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"We're going to be spending enough money to ice a competitive team."
-Avs GM Francois Giguere
Competitive? Did the Bruins replace the Avs? With all the Avs signings this season so far the Avs have a cap hit of approximately $41.1M dollars according to NHLnumbers.com (which hasn't added in the Parker or Ledin contracts yet making it $42.2M). This is just a measly $400k more than the Nashville Predators, a team that was apparently purchased using a sub-prime loan. To be fair Marek Svatos, Cody McCormick and Cody McLeod (total after all is s aid and done will be ~$3M) all have qualifying offers on the table so that number will increase. They have obviously left some money on the table for Joe Sakic, but even at last year's salary ($6.75M) this would leave just over $6M ~$4.75M (h/t to DD who caught my math mistake) in unspent salary this season.
I'm operating under a budget that allows for a competitive team, If you look at last year, we were probably $3 million below the cap up until the trade deadline, and on trade deadline, we spent almost $2 million. I'm a big believer that you need to leave some flexibility in your budget to be able to do things if things happen during the year.
-FG
Fair enough but $6-10M $4.75-10M is more than just leaving some room for some flexibility. The generally accepted theory for the current frugality this season has been that the Avs need to keep salary free for the upcoming Stastny extension, but this seems to be a convenient excuse to me.

The Avs currently have $33.9 invested in 11 players next season; 5 defenders, and 7 forwards (0 goalies). Throw $8M at Stastny and the Avs salary cap situation starts to look a little tight, but certainly workable. Of those 12, 5 would be defense (the most expensive players) and 4-6 would be top-6 forwards (If you include Hensik and Tucker as top 6). With a modest cap increase of $3.3M the Avs would still have $18M to sign 13-15 players. Most of those players will be RFA's (Jones, Budaj) or Chek/4th liners that won't get more than $1.5M (Guite, Lappy.). Even signing a modest FA contract this season (And Federov, Peca and Morrison's contracts should be looking more modest with each passing day) the Avs should still have plenty of money for a Stastny extension and either Sakic's last season or a top UFA next season.

That makes this season's thriftiness all the more puzzling. I don't think any Avs fan expected Hossa or Redden but I think we all thought we'd get something more than what we've gotten. (no offense to Tucker).

(Hat Tip to Frei of the DP for the FG quotes)