Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:50 AM
So a lot of people have been assuming there will be a penalty-free buyout period this summer in which we can get rid of Gomez's contract. But if this is the case, is it worth looking into other contract we might want to shed? Thankfully we are not stuck with many unfortunate contracts, but a lot of people would say Kaberle has got to go. Now, I want to go on record that I actually like Kaberle and even with his limited defensive capability, he can help a team more than he hurts it. 22 points in 41 games (for us) for a defenseman is not bad, especially on a team that has been downright aweful all season. However, I would probably buy him out given the chance due to the fact that our cupboards are stocked with high-end defensive prospects. I expect both Tinordi and Beaulieu will start in the AHL, but either or both could be called up relatively soon. Bealieu especially has been a beast this season and looked quite NHL-ready at camp this year. I doubt he has much to learn at the AHL level. Tinordi seems like he could use a bit more seasoning, but he is probably not too far behind. If we get rid of Kaberle, I think we have a back end that would hopefully feature Markov, Subban, Gorges, Emelin, Diaz and a defensive-minded FA such as Allen, Sarich or Kuba (hopefully 1 year contract to make room for Beaulieu and Tinordi next year).
But if we have both Gomez's and Kaberle's money off the book, maybe we can throw the world at Suter and have a defense corps that would be absolutely sick...
Obviously, there is the question of Bourque's contract as well. Personally, I would like him to stay with the team for the time being. Even if he can't crack the top six due to his hot/cold play style, I would be happy with a 3rd liner who is a perennial 25+ goal-scorer. Even if he under-performs an gets 20, that's not terrible for 3.3 cap hit. But while I like him, shedding his contract could open up more space for something bigger.
So assuming we drop all three of these contracts, we would have some serious money to spend this summer.
The question is whether Molson would part with his pocket change for the good of the team...