You know, much is made of how we have 5 RFAs in Higgins, Plekanec, D'Agostini, Chipchura and Lats while our 11 UFAs are Koivu, Kovalev, Tanguay, Lang, Komisarek, Begin, Kosto, Boullion, Dandy, Breezy and Denis. We will lose some of these UFAs no doubt (my guess is Dandy and Breezy are shown the door for sure, to clear some room for youngsters while Tanguay/Lang or both, one of Begin or Kosto and Boullion could be gone too- I think that's the only way to keep both Kovy and Koivu plus others, who I don't imagine could command huge raises for their current seasons but we'll see).
But while Pierre Mac brings it up 24/7 and frets over the situation, I ain't worrying. I want Gainey to get cracking the minute the season ends, so that none of our guys have to be stretched to July 1 unless they're being cut loose. I just know the only one I'm desperate to see retained right off is Komi. A sentimental choice for re-signing is Saku of course. After that, let the chips fall where they may. I'm starting to think we might need to trade an RFA in order to create space too. Since we don't have many scoring centres, but plenty of wingers, I think Higgins is in trouble. Real Hab fans should have very little panic though. If we lose the players I predicted in the first paragraph and trade an RFA, it's more a welcome thing than a negative.
Losing some forwards to cap casualty opens up roster spots for Maxpac, Chips and D'Agostini and inches Maxwell, White and Stewart up the depth charts. As for the D, sure it gets a little inexperienced but with a return of Komi, plus Markov, Hammer, Georges, it's a great top 4. And the bottom can see Weber, Emelin (if he comes to camp and gets in) and a fresh rookie to rotate through. Heck, make Boullion our new Breezy and retain him for vet presence on the bottom pairing. Unless Bob thinks O'Byrne can be a dependable player again, in that case Bou is a casualty most likely. Meanwhile, we can get a glimpse of Subban or McDonough if they're called up. Then down the road, Fischer and Torp might hit the AHL. The future is bright indeed.