1-20 (20) - Miikka Kiprusoff Cap Hit: $5,833,333That is a grand total of $51.2 total, leaving $5.8 free for wiggle room at the deadline. And here is how I would set up the lineup:
2-11 (41) - Dan Boyle Cap Hit: $6,666,667
3-20 (80) - Derek Roy Cap Hit: $4,000,000
4-11 (101) - Chris Kunitz Cap Hit: $3,725,000
5-20 (140) - Jason Arnott Cap Hit: $4,500,000
6-11 (161) - Marc Staal Cap Hit: $826,667
7-20 (200) - Nick Shultz Cap Hit: $3,500,000
8-11 (221) - Jason Pominville Cap Hit: $5,300,000
9-20 (260) - Ville Leino Cap Hit: $800,000
10-11 (281) - Trevor Daley Cap Hit: $2,300,000
11-20 (320) - Sean Avery Cap Hit: $1,938,000
12-11 (333) - Mikael Samuelsson Cap Hit: $2,500,000
13-20 (380) - Matt D'Agostini Cap Hit: $500,000
14-11 (401) - Freddie Sjostrom Cap Hit: $750,000
15-20 (440) - Artem Anisimov Cap Hit: $822,000
16-23 (473, from Colorado) - Karlis Skrastins Cap Hit: $1,375,000
17-20 (500) - Steve Begin - Cap Hit: $850,000
18-11 (521) - Sergei Shirokov - Cap Hit: $1,350,000
19-20 (560) - Shane Hnidy - Cap Hit: $750,000
19-29 (569, from Colorado) - Corey Crawford - Cap Hit: $800,000
20-11 (581) - Viktor Stahlberg - Cap Hit: $850,000
22-11 (641) - Jason Strudwick - Cap Hit: $700,000
23-20 (680) - Blair Betts - Cap Hit: $550,000
Chris Kunitz-Derek Roy-Jason PominvilleFirst off, I have no heavyweight. It is sad - for me of all people especially - but the guys I wanted were picked earlier than I was ready to take them. Still, I think there is solid team grit with Kunitz, Arnott, that entire third line, Hnidy and Strudwick. As long as we keep Avery out of his happy place and in the action, the third line will drive most everyone crazy with some serious energy and angst. Of course, they may take a penalty or two (or three or four) but that is why I reunited Sjostrom and Bettsy.
Ville Leino-Jason Arnott-Mikael Samuelsson
Sean Avery-Steve Begin-Matt D'Agostini
Freddie Sjostrom-Blair Betts-Artem Anisimov
Sergei Shirokov/Viktor Stahlberg
Dan Boyle-Nick Schultz
Trevor Daley-Marc Staal
Karlis Skrastins-Shane Hnidy
I think the scoring will come. Roy is a playmaker, Pominville a sniper and Kunitz a grinder - together there should be some chemistry. Arnott and Samuelsson are a pair, with Arnott working the slot and Samuelsson swooping around to take advantage of the chaos his partner causes, much like he did with Holmstrom in Detroit. I picked up Leino, Anisimov, Shirokov and Stahlberg thinking that the quartet could battle for that second line spot. They all have good attributes: Leino has a great shot, Anisimov has size and smarts, Shirokov can stickhandle in a phonebooth and Stahlberg has serious speed. Surely one can rise to the occasion, with the runner-up getting good time with the fourth line. And I do mean good time as I would roll four lines.
Our zone would pretty much take care of itself. Kipper is a workhorse and, as he proved several times this season, still has it within him to be a helluva netminder. I selected Crawford as a backup purely because he had a higher NHL10 rating than Antti Niemi, seeing as games will be simmed through the EA Sports title (eventually) and not knowing that Niemi would usurp him in Chicago so quickly.
Not that they will need to do that much as the blueline is quite robust. The jewel is Danny Boyle, one of the top three or four power play quarterbacks in the NHL. Seeing as he is quite adept in the offensive zone, I paired him with Schultz, who is great defensively and capable of making that first pass. Daley and Staalsie are both young, big two-way defenders who are smart with the puck. Skrastins has led such a quiet NHL career but is a hero in Latvia for good reason - he is one of the best shot blockers in the business. Paired with the bruising Hnidy, Skrastins will ensure that few good shots will get through to Kipper. Struds, who will be mandated to maintain his mustache, will be the all-important seventh defenseman and, likely, a player-coach.
There are players I wish I could have picked up (what GM doesn't have some of those?) and one I would immediately grab with a free agent addition - my boy Jed. Seeing as Ortmeyer is playing so well in San Jose, I'm sure I could find a spot for him back on Broadway. But all in all, I think these Blueshirts would make for a tough team to play against, one that could win a few games and maybe cause trouble in the playoffs.