|Trent Hunter||Mark Streit||Rick DiPietro|
|Richard Park||Andy Sutton|
|Kyle Okposo||Freddy Meyer|
|Frans Nielsen||Bruno Gervais|
|Josh Bailey||Brendan Witt|
|Sean Bergenheim||Radek Martinek|
Only Mark Streit, Trent Hunter, Andy Sutton, Brendan Witt and Rick DiPietro have a cap hit over $2 million and DiPietro comes in the highest at $4.5 million. That's mighty impressive. The table above does have a fair bit of young talent, but theoretically, they have $30 million in cap space to add players from the minors, free agents and/or new draft picks (Tavares, ahem!) to the fold for some immediate improvement. Of course, improvement happens on a sliding scale, as it's not very hard to improve on the bottom, especially when you have so much wiggle room.
Even writing off 2009 doesn't seem so bad when the bumper crop of free agents and draft picks does seem rather plentiful. How will GM Garth Snow spend his potential millions or will he spend much of them at all? Can he actually get feasible players to fit into the system for Doug Weight, Bill Guerin and possibly a couple others? The team has some potential left in DiPietro, especially if he is actually 100% in October, and have one of the better offensive defensemen in the league already in Streit. Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey are learning the game now, so next season it won't be so hard, possibly much easier.
GM Garth Snow has done a good job so far, I will give him that much credit, but now he's worked his way into a good position and some money to spend. How will he go about it... he can either do a Ken Holland or pull off a Glen Sather. I think I know which one I would prefer these days. Once we decide which way he went, then I'll decide to call him a good GM or not. Anyone can spend years fire-selling his team and be poor in the Standings...