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NHL Free Agents: Clubs Sure to Overspend This Summer

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30:  Mike Knuble #22 of the Washington Capitals sets up in front of the net in the first period against goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Vaughn JohnsonCorrespondent IIJune 13, 2012

The CBA uncertainty could make the salary cap go up, and so could the payroll of teams looking to make a splash in free agency.

For some, money will become troublesome as they will overspend during this offseason.

First on that list are the current Stanley Cup champions.

Los Angeles Kings

According to CapGeek.com, the Kings have $16 million in cap room heading into next season.

As is the case with most defending champions, some guys are going to be looking for a bit of a pay raise.

The biggest question will surround left winger Dustin Penner who is now an unrestricted free agent. Despite scoring some key goals during the Kings’ epic playoff run, Penner only scored 10 through the regular season and postseason combined.

Penner has had a lot of issues to deal with away from the ice—including a divorce—which contributed to him missing a good number of games during the regular season and could have contributed to his performance overall. Is it worth bringing back someone who has scored more than 50 points in a season once in his career?

More than likely, it's not, but we don’t know the level of loyalty the Kings organization has toward Penner.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning spent a boatload of cash to keep star Steve Stamkos last offseason. The Bolts have a fair amount of cap room heading into this offseason—$22 million—but are in desperate need of a goaltender. Forty-two-year-old Dwayne Roloson posted a goals against average of 3.66 and stopped only 86 percent of the shots he faced. He is now an unrestricted free agent.

The problem is that there are not many goalies worth shelling out a lot of money for.

The Lightning seem to be in the same situation the Flyers were in a year ago when they overspent for Ilya Bryzgalov.

Washington Capitals

The Caps have $25 million in cap space but have both Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble to worry about possibly re-signing this offseason. Add that to Alexander Ovechkin who is making about $9.5 million annually, and it creates an interesting situation for the front office.

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