Ok combining several thoughts I started in other places. This is what I would do....
1. Finish this season with what we have, while trying to move any of our UFA's for picks that we can.
2. The day our season is over I call Babs and Blashill into the office. I ask babcock if he wants to commit to a 5 year extension. Gives us 6 more years. if after a couple of weeks he chooses not to, I sign Blashill to be the next coach starting the 2015/16 season.
3. June 2014 draft. First 3 picks are: Tuch 6-4/225 RHed RW, Keagan Iverson 6-1/215 RHed C/RW, Ryan Mantha 6-5/225 RHed D/RW. All 3 fit positions of need, but all 3 need 3-5 years to develop.
4. My summer time roster:
Cap has 19-20 million left to spend.
Let Mantha, Pulk, nastisauk, Frk, Oullett, Sproul, Merchencko, Jensen, and Mrasek stay on GR's roster.
5. Free agency. There are only 2 guys that I make a run at: Vanek and Greene. I offer Vanek a 5 year/45 million contract. See if he bits. I offer greene a 3 year/9 million contract. If, yes big IF they both sign, we still have 7-8 million left on the cap. Both of course fill major holes. vanek goes to the top line, with Abby moving down. Greene fills the RHed role on the 3rd pair. This frees up Andersson and Kindl for future moves.
6. If we have won the Vanek and Greene derby, now we have parts to move. My first call is to the Oilers. I offer them Andersson and Smith for Petry. if they agree, that gives us another good young Rhed Dman. pair him with Dekeyser. That gives us 2 pairs of Dmen that can play 45-50 mins per game.
7. Training camps over the summer. How good and ready is Mantha? Is he ready to play in the NHL now or does he need some time in GR? If he is ready-he is a LW, they only guy that he could replace is Nyquist. Z isn't going anywhere, nor is Jurco, and he isn't going to take Abby's checking role. If Mantha is ready, that now means we have Kindl and Nyquist that could be moved. Now I look to make a big move.
8. I take Nyquist, Kindl, and Helm, add Jensen if needed and go after a big fast skilled C. The perfect target in my mind is Hanzel. he would be a great fit between Jurco and tatar and brings size, speed, toughness and 25 goals or so. But he isn't the only one I would look at. Eller is another.
9. If we get to the point where all of this has happened, we now have a loaded, talented, young team, with about 8 million under the cap.
10. We play the 2014/15 season, then say good bye or welcome to babcock, then let TooToo walk. Whoever is most ready between Pulk, Frk, and nastisauk takes TooToo's roster spot. McCollom is moved to clear a spot for Mrasek. use our cap space to resign any RFA's that we have.
11. Our roster is mostly filled and developed for the 2015/16 season. This is good, as it is Datsyuk's second to last season. can we now make a Cup run? maybe. we have size, speed, skill, very few rookies. Would we have health?
12. In the summer of 2015 we don't need to chase any UFA's. We also have a full set of draft picks and no real must haves, just best available.
Duringthe 2015/16 season we do have some questions to answer down on the farm. Oullett, Merchencko, and Sproul will all be at the point where we have to keep them on the roster or clear waivers. Which ones are ready? Now Almqvist can go, maybe Lashoff as well.
13. Now I will stop talking about specifc years. Just some replacement stuff. If Vanek signs for 5 years and Tuch is our pick, it works out well. The time Tuch is ready, Vanek is going to leave via UFA. Weiss has 4 years left as well. About the same time it takes Keagan to get ready. He is a better fit for 3rd C anyway. Sometime between now and the start of the 2016/17 sseason we have several good prospects that will be ready: Pulk, nastisauk, Frk, Oullett, Merchencko, and Sproul. All will need to be up by then or clear waivers, or be traded.
14. Come the 2017/18 season, we could have a roster like this:
vanek would be heading into his last year and Tuch should be ready to replace him. At some point during the 2015, 2016, 2017 drafts we will need to find a C to replace Z.
ok fingers hurt.......