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Updated GM Work-Sheet
posted Jul 2, 2006 at 02:09AM

C = Contracted Salary, P = Projected Salary

Well I cannot see how the report of a salary cap of $40 million can be maintained.

In a realistic world Corvo would be seen as a replacement for Pothier. From what I have read Corvo is going to put up some great offensive numbers for us, even better than Chara. On the flip side he is prone to poor puck movement decisions and is not a physical defenceman. This does not bode well. Our defence coughing up the puck was a constant source of anguish in last season's playoffs. We have lots of offense, what we need are sure-handed defencemen who can get the puck up to them and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Our defencemen have to be able to hit because we don't have the biggest forwards in the league. I guess we will have to watch and shoot on Corvo.

You will notice that Havlat and Smolinski are missing from the list. That is because I would, and I believe even Muckler will, trade both of them before the season starts.

Now Muckler will trade Havlat, because it is becoming clear that Havlat is not that keen on staying in Ottawa, and that it will cost a mint to resign him. In other words we cannot afford him, especially now.

I would trade him, not because he is and will be expensive, but because it is no use paying good money to a player who, no matter how talented and wonderfully entertaining to watch, is just one body-check away from disappearing in a play-off series.

Trading Smolinski is no longer really a case of salary dumping. In today's environment Smolinksi offers pretty good value It is more a question of opening up some room. We have too many centers as it is. The young guns needs the ice time to develop, and quite frankly I still have this fantasy of the team getting off the pot about getting a legitimate number 2 center. That would put Fisher as our number 3, with Vermette and Kaigorodov fighting it out for the fourth line spot.

Given Eric Staal's (Hurricanes) recent signing (Average 4.5 million/year for 3 years) locking up Spezza with a five year $25 million dollar contract is still within the realm of the possible.

Now in a perfect world we would look at Corvo as a replacement for Pothier. We would still need another solid defenceman to replace Chara (say $2.5 million/year) with no margin for error on who we pick. We would need a top six right winger to replace Havlat. Again I look for someone like Anson Carter for $2.2 to $2.5 million. With Smolinksi and Havlat as currency, it would be great to get a legitamate number 2 center.

This is not possible given the current cap. Quite frankly if the league cap is 44 million then that is what we are going to have to spend or we are going to have some glaring holes.

Even with that it looks like, (depending on how all the "projected" salaries pan out) it looks like we would have only in the area of $2.79 million remaining

Obviously one will have to make some steep compromises here. Ok here is one "idea". Forget the extra defenceman. Bring up Novak. Redden/Meszaros, Volchenkov/ Phillips are our top four. Corvo and Novak our third pair.

Maybe forget a replacement right winger for Havlat. Put Eaves in on right wing on the second line.

Fisher/Vermette/Schubert form the basis of the third line and Kelly/Kaigorodov/Neil the fourth line.

In other words concentrate resources on getting that number two center who would play with Schaefer and Eaves (or Fisher if you play him at wing).

The lack of a number 2 center has been a constant short-coming in Ottawa for years. Bite the bullet and get him. All the other teams are getting better. I am not sure whether that still applies to us, certainly it doesn't apply to what we are putting in front of our new goaltender.

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