We know Kevin Lowe has a shopping list (he’s stated a need for top 3F and grit) and it may be longer than what he’s stated in public.
We know he has some extra bodies and we also know the organization has management people who have expressed interest in two of the team’s UFA’s (Reasoner, Glencross).
We know this organization has tremendous injury concerns at important positions (LW, D).
Here are the cap numbers for 08-09, by position.
- Both men are unrestricted free agent’s at the end of 08-09. One of the things we’ll probably read about after July 1 is a need to sign Garon to a long term deal.
LEFT DEFENSE: Joni Pitkanen (4M-EST), Sheldon Souray (5.4M), Denis Grebeshkov (1.5M), Ladislav Smid (.886M)
- The poorest return on investment position on the roster, Souray needs to be way better this season. A huge positive is the development of Grebeshkov who could be a solid top 4D this season. The Pitkanen number may be a little high but it’s a moving target.
RIGHT DEFENSE: Tom Gilbert (4M), Steve Staios (2.7M), Matt Greene (1.15M)
- Gilbert’s emergence was a key element to this group last season. Although he faded in the second half, the long term contract given this spring is an indicator of just how important he is to the future. Staios remains a rock on D and Matt Greene should be healthy.
CENTER: Shawn Horcoff (3.6M), Sam Gagner (1.625M), Jarret Stoll (2.2M-EST), Kyle Brodziak (.497M), Marc Pouliot (1M-EST)
- All of a sudden some very nice depth up the middle (and Cogliano also a part of the mix). There’s likely to be some movement at this position before the end of the summer, with Stoll the likely candidate for a new address. Pouliot’s future depends on Reasoner not re-signing and his ability to gain traction in TC. Gagner’s role will only increase this season and the “Kid Line” lasts only long enough for him to show chemistry with the other elite skill players on this roster.
LEFT WING: Dustin Penner (4.25M), Andrew Cogliano (1.133M), Raffi Torres (2.25M), Ethan Moreau (2M), Curtis Glencross (1.5M-EST)
- Penner spent some time at center (189 FO’s) and Cogliano played most of the year in the middle. The key to this position is health. Although Raffi Torres has been injured for periods over the last two seasons, he brings a lot of things to the roster when he’s healthy. Ethan Moreau can also help in several roles, but his career is in a little danger based on how few games he’s played in the last two seasons. Glencross is not signed, but Lowe had some encouraging words this weekend and he would hide a multitude of sins on LW if he signs.
RIGHT WING: Ales Hemsky (4.1M), Robert Nilsson (1.833M), Fernando Pisani (2.5M), Zach Stortini (.700M-EST)
- If this team makes the post-season, Hemsky has to explode offensively. It seems as though we’ve been waiting for it since 2002, but he has had fine numbers since the lockout ended and isn’t that far away from the upper echelon. Nilsson will need to build on last season in order to hold off the other skill options on the roster, Pisani’s role will be as important as ever and Stortini has a job sewn up entering camp.
TOTAL PLAYERS: 23
TOTAL COST: $53,819,000
ESTIMATED CAP NUMBER: $55-57M
CAP ROOM: $1.1M-3.1M
GM’s KEYS TO THE WEEK: Scoring forward, gritty forward
POSSIBLE ACQUISTION: veteran defender