Pierre LeBrun of ESPN twatted (I spelled it right as far as I’m concerned), that Gary Bettman stated today the NHL salary cap could up by $2 million for the 2010-2011 season.

Apparently Bettman announced this on one of the NHL satellite radio shows of which I am not privy to listening.

That would bring the cap to 58.8 million if it went up by exactly 2 million. Based on this notion, allow me to share with you what very well could be a momentary lapse in sanity and/or judgment.

The Kings sit at just under ~$45 million next year, accounting for 8 forwards (Kopitar, Brown, Smyth, Williams, Stoll, Handzus, Simmonds, Parse), 6 defenseman (Doughty, Scuderi, Greene, Johnson, Drewiske and Harrold), and Quick and Ersberg.

So that would leave ~14 million to play with to fill 5-6 roster spots.

Well, we can probably safely remove Ersberg and sub in Bernier. That adds only about 100k to the total. Negligible for my purposes.

Then lets say, for the sake of the argument, Voynov makes the team. That adds another 850k. So we’re bumping close to 46 million.

Two young forwards probably make it out of camp. For fun, let’s say those are Loktionov and Clifford. That’s another 1.7ish million on the books. Pushin’ 48 million now.

Wait wait wait, Westgarth. Need a Westgarth in there. He makes pocket change (doesn’t it kind of make you gag that ‘pocket change’ appropriately applies, in context, to a sum of $525,000 a year?).

OK. So what we’ve got now?

We’ve got

11 forwards

7 defenseman

2 goalies

For about $48.5 million. That’s ten to play with to fill two roster spots.

First of all, the defense needs something. Let’s pretend Sean O’Donnell resigns. 1 year @ 1 million sound right? It does to me.

What’s the team look like?

Smyth-Kopitar-Williams

Loktionov-Stoll-Brown

Parse-Handzus-Simmonds

Clifford-Richardson-Westgarth

Doughty-Scuderi

Johnson-Voynov

O’Donnell-Greene

Well that kind of sucks, doesn’t it?

OK so lets dump one of the two defensemen sitting on the bench. Harrold, sorry buddy, see ya later.

That only saved us less than 600k. We have ~10 million to play with.

Well, I can think of $8 million of something.

Kovalchuk-Kopitar-Williams

Smyth-Stoll-Brown

Parse/Clifford-Handzus-Simmonds

Clifford/Loktionov-Richardson-Westgarth/Parse

Doughty-Scuderi

Johnson-Voynov

O’Donnell-Greene

Wait a minute… no that can’t be right. Does that look like a bona fide contending team to you?

Eh, well, the forwards are good, but the D could be a problem.

Darn. Foiled again.

Or not. Rookie bonus account for about $3 million of that!

So screw OD. Thanks for all you’ve done good sir, but get a cybernetic knee replacement and then we’ll talk about another year with the world’s best skaters. Chelios is probably getting lonely. Go give the guy a boost, he’s so damn close.

Oh man, now we have 4 million to go get ourselves… lets say… erm… uhh… damn. I really want to say Hamhuis. No, no. We just spent 8 frickin’ million bucks on that 50 goal scorer. You know who I want? Seidenberg. He played well, let’s give the guy 2.75 million for two years. Really though, this spot can be filled by so many defensemen out there that will cost between 2 and 3 million on short term (Eaton, Ward, Ference, Pothier, Morris, Wallin, Exelby, Krajicek – to name a few), that you can pick your poison.

So…

Kovalchuk-Kopitar-Simmonds

Smyth-Stoll-Brown

Parse/Clifford-Handzus-Williams

Clifford/Loktionov-Richardson-Westgarth/Parse

Doughty-Scuderi

Johnson-Seidenberg (or your flavor of the year)

Greene-Voynov

Quick

Bernier

Now there’s your team. And if you don’t believe the numbers (assuming the cap does rise), here are the numbers using Cap Geek.

2010-11 Salary Cap Calculator

2010-11 Los Angeles Kings
PLAYER BONUS CAP HIT
FORWARDS
* Ilya Kovalchuk $8,000,000
Anze Kopitar $6,800,000
Ryan Smyth $6,250,000
Michal Handzus $4,000,000
Jarret Stoll $3,600,000
Justin Williams $3,500,000
Dustin Brown $3,175,000
Kyle Clifford ($135,000) $900,000
Scott Parse $900,000
Andrei Loktionov ($212,500) $845,833
Wayne Simmonds ($240,000) $821,667
Kevin Westgarth $525,000
DEFENSEMEN
Drew Doughty ($2,600,000) $3,475,000
Rob Scuderi $3,400,000
Matt Greene $2,950,000
* Dennis Seidenberg $2,750,000
Jack Johnson $1,425,000
Vyacheslav Voinov $845,833
Davis Drewiske $616,667
GOALTENDERS
Jonathan Quick $1,800,000
Jonathan Bernier $843,333
BUYOUTS
Alyn McCauley $666,667
LOST VIA REENTRY WAIVERS
NONE
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS
ROSTER SIZE 21
SALARY CAP $56,800,000
PAYROLL $58,090,000
BONUSES $3,187,500
CAP SPACE $1,897,500

Hell, that fits even if the cap doesn’t go up. If it does, you have almost 4 million left including bonus, and are even under the cap with the bonuses.  You still have a roster spot left for any number of players.  You could probably go ahead and sign Hamhuis you crazy kids.

When discussing such high numbers, 2 million may not seem like a ton, but boy does it ever make a big difference. Don’t ask me what happens the year after, I already have a headache. I’d like to thank Jeff Solomon for doing this kind of thing that I don’t have to.