I'm going to stray slightly off topic and make things a bit more interesting by asking if you were the Pens GM for the 2014-2015 season, what would you do?
That is really the season to look at, because:
1. First year Malkin and Letang contract extensions kick in.
2. More big name UFAs (Orpik, Kunitz, Niskanen, Vokoun
3. Most players that would be signed in 2013-2014 would still be on the roster in 2014-2015.
First, rid the roster of this years UFAs/RFAs and 2014 UFAs/RFAs, and you have left:
14.6mil in Forwards,5mil in Defense, 5mil in Goal =24.6mil committed to 5 players
Expected Salary cap in 2014-2015 would be the same 64.3million
UFAs from past 2 seasons Iginla, Morrow, Murray, Dupuis, Malkin, Kunitz, Jokinen, Adams, Eaton, Cooke, Vitale, Orpik, Letang, Niskanen, Engelland
RFAs from past 2 seasons are Kennedy, Bortuzzo, Hartzell, Jeffrey, Sutter, Despres
1. Malkin and Letang would be resigned, 9mil for Malkin, 6.5mil for Letang
CAP TOTAL 41.1mil for 7 total players (WOW, that is crazy).
2. Sutter is resigned for 3mil, 2 years.
CAP TOTAL 44.1mil for 8 players.
At this point, I'm not even going to finish. This really gives a BIG PICTURE of what is going on with the Pens. They need to win now, and win next year, because in 2014-2015 the core will have to be blown up. There is no way to keep Malkin, Letang, Crosby, Fleury, Neal, and Martin on this team beyond next year with the cap where it is, and still field a competitive team.
I'd expect a lot of short term deals from this point on except for Malkin, Letang, maybe Sutter. Anything that is long-term, I would expect would also be moveable if needed. By 2014-2015 we are going to need at least 2 of those young D-men (Dumoulin, Harrington, Maata, Pouliot) to step in on the blue line and add some cap relief that way.