Its pretty simple - have younger players contributing to your lineup that the team drafted and developed. Then you're not trying to get big pieces as UFAs, and you can get the lower-tier UFAs on 1-2 year terms.Tciso wrote: I also don't have a solution to the problem.
From the Gillis Regime, Hamhuis was possibly the best UFA pickup - in spite of his decline, nobody would argue that his cap hit is too high for what he brings to the team, and he's off the books at age 33. Malhotra would be a close second, though many thought at the time that Gillis overpaid for a 3rd-line center, he was only signed for 3 years and had he stayed healthy, would have been an enormous contribution.
Compare that to the Sutter contract, where he's off the books at 31, and locked in for what should be his peak years.
Looking at the UFA market, its tough to figure out what Benning would be looking for. With Sutter, Baertschi and Horvat looking like second-liners for next year, and the tryouts for Tryamkin/Pedan/Larsen, Benning may not have to overpay on the UFA market for a top-6 forward or a defenseman. Which is a damn good position to be in, rather than having to open the wallet and pray the UFAs like your town.