With the recent additions of two veterans, Mike Modano and Ruslan Salei to the team, the roster appears to be almost set -- with Justin Abdelkader's imminent signing the only paperwork yet to be completed by Ken Holland. So this is the current cap picture:
**In order of cap hit**
(14) Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula, Hudler, Cleary, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, Modano, Draper, Helm, Eaves, Miller, Ritola -- $35.387m
(8) Lidstrom, Rafalski, Stuart, Kronwall, Salei, Ericsson, Kindl, Meech -- $22.333m
(2) Osgood, Howard -- $2.133m
When taking off the $850k of bonuses included in these totals, Detroit has just over $345k to sign Justin Abdelkader.
This shouldn't be a concern to Abby because Ken Holland has already stated that the team will enter the 2010/11 season with a roster of 14 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goalies. This means two have gotta go, so who will they be?
Out of 15 forwards, the bottom 4 seem to be Miller, Draper, Abdelkader and Ritola. With the coveted talent of young Abdelkader and the no-trade status of Draper, one of Miller or Ritola will probably be the odd man out.
For me, it's just way too difficult to guess who might have the better trade value or who we might suffer least from letting walk. With Miller, we know what we have and that he can play in the NHL. Ritola on the other hand, has great potential but is still yet to prove he can perform at the highest level. Detroit has had to let these types go in recent times and much to the chagrin of the Detroit-faithful, the results weren't in the Wings favor.
A few seasons ago Ken Holland made the tough decision to waive the talented but largely disappointing Kyle Quincey, only to watch him excel in L.A. and Colorado. Then just last season, the even more talented and disappointing Ville Leino needed to be shipped to Philadelphia, for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen -- who may never actually play an NHL game in the Winged Wheel. The Flyers then proceeded to make the Stanley Cup Finals with help from Leino's 21 points in 19 games.
With these two unfortunate transactions fresh in the mind of Kenny Holland, I would say Drew Miller would be slightly more likely to be the one to leave Motown... as tough as it is to say.
To me, defense is a little simpler -- so long, Derek Meech.
So with all that mind, if Meech and Miller are to go, with Abdelkader signing for $900k (his actually cap hit will definitely be in that vicinity) the Wings sit at about $600k under the cap and ready for the 2011.