How do you build a successful NHL team you ask? It's simple. I don't get why people think Ken Holland's so smart??
...THAT's how you structure a 70 million dollar salary cap in today's NHL. There are 11 players that you give about 5mil to (and three of them you could give 6mil to) - your top six forwards, your top four defensemen and your goalie. I don't care if you draft and develop them, if you trade for them, or if you sign them. You get them. That's where you need your elite talent.
...As for the rest of the guys, your bottom six forwards, your bottom pairing defenseman, your backup goalie, and your healthy scratches. None of these guys should be making more than 1mil a season. Most of them should be cheap, young, big, strong, fast, tough, hard-working ready-to-play draft picks that you make. They don't need to be able to score. They just need to be those things. And you can find those things anywhere in the draft if you're looking for them. If one of the guy's blows up and is in line for a big contract...you let him walk...and you call up the next guy.
Simple as that.
I'm shocked that no one has picked up on the sarcasm of this post.