So Dany Heatley wants out.
My first thought is, "you have to be kidding me?"
My second thought is, "Good riddance, cap space is coming."
Depending on the return Ottawa gets for Heatley, it will need to get someone from free agency to fill in a bit of the hole left by Heatley.
Here are some of the upcoming unrestricted free agents I believe could do some great work in Ottawa.
Erik Cole: LW (Carolina)
Last Year: 4M
He didn't have a great season last year, but picked it up during his time in Carolina and during the playoffs. He isn't the best option for Ottawa, but Murray seems to like him. In order to have the room to sign him, the return for Heatley will have to include a top five pick or top prospect as the main piece, so there is cap space to give him an offer.
Projected Salary: 3.5M-4M (two years, 7.5M (3.5,4))
No doubt someone will give him more than four million, given his playoff performances. I believe he is worth closer to three million from his stats, but you always over pay on July 1.
Ales Kotalik: RW(Edmonton)
Last Year: 2.5 million
A 20-goal scorer without a big price tag. Kind of a one dimensional player, but not a blaring hole defensively. Actually a plus while playing for Edmonton last season. He could play well with Spezza with his touch.
Projected Salary: 2.5-2.8 million (three years, 8.1M (2.5, 2.8, 2.8))
A slight increase given to this free agent, to me worth about what he's being paid. Wouldn't be a bad signing for Ottawa at this price, hopefully he could be had for lower.
Taylor Pyatt: LW(Vancouver)
Last Year:1.575 million
Hasn't lived up to his potential, and I really don't think he will ever get over 45 points in his career. Unless he plays with someone who feeds him the puck constantly, then more 20+ goal seasons will come, hopefully approach 30.
Projected Salary:1.2M (one year, 1.2 million)
After last year he doesn't deserve as much as he made. If he goes anywhere for over 1.4 million, it will be a major overpayment.
Alex Tanguay: LW(Montreal)
Last Year:5.375 million
More than he is worth, definitely. His first and only year in Montreal:Sub-par compared to his career stats.
Projected Salary:3.8M-5M (two years, 8 million (3.8, 4.2) with five million option for a third year).
3.8 million would be a great price for him if he performs to his ability, but if he is past his prime, it isn't too much to either eat, or move at the deadline to a contender. The five million option for a third year, would be a club option. If they pick it up it is because he has proved himself. 4.2 million might be too much to pay him if he doesn't perform well in the first year, so maybe some bonuses should be put in there, that if achieved would bring his salary to 4.2 million.
Mike Cammalleri: LW(Calgary)
Last Year: 3.6 million
Not even analyzing this one. He will demand more money than Ottawa should be spending up front this offseason.
Jay Bouwmeester: D(Florida)
The only way he comes to Ottawa is if almost no players that can step into the lineup right away come back in the Heatley trade.
Projected Salary:6-7.5 million (five years, 34.5 million (7.5, 7.5, 7, 6.5, 6))
He will get 7.5 million to start in this free agent market, look what Campbell got and Bouwmeester can do more than "spin." I would personally love to sign him for that salary structure. But to do that Kelly, Schubert and Smith must to moved to make space to bring in at least one forward from the market.
Kurtis Foster: D(Minnesota)
Last Year:1.025 million
6'5'', 220lbs, from the Ottawa area(Carp). If Bouwmeester is gone, or a good chunk of salary comes back for Heatley, he can fit into the top 6 defense: Volchenkov, Phillips, Kuba, Campoli, Lee and Foster. There are other options internally(Eriksson) and externally(Bouwmeester). If Bouwmeester can't be had, then Eriksson should be given a very good look for the NHL roster this season.
Projected Salary: 1.1 million (one year, 1.1 million)
A little pay raise, just for the free agent market. But it could go the other way as well, due to the fact he only play 10 games last season. He did however put up good production in those 10 games. One million will be the lowest he goes.