Lehtonen might prove himself a worthy replacement for Kimmo by the end of the year and with Klein knocking on the door already and Parent likely to be knocking next year...and Franson and Laakso and Kulyash and...knocking in the near future...Hartnell and Kariya must be our top priorities in free agency.
Hartnell is home-grown and has shown goal-scoring prowess with Greg Johnson and Adam Hall as linemates on a shutdown, defensive line. I'm looking for a bigger year from him this season with Upshall and Vasicek as linemates on a scoring line. Let's see what he is made of...I think it will be ~30 goals and ~35 assists this season.
Kariya gives our "tiny, little non-traditional" franchise a star quality. The signing of Kariya, much like the Mets signing of Pedro, has brought the franchise other players that would have probably never considered Nashville as a destination prior. Regardless of what it costs...as long as he is performing at an acceptable level (leading the team in points last season and playing on the top line this season cuts it for me)...we need to keep him in town.