The premise of the article is bogus. The suggestion is that they would trade Kunitz or Neal to free up cap space to sign Malkin and Letang. I can't see Neal being moved, as his cap hit will prove to be a major bargain moving forward. Look at the deals signed recently. Carolina gives Semin $7M a year, Gonchar, coming off a horrible post season performance against the Pens, signs for $5M over two seasons. Cory Perry and Ryan Getzlaf both have contracts over $8M per season. As was said during the lockout, the new system will not have much effect on the stars, and will only force the role players to take less. The stars will always get theirs. They can't circumvent the cap with front loaded deals anymore, so the cap hits are increasing. It's why Malkin will have a higher cap hit then Sid. That could be a tricky contract. Last time, they essentially copied the contract. However, if you copy the first eight years of Crosby's contract, I think the cap hit would be $10.8M. That is what they claim will be a starting point in discussions. I'm hopeful that Geno will settle for $9.6M. It's less then Sid, but leaves a little more space for othe signings, which Malkin said he is willing to do. I can see him settling around $9.6M, simply because it would be the league's highest average cap hit. Higher then Ovechkin, which I think would mean something to Geno.
As far as Letang goes, he will easily command $7M to $8M per season. It's the league's new math. Look at what Drew Doughty got, then compare his value to that of Letang. You certainly can see where Letang's justification for asking for that kind of money comes from.
I got a little off the point, but the article is rendered completely bogus when they enter Kunitz into the equation, suggesting they need to lower the cap to sign Malkin and Letang. That's nonsense. No matter what Malkin and Letang receive, the cap hit doesn't take effect until the season after next. Next season, Malkin will make $8.7M, and Letang $3.5M. So trading Kunitz and/or Neal will not have any effect on the new cap hits for Malkin and Letang. Not next season. Since Kunitz will be in the last year of his contract, there is no reason to trade him to clear up cap space for 2014-15. He'll already be off the books! So the premise of the article is completely bogus.