Thomas
DeChastelain
Memorial Archives

Paying Now is Better Than Paying Later
posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:20PM

Muckler has been quoted as saying that he wants to start the season at $42 million, and leave a reserve for trade deadline acquisitions.

According to my estimates, Muckler should still has about 2.5 to 2.85 in cap space even after the RFA's are signed.

I think it would be better if he took that money and got the best forward he can buy for that amount. With one more top six forward, we would have a very sound line-up that you could ride for the whole season.

Basically he should forgo any trades later in the year. One, Muckler is better at handling salary negotiations than he is at trading players. In the latter, Muckler always seems to be the "desparate" party and every trade finds us getting whittled down a bit more with nothing in return.

Two, we now don't have anything to trade without hitting bone. A tradeline acquistion will require losing draft picks and/or prospects. With liberalized free agency, keeping a surplus of these is going to become more and more important as time goes on.

I was never on the Bochenski bandwagon but don't tell me he wouldn't have come in handy this year.

In short I would rather pay more money now and get a free agent, then spend less money later but give up players/prospects/draft picks.

If we do go into the season "as is" what will our line-up look like? I was fiddling around with some possibilites and in no particular order.

Option A

Alfredson-Spezza-Heatley
Schaefer-Fisher-Neil
Kelly-Vermette-Eaves
Hamel-Kaigorodov-Schubert

Option B

Alfredson-Spezza Heatley
Schaefer-Vermette-Fisher
Hamel-Kelly-Eaves
Schubert-Kaigorodov-Neil

Option C

Alfredson-Spezza Heatley
Schaefer-Fisher-Eaves
Kelly-Vermette-Neil
Hamel-Kaigorodov-Schubert

There are of course many possibilities, and I don't want to get into the detailed rationale of why I happen to like the above at this time.

The only two principles I do hope will be followed is that the Big Line be used as the primary weapon it should be, and that Vermette plays center. Well I guess a third is that McGrattan does not figure highly in the depth chart.

But when you look at the above, one can see how getting that one top six forward can have a big impact on how strong our line-up would be.

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