Not going to be a contender unless No-Trade Kenny stops sitting on his hands. The defense will blow. Besides, with most of the team signed long term for too much money, how are they going to keep Larkin and the rest of these future stars that are going to turn the team into legit contenders?
"Most of the team" is not signed to long-term deals.
We have some big contracts coming off in the next while and I don't foresee any problems. As prospects and young players we have most of them on cheaper RFA deals or entry level for a while. first "biggish" player to get UFA status is Nyquist in 3 years from now.
-Next year without Ott, Miller, Vanek, Kindl's penalty there's 3,905 - some goes Tatar,+Smith?(RFAs) then free agents,
-Green's 6 mill is gone in 2 years - some goes to Larkin's+Mrazek's RFA deals, maybe small chance that we don't fit Sheahan in (but cap will go up so I"m sure we'll have space)
-Howard's 5.2 and Kronwall's 4.7 is gone in 3 years - re-sign Nyquist, roll in the extra cash.
-Ericsson's 4.25 is gone in 4 years