Team sloppy seconds is complete except for a backup goaltender. After the initial wave of free agent signings in July, I looked at the remaining unrestricted free agents and cobbled together a competitive team with those leftovers.
I think this team is a defenseman away from the playoffs, and with approximately $17,000,000 in cap room, I'm sure that our fictitious GM can swing a trade to make it happen. Plenty of people knew that this was going to be a buyer's year in the free agent market, plenty of people that weren't NHL general managers, that is.
Tanguay - Koivu - Kovalev
Moen - Malhotra - Niedermayer
Kotalik - Lang - Sykora
Veilleux - Moore - Grier
Morris - Boynton
Foster - Beauchemin
Mara - Seidenberg
The signed portion of this team has a cap hit of $36,102,202 - not enough to make the salary floor.
I mentioned some low cost alternatives and depth players in my original post, "...Betts, Yelle, Labarbera, Perrin**, Pyatt, McKee, Tollefson, Bouillon..." Their cap hit totals $5,450,000 thus far. Adding in enough guys from the depth players list to make a 23 man roster doesn't get this team to the salary floor.
Looking over this list, there are some general managers that should be questioned, both by the media and their fanbases. In the face of some of these deals, how can the overpays we've seen in recent years (Komisarek, Hossa) have any justification? I've said this before, but you have 30 guys running 30 multi-hundred-million dollar franchises, the majority of whom have nothing more than a high school diploma or equivalent. Whether they like it or not, these guys need a bigger support base, more information, more research, more lessons on strategy and markets, and especially more support in negotiations and negotiation techniques. Most intelligent owners will soon wake up to the fact that being connected to the old-boy network of the NHL isn't enough to run a competitive franchise.
Until then, root for Team Sloppy Seconds for the cup!