I think we all agree that our current roster is a makeshift of parts that when put together don't make anything overly appealing. We have 5 C (Giroux, Schenn, Lecavalier, Couturier, Raffl), 2 LW (Hartnell, Rinaldo) and 5 RW (Voracek, Simmonds, Read, Downie, Hall) where as a traditional roster would have 4 of each.
So my expendable parts here are as follows:
Lecavalier - Some glimpses of brilliance, but overall not better than Schenn or Couturier as a 2C
Downie - A nice trade to acquire him, but we have Raffl who could do just as good a job, minus the occasional lunacy.
Then we have the defense, which is a bit harder to predict given the expiring contracts. So Timonen and Meszaros are not considered here as it is presumed they are gone this offseason. We have 3 DD (Coburn, Schenn, Grossman) 2 OD (Streit and Gustaffson)
Given the potential departure of both Timonen and Meszaros, I would be reluctant to remove another defensemen from this lineup. However if Timonen was to resign I would consider moving Grossman with the proviso that a new defenseman coming in would be able to cover the PK.
So in the perfect world we live in we could package Lecavalier and Downie up with a pick or two or prospect and try and nab a quality defender. We would need to find a trading partner that is in desperate need of a top 2 centre. We would then allow Schenn and Couturier to play the 2C role next season while bringing Laughton in as the 3C where he should be able to excel with decent minutes as opposed to a 4th line role.
Defense remains a work in progress, but we have a good system now which suits our defensemen a lot better than the run and gun of years past. Timonen could be a huge loss, so I hope that he signs for 1 more year and gives the organisation more time in finding that 1-2 Pairing Defender.