As fans, we like to ponder what-ifs. What if we hadn't traded x? Why did we let z go? Usually, there's a pretty good reason. But today's exercise is to pretend that anything is possible.
If you were the GM, and the Kings could have any 23 players you want, out of the fairly-long list of players who (1) are still active, and (2) either currently or previously played for the Kings, what would that line-up look like?
Here is who you get to choose from. After the jump, I'll give you my selections.
|Alex Frolov||Andrei Loktionov||Brandon Segal|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky||Anze Kopitar||Dustin Brown|
|Dustin Penner||Brad Richardson||Jamie Lundmark|
|Jon Sim||Brayden Schenn||Jerred Smithson|
|Josh Green||Brian Boyle||Justin Williams|
|Kyle Clifford||Eric Belanger||Kevin Westgarth|
|Matt Moulson||Jarret Stoll||Mark Parrish|
|Mike Cammalleri||Michal Handzus||Matt Ellis|
|Patrick O`Sullivan||Mike Richards||Oscar Moller|
|Ryan Smyth||Pavol Demitra||Teddy Purcell|
|Scott Parse||Trevor Lewis||Tom Kostopoulos|
|Sean Avery||Wayne Simmonds|
|Alec Martinez||Erik Ersberg|
|Brad Stuart||Jason LaBarbera|
|Brent Sopel||Jonathan Bernier|
|Drew Doughty||Jonathan Quick|
|Jack Johnson||Mathieu Garon|
Here's my roster. I'm pretending there's no salary cap, by the way.
Cammalleri - Kopitar - Williams
Gagne - Richards - Brown
Moulson - Stoll - Purcell
Clifford - Lewis - Simmonds
Doughty - Johnson
Scuderi - Visnovsky
Quincey - Gleason
Quick - Bernier
Okay, that's not a bad team. You might think Frolov deserves a spot. Maybe you think Penner doesn't. Maybe Matt Greene is a better choice that Quincey or Gleason. Etc. There are lots of ways to go. But it would be hard to argue that's a worse team than what we have currently.
The only problem is, that roster has a cap hit of $77.2 million. Nearly $13MM over the cap. (I figured $7MM for Doughty, by the way; and used the current cap hits of the other players). I know I said I was ignoring the cap for the purpose of the above exercise. But now I'm bringing it back. Because that roster -- in which we got Stoll but kept Lubo, kept Quincey, got Johnson but kept Gleason, got Richards but kept Simmonds, and never traded Cammalleri -- could never be. Even if you wanted to have that much depth (Penner in the press box, etc.), the cap prevents it.
So, how am I going to get this roster down under the cap ceiling? I've got $12.8MM to shed.
- Okay, I'm getting rid of Penner and Boyle. You can't have $6MM of cap hit sitting in the press box. So they're gone.
- For the sake of argument, replace them with one $550K forward, doesn't matter who. Say it's Westgarth, because, well, Murray is still the coach, right?
- $7.3MM, roughly, still left to shed. Sorry, Lubo. Martinez is in, you're out. That's a savings of nearly $5MM right there. Add back in Muzzin as the 7th d, and you've got a salary dump of a little more than $4MM.
- Still about $3MM left to shed. And since you have to replace that body, the dumped player is going to have to have a cap hit around $3.5-4MM.
- Gagne, Stoll or Scuderi, perhaps? If it's Scuderi, you could drop in Davis Drewiske. If it's Gagne or Stoll, you could use Brad Richardson.
- (isn't it starting to look like Cammalleri is messing everything up? Or is it Moulson and Purcell? Yeah, it would be nice to have those two, maybe. But that's $5.5MM in cap hit right there, for those two guys.)
- I'm going to bite the bullet and say goodbye to Cammalleri, and bring back Penner. That's a savings of $1.75MM, leaving us with $1.25MM to go.
- Goodbye Quincey, hello Drewiske. Now, we're under the cap. And this is my cap-conscious roster:
- Moulson and Purcell instead of Richardson and Parse.
- Gleason and Muzzin instead of Greene and Mitchell.
- And Simmonds instead of (I'm guessing) Loktionov.