans say about his effort night in and out.
Isn't bad defensively, and has a wicked wrister; just don't want to give him a huge contract and then he doesn't produce.
Would love to get Parise, don't care if Tallon goes 7.5-8m a year for him. Would make us playoff players for as long as he is here.