Several teams have left themselves ripe for raiding: How does Chicago pay for Kane and Towes and Keith who are RFA’s next year, not to mention Versteeg and Seabrook? Who does Calgary dump? 40 million for just 8 players? The Rangers have 40 million committed to just 15 players, I’m still trying to figure out how Boston pays for Phil Kessel and can someone tell me how the Flyers can add Pronger, Lappy and Boucher without begging a team like the Kings to take salary off their hands?
Lombardi is playing poker and he’s not showing his hand, while others are throwing unnecessary dollars into an ever growing pot. Offer sheets could certainly be put on the table, but that doesn’t seem to be Lombardi’s style… but ask yourself, what WOULD Chicago do if Lombardi offered Kane or Toews multi million/multi-year offer sheets next season when the cap is expected to be lower?
Allow me to answer the rhetorical question: nothing. Because they can't match if it puts them more than 10% over the cap. So. They're. Screwed. Watch the frenzy to dump Brian Campbell's ridiculous contract play out in slow motion for the next several months. I'm sure there's someone stupid enough to bite, but who has the cap space?
What also has Lombardi sitting in the cat bird seat is most of the big names have headed East. Calgary will be hard pressed to replace 35 goals. Minnesota’s golden boy is a Ranger, Pronger is a Flyer, San Jose was inactive, Columbus and St Louis did little. Vancouver shot their wad with the twins, Dallas and Nashville and Phoenix and St Louis did nothing and Edmonton is about to add a locker room cancer. How are the Kings weaker?
So for those Kings fans that are whipped into a frenzy, the Kings are in great shape. They could still easily trade for Marco Sturm. They could still easily sign "filler" players for one or two years, and if Ilya Kovalchuk or Rick Nash decide to test the free agent waters next season, guess who will be one of a handful of teams who will be able to AFFORD one of these silly 12 year deals.