With only 7 forwards, 5 d-men and 1 goaltender currently signed for next season, Mr. Sherman will have a busy off-season ahead of him. Let's take a look at UFAs and RFAs on the roster and determine if they should stay or go.
For the purpose of the review, I will assume the salary cap will stay the same at $56.8 million. I will also assume that Kroenke will ask Dwight to keep the pay roll down again next season. The unit of how well I think the player will fit into the team's roster next year will be measured by a scale between 0 and 5 Schrute Bucks.
Darcy Tucker - UFA. Last year's cap hit: $2.25 M. This selection will probably raise some controversy. I think Tucker will return. As much as most MHH members dislike him, he seems to be a popular fellow among the younger players. He had 24 points last season. His current contract is not a good one for the Avs, but I think the Avs can offer him one that will make both parties happy.
OFFER: 3 year contract @ $1.25 M /year. This saves the Avs $1 M /year and gives Tucker a lengthy contract. He gets 3 Shrute Bucks for likeness to return.
Marek Svatos- UFA. Last year's cap hit: $2.05 M. I don't see any room for Marek anymore. He is overpaid, and his stats look awful. He only had 11 points (about 1/3 of his previous totals) in 54 games and finished the season at a -13. His sniping ability seems to be lost.
OFFER: I don't think an offer will be made. Avs carve $2.05 M off the cap here. I'll give him 1 (one) Shrute buck because he seems like a nice guy and I wish him well.
Chris Stewart - RFA. Last year: $0.85 M. I don't think I need to say anything about Stewie we don't already know. He is coming back. The only question is how much of the cap is he going to take up. Stewart tallied 64 points this season which is incredible considering he was sent down to the minors early in the season.
OFFER: A fair offer to make would be 4 years @ $4.0 M / year. An extra $3.15 M on the cap, but well worth it. He gets 5 Shrute Bucks.
Brandon Yip - RFA, last year's cap hit was $0.75 M. He has 19 points in 34 games, on pace for 49 in the season. He seems like he could be a 40/50 point guy next season. He doesn't have much NHL experience, so I don't think he'll get a big contract yet.
OFFER: 2 years @ $1.5 M / year. He's a great player. I think he needs a little more time to prove he can continue to play well at the NHL level. An extra $0.75 hit on the cap. 4 Shrute Bucks to Yip.
David Koci - UFA, $0.575 M. I'm not going to bother wasting my time on this. He ain't coming back.
OFFER: Nothing. Save $0.575 for another NHL punching bag. No Shrute Bucks for you!
Matt Hendricks - UFA, $0.5 M last year. If there is a just and loving hockey God, Hendricks will return to the Avs. I could see him being a 25 point scorer next season and a tremendous asset on the 4th line. He really seemed to fit the role of a gritty player who can still score.
OFFER: $0.75 M for 1 more year. Add $0.25 M to the cap. The Matt Hendricks smile is worth every penny and 3 Shrute Bucks.
Chris Durno - UFA, $0.5 M last year. Durno did not really impress me much this year. Maybe he needs a little more time in the minors. He played 41 games and tallied 8 points. I would like to keep him in LEM to see if he can step it up a bit.
OFFER: 2 way $0.5 /year for 2 more years. He would probably spend most of the time in the minors, so save around $0.5 on the cap. 2 Shrute Bucks.
Peter Mueller - RFA , Cap Number = $1.7 M. He was very impressive in his brief stint with the Avs. I really hope the Coyotes' fans were wrong about this kid. I also hope he can overcome this latest concussion. I can see him being a 40/50 point scorer next season, and a critical component to our power play if he can stay healthy.
OFFER: $2.5 M / year for 4 years. 4 Shrute Bucks.
Stephane Yelle - UFA, $0.55 M. Another guy I would like to see back. He did not really impress me with his play all that much. Perhaps because I remember the Yelle from 1996. He finished the season with a disappointing 8 points. Perhaps because he spent most of the season with the Hurricanes, but he only got one assist while with the Avs. But I still loved seeing old Yeller back in burgundy. Considering Sherman's strategy of "Bring the Old Crew Back Together", I think he'll return.
OFFER: $0.5 M for 1 more year. 3 Shrute Bucks. He got an extra buck for the Yelle from 1996.
Brett Clark - UFA, $3.5 M. Terrible, terrible contract for Clark. I don't blame Clark, but this contract will probably be the reason for his departure. The Avs may make him an offer, but they will be outbid by some other team looking for a shot blocker. He may fit in well in an Eastern Conference team looking to beef up on D.
OFFER: AVS: $1.5 M / year for 2 years. OTHER: $2.0 M / year for 3 years. Clear $3.5 M off the cap. 1 Shrute Buck.
Ruslan Salei -UFA, $3.025 M cap hit. Did anyone see him in the Olympics? He played very well. Then he returned to the Avs and looked like a slug. Last season he had a tremendous season tallying 23 points. This season he only played 14 games due to injury. I think Wilson has taken his role, so I don't think an offer will even be extended to Salei.
OFFER: Nothing. Clear $3.025 off the cap. 0 Shrute Bucks.
Adam Foote - UFA, $3.0 M hit. I think the Avs want to keep Footer around. Does Footer want to play another year though? I think so. It seems like he really enjoys his new role on the team. He seems a little slow at times, but I am still confident in his defensive play.
OFFER: $3 M for one more year. 4 Shrute Bucks (would be 5, but wanted to factor in the possibility of retirement).
Kyle Quincey - RFA $0.525 M cap hit. After seeing him play at the beginning of the season, his finish was disappointing. His stats looked really good though as he finished the season with 29 points. Throughout most of the season, his ice time was among the highest in the league.
OFFER: $2.75 M / year for 3 years. 4 Shrute Bucks. It'd be 5, but I deducted one for his Red Wing Roots. Not his fault, but my hatred for the evil winged wheel knows no boundaries.
Peter Budaj - UFA, $1.25 M cap hit. I am a supporter of Budaj. I think he is a fantastic goalie that never had the chance to develop. If he stays with the Avs, he will never get a shot at #1. This will be the sole reason he looks for opportunities else where. Money will not be a factor as much as opportunity to play more than a few games. He seemed to be a tremendous teammate for the team. I will be sad to see him go :(
OFFER: AVS: $0.75 M for 1 year as backup. OTHER: Opportunity to play more than a few games. Since Shrute Bucks represent a role in the club next year, I can only give Budaj 1. I wish it could have been 5.