Dude's shipping off to Boston. Contract year = better performances.
If Malkin gets the big salary through abitration/whatever and they want to keep the likes of Fleury, Whitney, Malone etc. (not end up like Tampa Bay did), he'll be delt out to LA in something like a 5-1 deal.
Neither of us can say for certain regarding Hossa, so it's kind of pointless to settle on him going to Boston (we do recall how unhappy he was in an Atl uniform, and Boston isn't much better). He's on the Pens right now and came inches from a cup. He also has the benefit of playing on the wing of the game's best playmaker. It might be enough to twist his arm into taking a little less money to stay and become part of a possible dynasty. 6 years, 6-7 million is doable for Pittsburgh, if they're willing to hit the top of the salary cap. Seeing as next year's season tickets have already been sold out, Crosby and Malkin are 1 and 2 for top jersey sales, and the team just made it to the SCF, I'm guessing they don't have to worry much about revenues. Plus I'm hoping Hossa's marginal regular season scares off potential offerers.
Malone is born and raised in Pit. He is going to want to say. That being said, this is the year for him to shop if he wants the big big money. Playing on a line with Malkin, on such a strong team bumped his numbers to as high as they would likely go. I like the guy, and really hope he stays.
Fleury isn't going anywhere IMO. Mark my words there.
Orpik is the defenseman you were thinking of as a FA. Whitney is locked in long term.
Roberts and Sydor are going to be sent packing, clearing up a healthy 3-5 million.
Keep in mind that Malkin and Staal are signed through next year, so their contract hits will not occur in 08. There are means of front-end or back-end loading contracts to dictate which years big costs will hit. It's kind of like faulty accounting, but legal. Watch for the Flyers in 3 years when they'll have a majority of their guys locked in still with the lower end of their contracts kicking in; they'll have lots of money and lots of room to go after big time players (maybe a goalie would be nice...please don't flame me with "Biron played awesome" stuff cause the guy just doesn't cut it).
I've heard the big trade with the Kings thing before with Ovechkin (you mentioned Malkin). Thing is, if you're going to do it for financial reasons, getting all of those players in return is going to end up costing you more, even if you let go of some others...Maybe LA would cover some of the contracts but I am not really sure. Dustin Brown, O'Sullivan, Kopitar, Frolov, and Jack Johnson are all some serious talents.
Pens in '09.