There was great news at this years "State of the Sharks." Jeremy Roenick will return to San Jose for another year. The contract has still yet to be finalized, but the speculation is that he will get $1 million dollars for retuning, according to TSN.
So this begs the question. Now that we know the fate of one of the Free Agents on the team, what about the rest? According to nhlnumbers.com, the projected salary total for next year is $37.971 million, and the projected increase to the cap will be $56 million. If we assume that JR is getting $1 million, then that leaves about $17 million left over to sign the remaining players that are needed to complete the team.
I've put together a list of the remaing Free Agents that management needs to make a decision on, and what I think about those players, and what they are worth, if anything. I'm breaking it into RFAs and UFAs to make it a little easier, and will only comment on contract length for one player, since that seemed to be an issue for him elsewhere.
Cavanagh- I was at the one game this kid played this season, and I thought he did pretty well. He did get an assist off of Thorntons goal in his first shift of the game, and seemed to have a good sence of where he needed to be. I would re-sign him at $500,000 max.
Clowe- Not having Clowe during the regular season I think is one of the reasons that Nabby had to work so hard to keep the team going. I like Clowe's style of play, and he's shown he can be a playoff performer. I would re-sign him for $1.5 million max.
Erhoff- At first, I was one of the biggest critics of Erhoff during the playoffs, but I think I was just frustrated because I've seen him play so much better. Learning that he was playing with a high ankle sprain, the same injury that kept Crosby out for 8 weeks, I have more respect for him that he was even out there at all. If he gets healthy, and continues to improve upon how he played in the regular season, I would re-sign him for $1 million max.
Goc- Although he's good in face-offs, he hasn't had the best play outside of that and ended minus for the second season in a row. If someone wants him, I say let them have him.
Iggulden- He only played one game during the regular season, but his stats are nothing to jump about. I don't have an opinion on him one way or the other.
Kaspar- I don't know much about him, and his stats are again sub-par, but he's a left wing, and that's something we need. Since I'm not sure if you can pay a player less than what they are currently making, I would re-sign him at $850,000 max.
Pavelski- This, to me, is a no-brainer. SIGN HIM NOW!!! I would give him $2 million max.
Boucher- One of the biggest criticisms I've heard about the team is that we didn't have a veteran back-up goal tender. Bringing Boucher in will solve that. He has one of the best standing records in the league, and when he was allowed to play, he did a good job. I would re-sign him for $1 million max.
Brown- I personally like Brown, and think he fits in well with the team. His stats aren't the best this past season, but I think that's in part from being injured. I would give him another chance and re-sign him for $700,000 max.
Campbell- This is the biggest desicion the management needs to make. Yes, he didn't do well during the play-offs, but he was good during the regular season. I think if he's given the chance to adjust to the Western Conference's style of play (much more physical) then he will be even better. If it were up to me, I would re-sign him in a progressive contract. If he'd allow it, I would re-sign him in a progressive contract that would be for $30 million for 6 years. The first two he would get $4million, the next two he would get $5 million, and the last two, he would get $6. This is taking into account a couple things like his relationship with Joe, his ties to the GMs former agent and coach, and taking a discount for the team. By having a progressive contract, it would free up room for the cap to increase with his contract, allowing the team to go after other players it needs.
Norton- Has been non-existant this year, let him go.
Ozolinsh- Again, non-existant and expendable.
Patzold- If we get Boucher, he's not needed.
Plihal- This kid has shown continued improvement, and I was particularly impressed with how he stepped up when needed during game six against Dallas. He was very agressive on the ice, taking shots, and making hits, and I was a little suprised he didn't get a goal. I would re-sign him at $600,000 max.
Rissmiller- I like him at time, others I don't even notice he's there. I guess that means he didn't make much of an impact, and could be let go.
Semenov- He tends to be more of a liability than an asset, and for that reason he should go.
Shelley- I think a new coach would be able to use him more effectively. For that reason, I would re-sign him for $650,000 max.
So that's my breakdown of the Free Agents that the team needs to make a decison on. By my calculations, that would bring up the salary to $50.771. This still leaves a cushion in the cases that other teams make offers for certain players, and would require management to spend a little more then they are comfortable with, but would deffinitely benefit the team in the long run. Please leave your feedback on either what you would keep or change.