Apparently Asham is still in contact with his most recent team, the Philadelphia Flyers. the Vancouver Canucks were one team mentioned to be interested in Asham. And this makes complete sense. He's exactly the kind of gritty third line winger the Canucks need. And you know what? He's got some skills. No, he's not a scoring forward, but he's a fast skater, tenacious forechecker and can stickhandle better than your average checker. Pair him with Malhotra and a more skilled bottom-sixer like Hansen and you have the makings of a very good third-line.
So the latest buzz is that Aaron Asham is likely to sign somewhere before the end of this week. Ilya Kovalchuk has signed, most likely opening the proverbially floodgates.
Then all the team has left to do is re-sign Raymond, nab one or two fourth line forwards (I'd like to see at least two of Glen Metropolit, Stephane Yelle and Steve Begin wearing the Orca. All three are aging, but are still gritty leaders with play-off experience).
And hey...if Willie Mitchell is willing to sign for 1.5 to 2 million, why not re-sign him?
Then it's just a matter of shedding salary. Kevin Bieksa can be traded for a late-2nd/3rd round pick. Darcy Hordichuk can be waived/bought-out/traded for future considerations (a bag of pucks and some french fries). Jeff Tambellini and Joel Perrault can enjoy some time in the future home of the reborn Winnipeg Jets. If Mitchell returns, Shane O'Brien can always be found a new home.
So? Where does that leave us?
It's tight under the cap...but manageable.