Except it wasn't really a choice at all. They had to dump cap. I'd bet if Holland had done that you'd call him an idiot for mismanaging the cap and putting us in that situation.
And that is not at all, not even the tiniest bit, part of the reason we are where we are. We have never lost a "core" player because of the cap, nor have we been restricted from going after top UFAs. Nor would clearing out every cent of "bad" cap space we currently have, by itself, make us better. By itself it would actually make us worse. Which is exactly what the moves Bowman was forced to make did to the Hawks.
To early to know if they are worse off or not. I would at first glance disagree with that. Getting Seabrook resigned is a much bigger deal and more important than keeping Sharpe was. But that is the Hawks and not the RW's.
Now you did bring up an important point about money not being the issue for bringing in UFA's. Again at first glance that may be true. But we are not sure. We don't know one way or the other why UFA's are not coming-the big names that is. Are we going after the wrong guys? Are we not offering enough money? Is Holland not going at players 100%? This summer we should have 10+ million to spend on UFA's after we resign our RFA's. More if we move Howard and Ericsson's contracts either by trade or buyouts. Next year we could have another 15 million to spend. The question become how is it spent? Signing guys like Helm or KFQ ro do we land a star or 2? We will find out soon.
If you go back a few pages, I gave Holland some praise for his cap management. We are in good shape overall and could be in great shape if we make some of the hard choices. That does not ensure that the top UFA's will come however.