I just took a look at the salary cap thread. I'm curious what you are getting at here. I assume you are talking about Kessel, but aren't they going to have Manny Fernandez's money to spend?
This is true; however, Kessel and Krejci are both going to be RFAs, and that should eat up Fernandez's salary coming off the books and then some possibly. Lashoff and Hunwick are both RFAs to be as well. We would have some wiggle room as far as Rask goes should the players' union and NHL decide to pick up the option on the CBA, reverting Rask's $3.2m hit to his old soft hit of $850,000 or so - that room will still be eaten likely by Thomas' new contract. So in the end, this is how I see it shaking down:
Current space: $642,501
Coming off the books: Fernandez, $4,333,333. Thomas, $1,100,000. Axelsson, $1,850,000. Yelle, $750,000. Hnidy, $757,500.
Assuming the cap stays the same (not an unreasonable assumption - some people actually project it to go down), the total space we have next year for the following roster will be $9,433,334.
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Sturm - Bergeron - Ryder
Wheeler - Krejci - Kobasew
Thornton - Sobotka - Nokelainen
Chara - Ward
Ference - Wideman
Stuart - Hunwick
Additions that will need to be made:
Thomas, ~$3.5m 2 year deal. Rask, $850,000 cap hit. Kessel*, $4,000,000 (long-term, 4-5 years). Krejci, $2,500,000 (couple years). Sobotka, $750,000. Hunwick and Lashoff are both looking at Andrew Alberts level deals, with let's say an average cap hit of $1,100,000 for each. That brings our total AAV coming onto the books as $10,716,667 - not all too bad considering that we'd already have 7 defensemen on the roster. Keep Hunwick on a more lucrative two-way deal and that figure drops to $9,616,667. To make it all work, I can see Kobasew and Ference being the two prime candidates to move.
* = Kessel's cap hit right now is $2.2m, but he's only making a little over a 3rd of that because of the hard cap hit of his bonuses. His raise will be from about $900k including incentives, so $4m is (imho) a pretty generous offer. I'm just praying we lock him up before he hits the RFA market.