So most fantasy sports players love the GM aspect of it. I thought now would be a good time to encourage others to play GM by me taking a shot at Poile's job. "After the jump" my "to-do" list for the summer. Then hopefully comments galour of how poorly I did and how much you guys disagree with me.
1. Sign Weber and Suter long term. Yes, Robin is not UFA until July 1, 2012 but he can sign an extension July 1, 2011. The day the expansion team was granted to Nashville and when the parade happens for Lord Stanley's Cup would be the only 2 days in the history of the franchise bigger than a presser on July 1, 2011 announcing that Batman and Robin have signed long term contracts. This can easily be done with Suter's contract being only 3.5 for 11-12. Weber gets a 9 yr $56 mil deal that reads like this (6.5 (in 11-12), 5, 7, 5.5, 7.5, 5.5, 7, 5.5, 6.5). Suter gets a 8 yr $50 mil extension that breaks down like this (6.5 (in 12-13), 5, 7, 5.5, 7, 6, 6.75, 6.25). These numbers seem market value when you consider Keith got a front loaded contract for 13 years and Seabrook just signed a 5 yr $29 mil extension. Also it is important to remember that the cap hit isn't relevant in comparison to the actual salary. The Preds are worried about actually dollars spent.
2. JP has to go. Yes I know that he has a NMC, but the guy has spent the last 2 seasons sitting in a suit upstairs or the doghouse at the end of the bench instead of being in a contributor on the ice. Approach him asking for a list of 5 teams (3 of which have to be in the East) that he would waive his NMC for.
3. Decide whether Erat or Legs goes. I refuse to trade Erat, so by default I trade Legwand. The guy has worn the sweater proud for us, but we have Lombardi and Fisher now. We also have cheaper options at center in house. (See #4). Where are our scorers and offensive talented wingers in the system? Yes, Legs cap hit is high making it hard to trade him, but package him with rights of a RFA or UFA and a pick at the draft. Is that enough to get a guy like Clarke MacArthur out of Toronto? Personally I would like to see Legs stay but only as a winger. If I could guarantee that Trotz would move him to LW and never consider moving him back to C then I keep them both. That isn't going to happen, so trade him.
4. Trade 1 out of Klein, Franson, or Cube. Personally for me it is Klein. He has some value, but doesn't bring anything to the table that we don't get from others. Franson is a better offensive player. Cube is a better leader. By trading Klein, Blum gets to move back over to the right side, and we are off the hook for Cube and Klein after 11-12. Keeping Klein is a 2 yr committment something we do not need.
5. Get Goc, O'Reilly, and Spaling signed to 1 year deals. This season has proven how injuries have to be calculated for in the summer. Signing each of these 3 guys to 1 year deals bridges the gap for the players in Milwaukee. Goc provides the Fiddler role and allows Legwand to be moved. O'Reilly has value as a poor man's Sully. I re-sign Cal not to play center on this team, but to see if we can catch lightning in a bottle. With his vision and cycling ability can he become Kariya 2.0? Personally I think it is worth a contract and training camp to find out. Spaling has earned another contract with his play this year, but I keep it to a 1 year deal to see if he can develop more offense to his game. Because the simple fact is that we will always have grinders in the system that can replace Spaling from a detail perspective, so Spaling only has value beyond 11-12 if he can develop some offensive ability.
6. SK74 and Halischuk signed to 3 yr deals. These 2 guys are the most likely to benefit from a feeling of committment from the organization. They are also arguably in the top 6 of forwards in terms of value to our organization. They both have "detail" to their game. They both are capable of playing any forward role in the lineup other than enforcer (playmaker, scorer, penalty killer, and grinder). Yes Halischuk is based more on projectability, but he has the skill set to do all effectively. Also the Wilson/Geoff/Halischuk third line in 12-13 is going to be "real nice."
7. Sign Sean O'Donnell to a 1 yr deal or Hal Gill/Nic Wallin to a 2 yr deal. Any of those guys can provide depth. O'Donnell makes a nice pair with Franson for 11-12. Gill or Wallin could fit nicely with Blum as a 2nd pairing in 11-12 and then move down to 3rd pairing with Franson in 12-13. Yes I understand I am contradicting myself by saying commit to 2 years of Wallin or Gill, but not Klein. My rational is that in 12-13 Klein is not a 3rd pairing guy while Wallin and Gill probably are. 12-13 is the year Josi, Franson, or Ellis have to be ready to be a 2nd pair guy with Blum.
8. Listed in order of choice. Offer Kopecky (4 yrs), Leino (4 yrs), Ryder (2 yrs), Jussi Jokinen (3 yrs), Upshall (3 yr), Dupuis (2yrs), or Vrbata (2 yrs) a deal. Kopecky is the quintessential UFA for this team to sign. A big bodied 29 year old with 2 Stanley Cups (yes i know he didn't play much in the playoffs in Detroit) that goes to the net and can play a solid 2 way game. Leino is a guy that would be a higher priced alternative to trying O'Reilly at wing.
Pencil in lines of (salary for 11-12)
- Erat($6 mil)/Lombardi(3.5)/Horny(3.083) (sniper, speed, power)
- O'Reilly(0.85)/Fisher(4)/Wilson(.875) (playmaker, power, sniper)
- SK74(0.975)/Goc(1.05)/UFA from #7(2.75) (speed, playmaker, sniper)
- Smithson(0.8)/Spaling(0.85)/Toots(1.35) (check line)
- Halischuk(0.725) in press box, but easily plays 30 to 50 games.
- Blum(0.787)/Bouillon(1.5) Gill, or Wallin (1.75)
- Franson(0.8)/O'Donnell(1.75) or Bouillon
- extra Josi(N/A) did wonders for Klein, Sulzer, and Franson
Total NHL Salaries @ $46.383 mil. Have Pekka, Wilson, Geoff, Toots, Blum, Franson, and Lindback to worry about getting new contracts for after 11-12. Then Horny and Fisher after 12-13.
Now before everyone says where is Geoff, Ellis, Klasen? Why is Josi the 7th dman? Let me remind you who we have behind the bench. It isn't an attack on Trotz it is simply a fact of life. He has to trust a player to play them extended minutes. We have seen this in practice since Geoff got called up. And I ask you how does playing Geoff 8 minutes a night help his development? Let the kid stay in Milwaukee until either a) an injury occurs or b) it is determined that O'Reilly on the wing doesn't work. As for Ellis do you really think that a 5'9" 19 yr old can skip Milwaukee? Yes our PP is bad, but a QB doesn't help our problem. Ellis isn't Lidstrom, Orr, or Niedmeyer, so he doesn't get preferential treatment. He goes through Milwaukee like anyone else.