One team that, i think, is going to struggle the most this summer, with the new cap, is Nashville
No player want's to sign there, now because of their indecisiveness for a new owner, and the lease running out after the 08 season. When Kariya goes to the market, that puts them in the basement, cap-wise. I heared Home Ice, today, that after trading Vokoun and losing Kariya to FA, that puts them at like 30, $29 million. Of course, this is good news for current players because they can get a raise in their contract.
Buffalo not only needs defense, but they need leadership, too. Especially if they lose Danny or Chris or, god forbid, both of them. Teppo Numminen, Brian Campell, (maybe) Jaro Spacek and Jochen Hecht are their best leaders, and one is FA this year, and Campbell is next year
They need D, leadership, and a hard-nosed and skilled player. Like Andrew Peters and Adam Mair with as much offensive talent as in-your-face talent. They might find that in Wes Walz (don't know, haven't seen him play all that much) or maybe one of their Amerks, like Pat Kaleta.
I know they'll have to work on grit, which is found mostly in Drew Stafford, and who knows what this TJ Brennan kid will do (source told me he could play next season). I'm really excited to see how this summer will pan out for the young guns in Rochester, namely Marek Zagrapan and Michael Funk.
I really like this Mike Ryan kid, too, he needs to get a nice 4/5-year deal for like 950 per year. Could you imagine a Ryan-Hecht-Kotalik line? Maybe even Connolly in center? That would be deadly (though not as good as Vanek-Roy(FA)-Afinogenov). Also, a Stafford-Gaustad-Pominville line would be good.
Personally, I would like to see Nathan Paetsch get some more games under his belt as well, he really blossomed into a viable blue-liner and a much needed PP QB this year. Possibly move Kalinin to free space.
Brennan has, indirectly, been a true inspiration for me. He's only three years older, and grew up in south Jersey, about an hour-1/2's drive from my house. He started playing competitive hockey at 10, me at 14. Heck, I never touched the ice until October 05, when I realised what could fill the void that has been in my soul since i was really little. He has proven that a dream can become a reality with pure hard work, and i can assure you, i'm going to work my tail off to be the first Delawarean drafted, and second to go pro (After Marc Eaton, another inspiration).
Damn, wasn't expecting that to be so long....