#1 - Agree wholeheartedly. You need Malkin here. With him, we are set down the middle for the next 10 years.
#2 - It would depend on whose available and what I could get for the pick. If I could get a Marion Gaborik, Martin Havlat (although I wouldn't want to give it to Ottawa), or a defensemen like Joni Pitkanan or Jordan Leopold (both unlikely) I would trade the pick.
#3 - The young guys is where its going to be. Next year you're going to have a defensive corps of Gonchar, Orpik, Welch, Whitney, X, X, and Cairns. I hope they keep Cairns as the #7 d-man for those games against Philly, Rangers, etc.
#4 - Basically, you fill the need you didn't fill through the draft/free agency. You need a finisher, preferably on the LW, for Crosby's line, 2 solid defensemen, and a backup goalie whose not Sebastian Caron or Jocelyn Thibault.
#5 - You need those energy guys but you don't need to go outside the organization to achieve this goal. You have Daniel Carcillo (who remind me a lot of Darcy Tucker), Maxime Talbot, Matt Murley who will mix it up and get physical. To go along with them, you have guys like Koltsov to use their speed and draw penalties. I also hope we keep Eric Boguniecki for the 3rd or 4th line.
I would also add to that list...
#6 - Convert Eric Christiensen to the wing. I believe he is going to be a top 2 guy in this league but to fit he'll need to goto the win. He has a nice finishing touch with an excellent wrister. Put him on the second line wtih Malkin next year.
My depth chart would look like this
C: Crosby, Malkin, Talbot, Hussey, Endicott with Eaves, Stone in the wings.
LW: Surovy, Rita, Murley, Lefebvre with Carcillo in the wings.
RW: Christiensen, Armstrong, Malone, Ouellet, Boguniecki, Koltsov with Filewich waiting in the wings.
D: Gonchar, Orpik, Whtiney, Jackman, Cairns, Scuderi, Melichar with Welch, Bissonette, Letang, Fernholm, Golginski and Lannon in the wings.
G: Fleury, Caron, Thibault, Chiodo
I left off players that won' t be here soon, like LeClair, Recchi. They'll probably trade Malone and Jackman too but its not as certain as those two. I don't think Andre Roy, RVB won't be here hopefully.
I'm hoping Rita can turns out to be a good LW for Malkin's line. Lines can look like this
X - Crosby - Armstrong (X being the scorer we bring in with our draft pick, FA, trade)
Rita - Malkin - Christiensen
Carcillo - Eaves - Ouellet (I'm hoping Eaves has a good camp and makes the team. I'd like how this line matches up with other third lines.)
Murley - Talbot - Boguniecki
Ex: Koltsov, Hussey
Gonchar - Orpik
Whitney - Welch
Jackman - X (someone we bring in to be a solid defensive presence)
Malone will probably be gone this year, which is why I didn't include him but if he isn't he'd probably fit in on the 3rd line with Eaves and Ouellet. Surovy I just couldn't fit in. Hes too inconsistant to fit in the top two lines and he doesn't fit in with the bottom 2. I would try to include him in a deal to get that top LW for Crosby. I'm hoping we can keep Ric Jackman becuase his solid RH shot is good for the 2nd PP and with the right partner, he can be extremly effective.