MoJo is a legitimate second line wing. He's proven that. Sure, might not be one of the Caps. But he ranks favorably to other forwards and is at worst in the 80th percentile. Won't have any trouble moving him if they need to. Lars Eller is a nice 3C. Stood out to me as a guy who consistently moved the puck down the ice despite having a revolving door of wings. Strong defensively and I think he has some untapped potential on offense that the Caps can help him unleash.
Alzner can be replaced, but unless the Caps make Vegas take Orpik to get Ross Mahoney (very plausible idea that has been done in past expansion drafts), simply not enough space for him moving forward. He's not worth overpaying for. You can always swap Johansson for a D similar or better than Alzner. Have a feeling either Orpik or MoJo will be gone at the expansion draft. Hoping it's Orpik, but if the Caps have to let MoJo go to create more cap space and protect their D, so be it.
Keep Kuzy and Oshie. Those are the important guys. Having MoJo around at least forces Jakub Vrana to earn a spot rather than handing it to him. FWIW, my projections had MoJo worth $4.5 million without the open market factor. So not a terrible overpay, especially not for a team that is looking to contend in 2016-17. Alzner is replaceable, but I would like to keep him. Certainly not over Kuzy or Oshie though. If he wants more than $4 million, tell him goodbye and find a better value. Not worth more than that.
Agree with you mostly, except for the Alzner thing. I learned back in the 80's run the value of the guys that can keep the puck out of the zone on an elite level, and Alzner is most definitely one of those. Hatcher was good at it, but more of a two way guy with all that offense. Scott Stevens, Mark Tinordi, Brendan Witt. Niskanen is much more of an offensive guy than defensive. He had a good season this year, but a lot of that was because of who his partner was and being forced to play a certain way.
I think you are right on MoJo, he just doesn't fit the way our roster is built right now. I'm not sure if they are going to go with a scoring or a checking 3rd line yet. They could really go either way with Eller and Wilson I think, if you add MoJo there, it's more of a scoring line, if not, you need a better defensive player to go checking and then where do you put MJ90? 4.5m 4th winger? Part of me wonders if they didn't sign him to that deal with every intention of trading him to GMGM, cause you know he's coming hard for some of his former Caps players, with salary cap and roster space to spare. The plus is that a lot of more veteran guys aren't going to be interested in spending more than half their season in Vegas, and it's not very family friendly. So guys like Oshie, Alzner and others with young families will probably shy away from that.
Hate to break your pipe dream, but zero chance GMGM is going to take Orpik at his age and salary to do a favor to the Caps. A lot more likely that he takes MoJo or Grubauer. He's going to want a guy that he drafted or acquired and want someone young that will be there long enough to see the team grow and contend. A playmaking top 6 winger could be a major target, especially if he thinks he could handle C (he can't).
Not many teams can match the speed the Pens have/had, they built like that at the deadline on purpose, it worked. More mobile isn't going to mean better defense, general rule is the more mobile they are the worse they are defensively. What they banked on is that our forwards wouldn't be able to get back fast enough to help out on rushes, and in the end that's what happened. They should have collapsed and played more conservatively to try to combat it, but that goes against what they did all year, so I can see why they wouldn't want to change up either. Couple that with a good goaltending performance, and we got beat. Not another of those 14 playoff teams pulls that off against us.