First thing's first. Hasek and Chelios. Are they coming back? No reason to believe they are not.
Both have played solid, both are competitors, and both are healthy. They'll want one more shot with this team, which will remain intact for the most part. There is also no reason to not beleive they won't sign for under $1 million, each.
Chelios will probably sign for the same amount, $850,000 and Hasek should ask for more than $1million (w/incentives). They both know the more money Kenny has to spend on quality players, the better the chance they can get what they really desire at this point in their careers, a championship. They have already made the money.
So, as Kenny, I sign those two ASAP. Now for D.
Lidstrom, Kronwall, Lilja, Lebda, and hopefully Chelios are signed. After Quincey's playoff performance, he's shown he deserves a regular spot on the roster. That leaves Schnieder and D. Markov as the question marks. Between them this year's salary was $5.8 million. Use most of that money to sign a top-4 defenseman UFA and Markov.
On to the Fowards. It's time for Lang to part ways. That seems to be the concenus. So farewell, Bob. ($3.8 mill freed up) Calder was not the impresive. I'd re-signed him as a depth guy for $1.25 million / one year, max. He'll prabably want more. goodbye Calder. That leaves Bertuzzi. If I were Kenny, $3.0 million, max. I don't see the market commanding anymore than that for Bert. UFA's recovering from a serious injury usually don't get much on themarket. ie, Belfour, Hasek, Berard. Just to name a few off the top of my head. If you allow Bert to test the market, you might find that his value is below $3 million / one year, and you could get him for less. If he does recieve a contract he can't refuse from another team, so what. The market is rich this year in UFA's. Bertuzzi is a decent player, he MAY fully recover and be a force, but he is replaceable with this year's UFA crop. But let's say Bert takes the $3 mill / one year contract, I, as Kenny, have offered him.
Sparing everyone the math, that'll put next year team salary at about $37 million,
(Chelios - $850,000, Hasek - $1 mill, Bert -$3 mill)
If the Cap goes to $46 - $47 million that'll leaves around $9 - $10 million to sign Markov, 1-top four D-man, 1 - 1st/2nd line Forward, and maybe one depth guy. Off course you want to leave space, so realistically that's about $6-$7 million. Not enough, so good-bye Markov, hello "full time" Quincey. That leaves $3 - $3.5 million on a Forward and D-man each.
Bring Schnieds back? Maybe make an offer to Hamrlik or Numminem. Souray will be out of our price range, but might price Andrei Markov out of Montreal.
Drury is NOT leaving Buffalo, IMO. We wouldn't be able to afford Briere, he'll command $6-$7 million. Offer Vanek $3.5 million? Buffalo would most likely match, letting Briere go. There is Handzus, Kozlov, Nagy, Sykora, Kariya, Gomez, Blake, Smyth, Guerin. Only the first 4, IMO, are going to be affordable for the Wings. Out fo those, I'd focus on bringing back Kozlov. Like some have already mentioned, Kozlov and Dats could be a very dynamic pair. I'd offer Kozlov $2.75 - $3 million, just to try and out price him out of Atlanta. Wouldn't that be something, Hasek and Kozlov (& Osgood) all on the same team.
Hopefully we'd have $1 million to $1.5 million left to get a depth guy. Possibly Hudler. Possibly someone else.
Kozlov - Dats - Homer
Cleary - Zetterberg - Bertuzzi
Maltby - Draper - Franzen
Kopecky/Hudler/UFA Depth Guy - Filppula - Samuelsson
Lidstrom - Kronwall
UFA D - Lebda/Lilja/Quincey
Lebda/Lilja/Quincey - Chelios
of course, adjust the lines as needed and wait till trade deadline to get a player as needed.