I posted this in another thread...but since I'm the new GM, I'm blowing things up Paul Holmgren style just to let everyone know who the boss is around here (except for you Mario, sir)...
I approach STL with a trade. They have tons of size and grit, but little top-end skill, plus they have a pretty deep system of defensemen. I offer them Malkin (yeah, that's right) along with Brian Strait and a pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for TJ Oshie, Alex Pietrangelo, and (prospect) Jaden Schwartz.
Next I approach Brooks Orpik and tell him just how much he smells of BO and how he needs to move on. I tell him he better not name Winnipeg in his alotted 8-teams that he will not accept a trade to. Then I contact Winnipeg (who is in need of defensive defensemen...even if they smell) and offer them Orpik and Kennedy in exchange for Blake Wheeler.
My final trade is with Coloroado, who has all of three (3) defensemen signed for next year and will be about $48,000,000 under the cap. I offer them Paul Martin (after, again, forcing Paul to NOT name Colorado!...damn these NTC's are tricky!) for a second round pick in either 2012, or 2013.
My RFA's are all signed quickly because I'm a pleasure to negotiate with; Oshie (4 years, $13,000,000), Niskanen (2 years, $4,000,000), Tangradi (2 years, $1,500,000), and O'Reilly (1 year, $750,000...but he'll be waived to WB/S in camp).
On July 1st I strike quick with my two main UFA targets; Suter (6 years, $35,000,000) and Kelly (2 years, $6,750,000). Later that day I sign Josh Harding to a two year deal worth $3,000,000 because it's time we have a competent backup who can actually play in 30 games. A few days roll by (as I smoke my self-satisfaction cigars) and then I sign Jordin Tootoo to a three year deal for $4,000,000. Later in the summer I realize that Craig Adams passed away sometime in February, and I re-sign Richard Park for one year and $700,000.
In October, my coach's lineup looks like this...
James Neal | Sidney Crosby "C" | TJ Oshie
Chris Kunitz | Jordan Staal "A" | Blake Wheeler
Matt Cooke | Chris Kelly | Pascal Dupuis
Eric Tangradi | Joe Vitale | Jordin Tootoo
x Richard Park
Ryan Suter | Kris Letang "A"
Zbynek Michalek | Alex Pietrangelo
Simon Despres | Matt Niskanen
x Deryk Engellend
Salary Cap = $68,000,000
2012-13 Pens Salary = exactly $63,345,500. Which means we have PLENTY of room to re-sign ALL of Crosby, Staal, Letang, Pietrangelo, and even Cooke and Dupuis...if they earn it.
In May of 2013, I'm nominated for the GM of the Year Award, just as the pens advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.