I decided to play amatuer General Manager for my offseason plan of attack. Its Friday, no hockey for the last few days & I am feeling Wild withdrawal. Lets make the jump & see what I would do If I were GM
First of all, this is a particularily difficult offseason, the Wild have had three straight strikes at the post season. The season ticket holders are threatening rebellion, The team of 18000 has actually been less & seems to be dropping even further. My first plan of attack?
1) Backstrom is sent to AHL & then allowed to go to Europe. It takes 6 million off the cap. It is certaily unfair to Backstrom who has been great but difficult seasons make difficult decisions.
2) Resign Theodore as the number 1 & Harding as his back up, Cost? Around 3 Million total
3) Barker to the Aeros as well, saves another 3.083 million towards the cap. If anyone is keeping track that leaves us at roughly 45.2 Million towards the cap. So if It stays the same we have 14 Mill to play with.
So with the D & the Goal set,
Scandella/Prosser/Cuma/Falk as the Extra's as needed
Thoedore & Harding
Now the Forwards present a challenge, The Wild just can't score. Who do we have left?
While this is not ideal in any way, resign Sheppard to a 2-way deal for the minimum. Give him a chance to rise or fall. Bring up Wellman put him on the 3rd line wing & move Bouchard to Center. He really can't do much worse & think of how many Latendresse can bury with those two feeding him, plus with their speed it could seriously open up some ice for him. I would have Butch work his ass off all summer on faceoffs. I would also take a run at Ryan Jones, 16 goals -3 for a crappy Edmonton team, former Wild draft pick. Could also kick the tires on Tim Connolly & Radim Vrbata.
Waiting in the Wings Sullivan/Granlund/?
If you take the 45.2 Mill & add in Lehtonen/Wellman/Sheppard & a extra forward you have roughly 49 Million tied up with 10 Million to pursue Jones/Vrbata/Connolly or whoever has caught your interest. Will Fletcher do any of this? I seriously doubt it, but thats the fun of this is, is Leopold willing to throw away 10 million?