Five unrestricted and four restricted free agents up front, plus four unrestricted free agents on the back end leave more than a few holes that need filling for Rick Dudley and the Atlanta Thrashers.
Looks like another youth movement.
Free Agents: Keeping second-leading scorer Max Afinogenov is unlikely, and even if they did, the likelihood of Afinogenov staying healthy is even lower.
There are no long-term solutions on the wings, but try a sales pitch on Alexander Frolov. Andrew Ladd was a solid pickup, but he won’t provide the necessary top-six scoring.
If you’re feeling lucky maybe roll the dice on a Marek Svatos or Jonathan Cheechoo, but it’s better to save money rather than spend it on a player who won’t help this team move forward (neither would).
Pavel Kubina’s offense will be missed, but Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian will fill in, so leave the depth spot to another young guy.
Chris Mason is a quality addition who’ll be able to teach Ondrej Pavelec a thing or two while pushing for time in the crease.
Trade Candidates: Not much here, really.
Ron Hainsey could be a guy that gets you a good return from a playoff team looking for a defender who can eat minutes and kill penalties. Other than that, an RFA that Atlanta can’t come to terms with would be the biggest chip in play.
Call Me Up: 47-goal man Jeremy Morin isn’t with the team anymore thanks to the Dustin Byfuglien trade, but he would’ve been a prime call-up candidate.
With the trade of Ivan Vishnevskiy, Arturs Kulda should be able to make the team.
If Carl Klingberg comes over to North America he should stick on the wings, while Angelo Esposito and recent draftee Alexander Burmistrov should make for some hard decisions come training camp.