It's really just an unfortunate situation to find yourself in with the whole flat cap situation. That wasn't really in the Benning "plan" of things to happen but it is also the reality of 30 other teams. We need to somehow, while its near impossible, move out cap while retaining our valueable assets. It's a mission impossible situation. It's forced our hand to do what is right for the future outlook of the team and those things are actually happening. Sadly that means not giving term and having to let go off both Marky and Tanny and could also mean regression next season. Those massive bottom six contracts that we still have kicking around were also signed with the understanding that the cap had been rising consistently for.. how long? I don't even know. But these contracts wouldn't look so bad if the cap was rising to 88 for 2022 instead of 81,5. We could have fit everyone in. I don't really hold that against Benning for x amount of reasons that have been discussed to death already. We aren't as f***ed as some other teams and maybe that's some sense of comfort.
Like you said, goal posts are always moving, but that's been forced upon us. Things have changed. We acquired Toffoli before the season was shut down and the flat cap became a reality. Prior to that it was a really savy move to complete our top 6 while moving out parts that were expendable. Toff did everything we could have wished him to do and we would have been able to retain him if the cap situation didn't change out of the blue. Maybe we manage to do that still.
As things stand, I'm happy with our goaltending situation. I understand that there could be a concern from fans in regards to this but I feel that there are just as many positive outcomes or possibilities as there are question marks. Ian Clark is really good at his job and Holtby will benefit from that. Demko must be super motivated to get things started. The entire league is shifting to having a cheaper tandem situation in net. Goalies are so good now. Gone are the days of the Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist contracts. Markström will help Calgary for now, but he can also wind up being a massive anchor for their team the last few years of that contract. Thumbs up to Benning for avoiding that situation for the future. We are betting on ourselves and on our youth. That's never the wrong answer in terms of the future.
Defense - Too early right now but yea.. super concerning as things stand. Black hole type of situation. Things will happen here though. Hopefully. It's actually crazy how bad things would be if nothing happens. Bottom 3 team easily.
Hughes - Myers (it works but not as good as Hughes+Tanev)
Edler - Juolevi (Edler is what 36 going into next year and paired with an injury riddled rookie that's punching way above his weight in a top4 role)
Benn - Chatfield/Rafferty (AHL fodder)
Forwards - We are fine here actually. We might take a step back but heres to hoping what we lose is gained by the development of our young players. Boeser could really use a "bounce back" type of season and the team could really really use that with how things are going. I am confident in our top 6 as it stands. I think it will be good for Jake to have a bigger opening for top 6 minutes. At the same time I would love it if Jake was traded for a young RHD and we end up signing Toff instead. That's a both for today and tomorrow.
Our cap situation is a lot better than what a lot of people make it out to be. Sure it might slap us in the face this year but that's the reality of most teams in the league right now. Colorado is in a dream situation and they haven't really accomplished anything other than doing one over on Bowman so far.
I guess we all want these guys to be in the playoffs next year as well because we got a taste of it this year and man was it sweet. However, my focus is on 2 years from now. When our window should really be opening. In 2 years time we are in a similar situation to Colorado. That I am really looking forward to. Dead weight is gone. Cap has shifted to our young star players and we got plenty and plenty of cap space to sign and trade for key players. I'd rather every single move that happens this off-season is done with a focus on that rather than to pay a lot for moving out a dead weight contract like Sutter who is only on the books for another year. Take the hit today and benefit more in the future I reckon. Maybe all of this is a blessing in disguise or maybe I am just desperately trying to spin this into something positive.
Honestly it could probably be really smart to hold onto as many young players and draft picks as possible and just take this next year as a slap in the face. I want them to go after UFAs because we are gonna HAVE to fill the holes. We can call it "character" building and we end up picking up another big prospect. I don't know how I feel about it but.. yea. I just hope none of it disturbs this beauty of events that is about to happen:
In 1 year:
- No Spooner buyout (1 mil)
- No Brandon Sutter (4.3 mil)
- No Baertschi (3.5 mil)
In 2 years:
- All of the above
- No Luongo recapture (3 mil)
- No Loui Eriksson (6 mil)
- No Roussel (3 mil)
- No Beagle (3 mil)
- No Ferland who either retires or goes on LTIR (3.5 mil)
We are still "paying" for sucking for so many years. Wish that part was over but we are not there yet and if you think about it we actually shouldn't be there just yet either. We exceeded expectations this year and maybe we should reflect on our expectations. Would we be panicking as much if we didn't make it to the playoffs this past year? I don't think we would.
If Benning ends up getting fired over the next two years, I would predict that getting that the Vancouver job could easily be the most attractive destination to land for people in hockey management. You are stepping into a dream scenario. #1C, #1D and most likely a #1G as well with lot's and lot's of cap space to use to surround them. Give me the job.