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If I Were Kevin Lowe...

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... I would be the GM of the Oilers! More specifically, I'd like to look at the roster this morning and decide what I'm going to do moving forward. This seems like a pivotal summer for the Oilers moving forward, so with that in mind I'm looking for progress but I'm not looking to ice a contender at this point, because I don't think the core of the team is ready for that yet. So, here goes, starting in net.
Goal: Mathieu Garon (1.1M), Dwayne Roloson, (3.67M) Total= 4.67M
At this point it might be nice to trade Roloson. One possibility I'd consider would be to Ottawa in exchange for Ray Emery + a draft pick. Another possibility I'd consider is to Tampa Bay, for Marc Denis and a more decent draft pick, with the understanding that Denis gets buried in the minors, and I sign a veteran 1B goaltender (Huet, Ellis, Conklin, Auld, etc.) for approx. 2M. There's a nice goalie crop this UFA period, and there's more bodies than there are spaces. Failing to find a trade to my liking, I keep Roli until at least the trade deadline. I'm looking to improve my team by getting a decent asset in return, not trading just for the sake of dumping an expensive goaltender. It doesn't hurt Garon at all to have a veteran presence behind him who can step in if needed.
Defense: Souray (5.4M), Gilbert (4M), Staios (2.7M), Grebeshkov (1.5M), Greene (1.15M), Smid (.886M), Pitkanen (RFA approx=[4.5M]) Total= 20.14M
I'm happy with this group, assuming that Pitkanen is signable. The UFA defenseman crop is weak this season, although there's a plethora of veteran 5/6 guys who'd fit in nicely here. If I were looking to ice a better team I'd be trading one of the young fellows and signing a vet, but since we're more worried about continued development, I think the youth gets one more season. Try and sneak Roy to the minors, and resign Rourke for depth.
First Line: Penner (4.25M), Horcoff (3.6M), Hemsky (4.1M) Total= 11.95M
I like this line. I also want Horcoff extended.
Second Line: Torres (2.25M), Gagner (1.625M), Nilsson (1.83M) Total = 5.71M
I don't want Cogliano on the second line, given that I feel he's going to take a step back (see SH% post, below). Torres will improve (see SH% post again), and Gagner and Nilsson are both capable enough secondary scorers at this point in their careers.
Third Line: Moreau (2M), Cogliano (1.133M), Pisani (2.5M) Total = 5.63M
Cogs is ready for third line pivot duty, if he's flanked by reliable veterans like Moreau and Pisani.
Fourth Line: Glencross (UFA, approx=[1.5M]), Stoll (RFA, approx=[2.3M]), Brodziak .497M Total=4.3M
Stoll's trade value right now is at an all-time low. Give him another season, and if things work out, trade him (at the deadline, perhaps?) Brodziak and Glencross are excellent 4th liners and everyone on this line can step up in the event of injury.
Extras: Pouliot (RFA, approx=[1M]), Stortini .5M Total= 1.5M
Final Dollars Spent = 53.9 Million
There it is. That's a fairly veteran roster with depth and no new rookies that should be able to handle injuries/regression without much difficulty, and all under next year's projected salary cap. I let Reasoner walk as a UFA, and didn't trade any roster players, with the possible exception of Roloson. Also, as there are no new rookies, I obviously traded Robbie Schremp.