Bertuzzi wasn't figured in your roster above. Holmstrom was, so I calculated him @ 1.5 mil. Which is pretty good for 20-25 goals. Without Homer, Wings are losing those goals and increasing the cap hit significantly with Kovalchuk's contract. Again, Loss of depth and loss of goals at the expense of one player. Which proves my original post; loss of depth.
Elite teams have depth; Contenders have depth; Wings need to focus on depth during the offseason.
I don't know what kind of 'depth' you think we can get, or what it is you think we need. If it's secondary scoring, Helm, Eaves, Miller, and Abdelkader can do that just fine. And being RFAs, we can likely get them cheaper than other similar players. I don't know if you expect to somehow fill the 3rd line with 20 gosl scorers. Frankly we'll be fortunate to fill the top 6 with guys who'll put up 20+.
Homer will be a year older and hasn't played a full season 4 years. Hudler was good when he was here, but can he play on a top line and/or will he need to readjust to the NHL game? Bertuzzi, for all that everyone loves him after he ended the season with a couple good games, still only scored 18 goals this year. 6 more than Eaves, while playing 17 more games, a lot more minutes, a lot more PP time, and with a lot better linemates. Flip is very good, but not a goal scorer. Exactly what about any 3 of those 4 guys screams 'championship caliber top 6'? What could we really expect out of any of them on a third line?
If we could somehow squeeze 3-4 million in cap room, then add Flip or Hudler to that to get Kovy, we would be stupid not to. Of course, that's easier said than done. We'd need quite a few guys to sign friendly deals. Highly unlikely at best.
No doubt scoring depth is great. Especially great if we're plagued by key injuries. But getting that depth is even more unlikely than getting Kovy.
Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / * Ilya Kovalchuk ($6.000m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Jiri Hudler ($2.875m) / Daniel Cleary ($2.800m)
Kris Draper ($1.583m) / * Tomas Holmstrom ($1.250m) / * Darren Helm ($1.000m)
* Justin Abdelkader ($0.900m) / * Drew Miller ($0.800m) / * Patrick Eaves ($0.800m)
* Mattias Ritola ($0.650m)
Brian Rafalski ($6.000m) / * Nicklas Lidstrom ($4.500m)
Brad Stuart ($3.750m) / Niklas Kronwall ($3.000m)
* Andreas Lilja ($1.000m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($0.900m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)
Chris Osgood ($1.417m) / Jimmy Howard ($0.717m)
ROSTER: 22; PAYROLL: $57.563m; CAP ROOM: $0.137m BONUSES: $0.000m
Perhaps unrealistic to hope for 9 guys to sign for a bit under market value.
If you think the above isn't feasible, then you spread some of Kovy's $6 around for raises, and you're left with basically just enough to keep Flip. How would that be better?
If you think my numbers are attainable, what would be a better way to spend that $6 mil? Upgrading the defense maybe. ($4m for Volchenkov to replace Lilja...I'd say yes to that.) Goalie? Debateable. Forwards? Flip + $3.8m FA or Kovy + Eaves/Miller. Maybe, maybe not.
Finally, my roster leaves either Cleary, Hudler, or Homer playing on the 3rd line. Even if we were to lose say Hudler and maybe Miller, replace them with cheap 4th liners to free up $2 mil+ for raises I'd still argue that it would be a damn good line up.
I just don't see how adding Kovy could ever be a bad
thing. Maybe not the very best possibile, but not bad by any stretch.