We are doomed, because it means we won't have enough money left to sign our #1 goalie (Theodore), our #1 centres (Koivu/Ribeiro), or our #1 winger (Ryder). Etc.
Why do some people think that we're going to have such a hard time fitting under the cap? Here are my projections on what we'll be paying out:
After the option escape for Brisebois we now have:
Craig Rivet - $2.66 million
Radek Bonk - $2.394 million
Sheldon Souray - $2.128 million
Richard Zednik - $1.8 million
Niklas Sundstrom - $988,000
Steve Begin - $608,000
Cristobal Huet $- $456,000
7 Players - $11,058,000.00
Theodore - $4, 600,000(I personally think this is too much but we have to qualify him at $4.56 mil)
Koivu - $3,750,000
Ribeiro - $1,000,000(he signed last year for $1.2,and 24% rollback is $912k no way is he going to get $2 mil for a missed season)
Ryder - $1,000,000(he's tough to figure out I haven't heard what he's asking for)
Markov - $1,750,000
Komisarek - $1,000,000
Hainsey - $650,000(make or break year)
Hossa - $650,000(same as Hainsey)
Bulis - $1,300,000
Ward - $750,000
Bringing the total to around:
17 players - $27,508,000.00.
If we have a budget of $35-36 million, so that we have some room to manouver if necessary, that leaves us $7.5-8.5 million to sign 2-3 free agents and leaves space for 3-4 rookies on the team as long as the rosters are still 23 as they used to be.
Good assessment of numbers Hab at it. Ribeiro and Ryder are likely to ask for more than $1M, but we'll see.
As you mentioned, the "budget" is likely going to be around $35M. So add on 4 rookie/roster filler salaries, we're at $30M. Meaning, Gainey would be left with $5M wiggle room. So you can forget about 2 huge names coming here (i.e. Niedermayer type guys).
If I have to choose one, I say Kovalev is a must.
Let's hope George Gillett will be tempted to go to the full max this year at $39M
Hainsey,Perezhogin and Higgins are already signed I think so here's the look at the habs:
Craig Rivet ($2.7 million)
Radek Bonk ($2.4 million)
Sheldon Souray ($2.1 million)
Richard Zednik ($1.8 million)
Niklas Sundstrom ($988,000)
Chris Higgins ($912,000)
Alexander Perezhogin ($711,000)
Steve Begin ($608,000)
Ron Hainsey ($570,000)
Cristobal Huet ($456,000)
10 players -----> 13.245 M $
Theodore-> 5 M $ (since I feel we are going to sign him to a 3yr deal)
Koivu---> 3 M $
Ryder---> 1 M $
Ribeiro----> 1 M $
Komisarek---> 0.9 M $
Bulis -----> 1.1 M $
Markov-----> 1.7 M $
Hossa -----> 0.8 M $
Ward ------> 0.6 M $ (market is flooded, he isn't special)
Dagenais----> 0.7 M $ (Just wants a team at this point)
10 players ---> 15.8 M $
brining a total of:
20 players ---> 29.045 M $
Kovalev-> 3 M $
Goon-> 0.45 M $
I guess not Niedermayer but maybe:
Aucoin-> 3 M $
3 players -> 6.45 M $
bringing a total of 23 players-> 35.495 M $
while still having a guy like Plekanec in Hamilton who can be very uself and still have about 3.5 M $ ability to move at the trade deadline to acquire a potentiel star player in his final year of contract...or maybe two star players sign most of their contracts will be payed.
It would be great to resign Kovalev, but if not I think we've got a few other great options to look to. For instance Mogilny and Selanne, they have both slowed down in the past years but I can still see either of em scoring 30+ goals alongside koivu (for maybe another 2-3 seasons). Now I know 90% of you aren't found of Selanne but I mean he did play really well with Koivu last year. On the upside both of these guys are 6'0 and about 210. Once again I'd say that I'd rather see Kovalev but realisticly these guys would be easier to pick up. I mean Mogilny only played 37? in 04 and well we all know the kind of season Selanne had... These aren't the players I'd most like to have, but only the players I think would be possible to get.
If we sign a D and a forward, my preference being Kovalev and Aucoin I think we are defeinetly potential contenders. Even guys similar to those two would be fine i'm just using them as examples as they would be my first choices. Kovalev on a line with Koivu would be great, Saku has never had a goal scorer like him on his wing to complement his great playmaking abilities for the exception of last season's playoffs of course and we all saw how well they did together. Aucoin is a big blue-liner who can log a ton of minuets, and just imagine him and Souray on the PP together, 2 of the hardest shooters in the NHL fireing slapshots from the point, deadly! I see us definetly being within the top 5 in the conference with 2 guys like that quite easily and with potential to go higher. I'd say top 2 is a reach but anywhere from 5-3 in the conference could be possible. Sure-fire playoff team regardless which is all that matters.
Whatever they do, they should leave a cushion of a few million dollars so that Lecavalier can come here next season (if he doesn't sign long term this season). Plus, the cap could drop next year, so it's better to be safe than sorry.