Fill in the Gaps

So looking at who has signed, and who may be signed…this is what the lineup could look like heading into next season…

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Filppula-Zetterberg-Hudler
Eaves-Helm-Cleary
Miller-Abdelkader-Draper

Lidstrom-Rafalski
Kronwall-Stuart
Ericsson-Kindl

Howard
Osgood

Looking at the Cap hits for those who are already under contract…

Datsyuk – $6,700,000

Zetterberg – $6,083,333

Lidstrom – $6,200,000

Rafalski – $6,000,000

Franzen -  $3,954,545

Stuart – $3,750,000

Filppula – $3,000,000

Kronwall – $3,000,000

Hudler – $2,875,000

Cleary – $2,800,000

Holmstrom – $1,875,000

Draper – $1,583,333

Osgood – $1,416, 667

Ericsson – $900,000

Kindl – $883,3333

Howard – $716,667

Total Cap already committed to these players: $51,737,876.  That leaves about $6.265 million to sign the remaining four players who made the following last season:

Helm - $599,000

Eaves – $500,000

Abdelkader – $850,000

Miller – $525,000

That should obviously be enough even giving raises to all four of these guys.  Plus there’s the Bertuzzi factor.  What is being offered?  What does he want?  If it takes $3-4 to sign the 4 RFA’s listed above…we should still have another $2-3 million to play around with.  Do you use that money to sign Bertuzzi and a role player like Meech, or do you let Miller and/or Eaves walk along with Bertuzzi and go after bigger free agent?

Helm will sign…Abdelkader too – those guys are Red Wings for life.  Miller has openly expressed an interest to stay along with Bert before his agent starting making things complicated.  I have a feeling that Eaves has enjoyed being a Red Wing, though he may want to go to a team that will give him more minutes.

I don’t think Abdelkader has done enough to earn a bigger salary (yet).  So if he re-signs for $850,000 and if you can get Helm to sign for that same amount (seems fair, doesn’t it?) then there’s $4.565 to fill the remaining 2 forward spots.

Also, remember that Ritola is already signed on for $516,667.  He’s already had some NHL experience and could be a 4th liner should we lose one of the RFA’s (or Bert) to Free Agency.

These are the things that Kenny and the boys are working on.  So play around with the numbers.  Use the Free Agent lists that I’ve provided and go to Cap Geek and tell me what you can come up with…

…I’m all ears. 

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