I know if won't happen, but I think it's about time to start chucking offer sheets out--not at Weber, that's been debated to no end, but at the host of other young, high-end blue-liners:
Three names stand out in particular:
- Johnson (COL)
- Kulikov (FLA)
- Carlson (WAS)
Colorado has money to burn, so that's a reach.
Washington has about $20 million in cap space--with three major free agents (Semin, Green, and Carlson). They also only have 9 forwards under contract. If they overpay for Semin and Green, things could get a little tricky, but this is also a stretch, since they are a cap team.
Which brings me to Florida. They have a ton of cap space, but no one really knows where their budget is. They have a number of key contributors RFA or UFA--including Versteeg, Garrison, Kulikov, and others.
Would they match an OS with an annual value of $4-4.5? It is a bit of an overpayment now, but Kulikov looks like a stud, well worth the 1st / 3rd compensation.
It is probably only feasible if they resign Garrison--which, I admit, is unlikely. Still, pretending for a minute that they do--say, at a discount of $5 AAV--Florida would have something like $21 million tied up in their six roster defensemen (assuming they bring back Ellerby).
Was he really that bad in the AHL this year that he couldn't get a shot with the team, or was he hurt?
Actually, on second thought, would he have had to pass through waivers last year?
Well he wasn't bad but he wasn't that good either. I guess they thought that the younger guys (Gus, MAB, Manning) have better chances. Those three would carry the minutes down there while Bart was getting scratched a few games here and there and struggled mightily at times.
I think its a good choice. Free's up a contract space, which we know the Flyers love to sign players. I can't see Laughton making the team and really hope he stays down there for atleast a year. He really turned it on the 2nd half of the season, and a full season of that will really help him.