Well damn, an already thin blue line will be without their best DMan in Matt Niskanen. Suffered a hand injury in the NJ game and will be out for the next 10 games.
I knew Alzner and Shattenkirk would be gone in FA due to cap constraints, but this really highlights why it was a mistake in not protecting Schmidt in the expansion draft.
The real root in that is that Bowey and Djoos are better than Schmidt. They were really trying to commit to mixing in some youth (already heard them talking about grooming Bowey for when Carlson leaves) and were stuck with Orpik's deal. So extending Orlov meant they were committing to him, and the really young kids over Alzner and Schmidt.
It sucks in the short term when you are thinking compete now, but if you think about the really big picture it makes sense. Hopefully Orpik's deal runs out in time to reinvest that money into another pending young guy, but we were always going to have to pick and choose and reload with cheaper young players if we want to try to extend things. Signing Kuzy and Oshie shows they are planning beyond this current window.
The mis step is that they should have traded MoJo and whoever else they are going to lose for a better young return vs. being forced into it and getting pennies on the dollar. Grubauer is another one that comes to mind. Then they are going to have to find some better value for the 3rd/4th lines instead of paying that $3m-4m premium for FA. That's where your roster gets bloated and costs you resigning players later.
I personally don't think we can afford to lose Carlson, but I guess they want him to prove he's that legit #1 D this year, hence playing him 30 min a game.