Warning - this is entirely Capgeek roster territory. Basically, I was bored and started wondering how good of a team I could assemble if I simply cut players from the current roster (that is, traded them to Columbus for picks) and then accumulated players from free agency, how good of a team could I assemble? We could debate various particulars (Lee Stempniak or spend the extra for Jagr ...) and tinker a whole helluva lot. (And Geoff can see what a really good fourth line costs in salary - closer to $5m than $2m.)
I offered some players salaries they simply can't refuse - Abdelkader is pricey at $1.5m - and possibly undercut some others - will Ennis sign for under $4m? You try, and see what your lineup looks like. I assumed the cap stayed the same ($64.3m) and you could trim anyone from the roster but only add RFA/UFA players. For an RFA a 10% raise is mandatory to sign them here.
And I apologize to the readers who hate this stuff, but that's why I made the title very clear.
CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR
James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Claude Giroux ($3.750m) / Lee Stempniak ($2.300m)
Tyler Ennis ($3.875m) / Brayden Schenn ($3.110m) / Jakub Voracek ($2.850m)
Matt Read ($0.900m) / Sean Couturier ($1.375m) / Wayne Simmonds ($1.750m)
Daniel Winnik ($1.350m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.480m) / Maxime Talbot ($1.750m)
Cody McLeod ($1.100m) / / Harry Zolnierczyk ($0.990m)
Kimmo Timonen ($6.333m) / Braydon Coburn ($4.500m)
Matt Carle ($4.500m) / Milan Jurcina ($1.900m)
Andrej Meszaros ($4.000m) / Mike Commodore ($1.000m)
Chris Pronger ($4.921m) / Erik Gustafsson ($0.900m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,284,762; BONUSES: $3,555,000
CAP SPACE (24-man roster): $15,238
Obviously you would gain space if Pronger goes to LTIR; if he doesn't then Gus isn't necessary. And Scrabble is a call-up, but I wanted to include him anyway.