While the roster can use improvement, it can always be worse. With the amount of dead money on the books for next season (Eriksson, Luongo) and contracts that we are likely not able to get rid of (Rousell, Beagle) I wouldn't be terribly disappointed with starting the season with the team we could ice currently. We would ice a much younger team, and I'm okay with that. We aren't looking to contend for a cup next year and the younger players need to get some experience so that in 2-3 years from now they can be relied on in some capacity.
I made a few assumptions creating this lineup.
- I think it will take the reported $15m to sign both Petterson and Hughes. I arbitrarily split this evenly between them for total costing.
- Podkolzin signs for the ELC max
- Juolevi, Lind, Gadjovic, Bowey sign for their 10% qualifying offers.
- We resign one of Hamonic or Edler to a $2m/season, no defining term.
- Ferland and Beagle stay on LTIR which I think is a reasonable expectation.
- We can't dispose of any dead weight players, and I'm not in favor of giving up picks/prospects to do it at this stage.
- We don't know who Seattle will take in the expansion draft so I included all contracts.
Could this lineup use help? Absolutely. Can we afford to upgrade? Not without significant changes that I don't think can be made currently. Seattle will help by taking a player, and I hope it would be Holtby or Virtanen from a cap perspective, but until that time comes we can't make much of any changes or add salary.
I would be okay going into the season with the lineup above. One could quibble over who plays where, or change out one rookie for another (ie Gadjovic vs Lockwood) but overall I think it could be a good team development season.