Let me start by thanking the other contributors for their feedback! This is a hobby I enjoy and, being a Sabres fan, I get to enjoy it much more because we stink (figuratively). I've continued my outlandish and happy-thoughts trend with this post, but you never know, if GMKA is reading these I may plant a seed.
As I stated previously, I'm not an analytics guy. I base most of my suggestions on watching the game, listening to the NHL network and reading other fan posts. That said, don't look for detail from me as you will be disappointed. I do however provide math (courtesy of my calculator), and I round up, so it doesn't get too crazy. Without further ado...let's get better:
Current cap hit (with Lazar): 48M
Samson: 4/5.5M - Olofsson: 4/3.5M - Kahun: 2/2M - Thompson: 1/1M - Ullmark: 3/2.5M
Sam does take a bit of a hometown discount here, but as you'll see in the end, I've left some wiggle room.
Cap hit: 62.5M
Ryan Pulock 4/4.25M
This number may not fly, but it is a decent raise from his previous deal and doesn't eat much UFA time. I am working with our picks, and we have nothing to lose. The Isles have just about enough cap space to sign Barzal and nobody else. Pulock and Devon Toews need new deals. They are losing Greiss and Andy Greene. Lou has some decisions to make; might as well swoop in.
Pulock has steadily improved, and in my amateur opinion, has yet to reach his potential. The kid has a booming shot, can move the puck, and captain the power play. He also brings the defensive grit we've seen from the Isles, which we sorely need.
Cap hit: 66.75M
Skjei is 26, proven, has term, and comes at a reasonable rate. My critics may say it's a lot to give, but we get better now.
Cap hit: 72M
CBJ finds themselves in a similar position to NYI in that they have to write a big check to a big center. Dubois is due, as is Josh Anderson. Hutton and Korpisalo cap hits are essentially a wash, but Hutton falls off the books a year sooner.
The addition of Wennberg guarantees ample time for Cozens to develop, as he can step into the 2C as soon as Staal comes off the books (or sooner). At 26, Korpisalo could be the #1 goalie we've been looking for. He only has 2 years left on his current contract which is perfect to provide show-me time and develop UPL. Could turn into a lights-out 1A/1B situation.
Cap hit: 76.95M
WPG needs NHL ready defensemen on a budget, Miller provides this and his cap hit is reasonable and relatively short term.
Andrew Copp is a big winger who slots in on our second line, and special teams. His cap hit saves us payroll now and potentially next season when we need to sign our young D.
Cap hit: 75.355M
Before anyone reminds me...I know NJ has three RD under contract. Should they find a suitor for PK, Risto slides right in. I am afraid of coming across as anti-Risto since I favor moving him. The reality is his salary is as close as we can get to shedding Okposo, and we need the future cap space.
This deal is probably a stretch as NJ will likely never part with Nolan Foote, but the worst they can say is no. He has three years remaining on his ELC which allows us time to clear cap before signing. Miles Wood is a hometown guy and another big winger to fill out the left side. Also, his cap hit isn't unreasonable if he slots in on the third line.
Cap hit: 73.605M
The Sens have a bunch of D talent in the system, but few NHLers. Having seen the rumors around not qualifying Montour and/or letting him walk, I just want to get something back on the investment we made.
Kastelic is a pure center who also has three seasons remaining on his ELC. At 6'3", 210 he is NHL size right now. His stats coming out of the WHL are excellent. Fortunately, the Sens have a few other centers in the pipeline and may be willing to move him. 2019-2020 scoring leaders in the WHL; Cozens #7, Kastelic #22.
Cap hit: 74.43M
Draft (1st round):
Marco Rossi (fingers crossed) or Jake Sanderson
Aside from the #8 pick, I'll let the scouts do their thing. If Rossi is available, grab him. Given the nature of the moves I've made here, Sanderson would be the logical other choice. The way I have it we lose a 2nd, gain a 2nd, lose a 4th, gain two 3rds.
Skinner - Eich - Olofsson
Copp - Wennberg - Reinhart
Wood - Staal - Thompson
Kahun - Cozens - Okposo/Lazar
Dahlin - Pulock
Skjei - Borgen
McCabe - Joker
20-21 off the books:
Staal, McCabe, Thompson, Copp
20-21 initial cap hit: 65.05M
And...hang up the phone!