Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What Might the 09-10 Team Look Like?

Who knows right now but I am willing to bet it will look younger then this seasons team.

Let's first take a look at who is without a contract at this point.

  • Daren Machesney - RFA
Unfortunately I think Cheese is on the outside looking in as far as goalies go in Hershey. The ONLY way he stays is if the Caps trade Jose Theodore and make Michal Neuvirth the backup to Varlamov next season. Which is highly unlikely as they will want a veteran backup to take some of the pressure off.

  • Bryan Helmer - UFA
  • Staffon Kronwall - UFA
  • Dean Arsene - UFA
  • Sami Lepisto - RFA
  • Sasha Pokuluk - RFA
Helmer and Arsene have already said they would like to come back to Hershey next season. I could see both players returning to the roster next year. As for the other 3...they are done. I would be very surprised to see any of them back. Pokuluk never lived up to expectations, Lepisto had a good chance this season in Washington but didn't really show enough, and Kronwall would probably rather play in Europe before returning to the AHL full time. Maybe Kronwall would sign a 2-way deal but I suspect he will either sign with another team for a 1-way deal or head home to Sweden.

  • Alexandre Giroux - UFA
  • Graham Mink - UFA
  • Darren Reid - UFA
  • Quintin Laing - UFA
  • Grant McNeill - UFA
  • Kip Brennan - UFA
  • Chris Bourque - RFA
  • Steve Pinizzotto - RFA
  • Kyle Wilson - RFA
  • Andrew Joudrey - RFA
  • Travis Morin - RFA
That is a lot of names. It probably would have been easier to list the players under contract for next season as there are only 6. Of all the names on that list I think there are 3 that we will not see again in Hershey. They are Giroux, Brennan, and Bourque. Both Giroux and Bourque are going to be looking for one way NHL contracts and will probably get them somewhere (maybe even Washington) and Brennan's services probably won't be needed if G-Mac and Pinner are resigned.

Hershey is going to have to sign some guys back or go with a whole new team and that is unlikely. I am sure Mink would love a one way deal but that isn't going to happen. He is mainly hoping for a 2 way deal and might get it from Washington. According to Doug Yingst negotiations are underway to resign McNeill as well. IF Mink resigns I doubt you see Reid back but you never know. There are plenty of veteran spots available as it stands now so a few guys might get another chance.

Other guys like Joudrey, Pinner, Morin, and Wilson are still young guys who have a chance in the Washington organization. With the roster space available I doubt these guys will get far.

So there is a look at who needs to be resigned. Keep in mind that Washington has a say in many of these negotiations and need to get all their ducks in a row before some things will fall into place. The organization has until June 29th to offer qualifying offers to the RFA's and then they have until July 15th before they expire. At least that is the way I understand it.

With players like Viktor Kozlov, Donald Brashear, Sergei Federov, Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr, Shaone Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina, and Jeff Schultz being free agents there could be a few positions open for guys to make the jump to the NHL. It will be interesting to see what players Washington thinks are worth the risk to resign.

Thursday I will examine who IS still under contract and what prospects might be ready to make the transition to the AHL full time.

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