This is a list of what I would do as General Manager of the Washington Capitals. There is a hole in the first line left wing (Ovechkin plays right wing now), the possible signings are to add to that hole in the 2013 free agency. This post does not take into account Staff, Verizon Center maintenance and draft order.
John Carlson for 1st and 2nd rounder
Erskine, John » $1.5m, 3 year contract
Hendricks, Matt » $1.0m, 3 year contract
Holtby, Braden » $3.5m, 5 year contract
Neuvirth, Michal » $3.0m, 5 year contract
Poti, Tom » $3.0m, 2 year contract
Ribeiro, Mike » $5.0m, 5 year contract
Years ago (hell, prior to the lost season) you could get away with using your stick close to a guy's hands or even on his hands sometimes when backchecking or lift-checking. Not anymore. Get your stick anywhere close to a glove and it's 2 minutes.
Another reflexive move is to latch on to a guy with your stick from behind and even pull a bit to even up the speed. Used to be common, now it's a sure penalty.
Those are two examples off the top of my head as to what that even means.
Assuming I'm hired in May after the team has finished like 10th, no new contracts have been signed or trades made:
-Resign Ribeiro, 3 yrs/5.25M
-Let Wolski, Hamrlik, Hillen, Poti walk
-Resign Erskine, 2 yrs/1.6M
-Resign Alzner, 3 yrs/3M
-Resign Kundratek, 2 yrs/925K
-Trade Schultz for a 2nd (assuming improved play continues)
-On draft day, trade the mid-1st and Marcus Johansson for #4 pick (+something?) and select Barkov
-Trade Perreault for a 3rd or something
-Trade Jason Chimera and Michal Neuvirth (approximately) for a competent 2LD
-Resign Fehr, 2 yrs/900K
-Sign a veteran backup/tandem G
-Sign a 3C who fits the system
-Sign a 2/3LW
-Tell Oates to **** himself on the handedness thing and make sure Regular Season Hero Joel Ward is on a scoring line
-Bring over Forsberg
-Hire a serious strength and conditioning coach and tell him and Oates to whip them into shape
Alzner - Green
2LD - Carlson
Make Ward a long-term top-6 fixture in the Knuble role; groom Forsberg to play that role on his line; with Kuznetsov as the finesse winger on it; eventually let Barkov replace Ribeiro; make Wilson a 3W when he's ready and see if he develops enough offense for a scoring role; eventually trade one of Carlson and Orlov depending on how they pan out/if Orlov isn't constantly injured