Was taking a look at contracts and stuff after reading Tciso's comment about not much cap room next year to re-sign Kassian, Hansen, Tanev, and the Sedins. A few thoughts came to mind regarding contracts that expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, and some even more significant cap hits disappearing the year after that.
As far as Kassian goes, I look at Booth's contract and think it is safe to say that a 30 year old with his injury prone track record will not be getting re-signed here without putting in at least 70 games and 60 points. If he does get a new deal if will be at a reduced rate. Chances are I think Booth will be gone by either this deadline or 2015's. I think that paves the way for Gillis to re-sign Kassian on a short term (1-2 years) bridge contract.....depending upon Zack's season this year.
Tanev will be interesting. He's going to either step up this year and take some big strides, in which case he can probably ask for $3M next year, or he spins his wheels and makes GMMG's job a bit easier. Regardless, I'm not sure where the money comes from for him, and I do think it's very important to keep him as we aren't exactly stocked with blueline prospects at the moment.
Hansen is so key to the bottom 6 on this team it will be a shame to lose him, but, with the existing roster, I really don't see how we can keep him without a big increase in the salary cap ceiling.
Looking beyond that to the following season we have Bieksa, Hamhuis, and Kesler needing new deals.....a combined $14.1M in cap space. IMO Kesler and Hamhuis should both be re-signed barring unforeseen circumstances (like their play suddenly going to complete shit).
Personally I don't think Bieksa will be back. I think he will see his minutes cut and his role slightly diminished this season because he will be held accountable by Torts when casual Kev shows up and thinks his snarl will get it done for him. The same goes for Edler. I won't be surprised if that both of those guys tell Gillis they are willing to waive their NTC's.
I think that the Torts reset will pay dividends with some of the young guys and also some of the existing core players. But I also think that a secondary benefit will be that it shakes some guys loose and gives MG something to work with.
Now, I'm not saying go trade these guys right now. It would be even better if Torts shakes these guys up and we suddenly have a true contender again. But I'm also being a realist and saying that if Edler and Bieksa waive, that would give Gillis some really worthwhile assets to move and continue to retool. It's probably easier to get a good return on a struggling player when you can say you are moving him because he doesn't like playing for a coach who has the reputation of being an asshole.
The big question mark will be how much the Sedins want next year and how much the cap goes up. I don't see the cap going up by more than $2M. At which point, based on our current roster, Gillis can afford to give the Sedins a raise to what? $6.75M? Kassian gets some. Tanev gets some. Hansen probably let go.Just remembered that Gillis still has one compliance buyout left to use if need be