alright...here's two polar options...players only (so no coaching change suggestions)
the conservative route...
re-sign Sullivan @1.5M, trade Niskanen at the draft for a higher pick/prospect, re-sign Strait and Tangradi (RFA's), sign Harding to back up MAF, replace Asham, and send Lovejoy into a volcano...
Kunitz (3.725M) | Malkin (8.7M) | Neal (5M)
Sullivan (1.5M) | Crosby (8.7M) | Dupuis (1.5M)
Cooke (1.8M) | Staal (4M) | Kennedy (2M)
Tangradi (.7M) | Vitale (.55M) | UFA (.75M)
x Adams (.675M)
Martin (5M) | Letang (3.5M)
Michalek (4M) | Orpik (3.75M)
Despres (.84M) | Engellend (.567M)
x Strait (.6M)
= $63,856,667 (cap = $64,500,000) = $643,333 in cap space
or the let's blow it all up route!...and PLEASE bear with me...this is just for the hell of it...
STL gets Malkin, Strait and some pick
PIT gets Oshie, Peitrangelo, and Schwartz
WPG gets Orpik and Kennedy
PIT gets Wheeler and some pick
COL gets Paul Martin (if COL isn't on his "list")
PIT gets a high draft pick in 2013 or 2014
UFA's | sign Suter (6 years, $35,000,000), Kelly (2 years, $7,000,000), Benier (1 year, $1,100,000), and Harding (2 years, $2,000,000).
RFA's | sign Oshie (4 years, $13,000,000), Niskanen (2 years, $3,600,000), and Tangradi (2 years, $1,500,000).
Neal (5M) | Crosby (8.7M) | Oshie ($3.25M)
Kunitz (3.725M) | Staal (4M) | Wheeler (2.55M)
Cooke (1.8M) | Kelly (3.5M) | Dupuis (1.5M)
Tangradi (.75M) | Vitale (.55M) | Bernier (1.1M)
x Jeffrey (.575M)
x Park (.6M)
Suter (5.834M) | Letang (3.5M)
Michalek (4M) | Pietrangelo (3.167M)
Despres (.84M) | Niskanen (1.8M)
x Engellend (.567M)
= $63,306,667 (cap = $64,500,000) = $1,193,333 in cap space (even with 23 on the roster).