If this team is in need of a scoring winger at the deadline, he'll make a move.
You're right, this isn't a video game. This guy has a staff working year round on how to make things like this fit in the budget.
Sydor, Gil, Satan, Fedo and Sykora all com off the books. That's roughly $10.35 mil coming off the cap.
Staal will need to be resigned. He'll probably cost somewhere between $4-5 million.
I wouldn't be shocked to see a sign & trade with the Wild if it meant Gaborik coming to the Pens. That leaves enough money to re-sign Syko to a similar contract.
I tend to agree that if the Pens are in dire need of a scoring winger that RS will make it happen. It may not necessarily be Gaborik but if Satan, Fedo and Staal aren't having some decent production, I don't see the Pens standing pat going into the stretch run and playoffs without a proven scorer coming in. By "proven scorer," I don't mean a guy whose numbers are dropping and is getting pretty old, either. Pens are already trying that now and if it isn't working come spring time, I don't see more of the same arriving in Pittsburgh.
After this season, the payroll could definitely change based on how this year ends as well as player demands. Staal may not get 4-5mil from the Pens. Sydor is definitely gone and Sykora and Gill could be as well and Satan/Fedo if they don't work out. If Gaborik is traded as a rental for the end of this year to somebody by the Wild or is kept, I can see RS pursuing him. I can see him going after Hossa again for that matter. It depends on what RS sees as the most pressing need that requires outside-the-organization assistance. There is zero doubt that he wanted big talent in Hossa enough this past off-season to lose Orpik and a couple of others. If what we have right now doesn't work as well as hoped for, I see RS going right back after the name and shedding some other parts.