Uninformed Speculation: How to make Veron fit.
Yesterday's post on the salary cap implications of adding Veron to the roster inspired some great comments, and Skippy summarized the reaction like this: "Wow. I think you turned everyone sour on Veron with a single post." That was not my intent, but I can see why it happened. Things look really tight, especially if we're not just trying to add Veron, but also give Gomez a raise to keep him, and to add another player (either defensive depth or a good forward option - I think we get one or the other, not both.) So how will it happen?
First, let me be clear: I have no inside information of any sort, but I think we can take a reasoned approach and come up with an approximation. Veron is not coming to DC without the Designated Player rule, but I doubt he gets anything close to $10M per year. In fact, over $5M per year would be somewhat stunning. A two year deal (or, more likely, one year plus one option year) for $3M-$4M base salary would seem reasonable, with incentives and bonuses that could reach $5M. That still means we get a $400,000 cap hit, but even that is manageable.
Let's start with Vanney. My guess is United renegotiates his contract to somewhere in the 80K-130K range, and then trades him. No one is likely to want Vanney with his existing salary (in fact, United didn't take him without Colorado picking up much of the tab (Erpen's salary, which was around $120K if I recall correctly, was all United was on the hook for.) Still, that's only a savings of about $150K. United does have some allocation room left even after the Fred and Emilio signings, so that may get us another $50K. To me, that means you can add Veron just with the Vanney renegotiation. But what about other players?
To me, there are three decent options: Trade Vanney at the new contract price for allocation money, or rework Jaime Moreno's deal (almost $300K is a lot for his current production, even factoring in a "soul of the team" premium), or consider trading... Bryan Namoff. At nearly $90K, he's reasonably priced but still taking up a chunk of salary. I can see other teams being interested in him, and being willing to give up allocation money or a decent third forward option for anything from 50-120K. I don't like the idea, since we're not exactly deep at right bank, but it is something that I think should be in people's minds. Another option is to trade Boswell, who is very cheap against the cap, could command a decent return in either allocation money or personnel. The problem with trading Boswell is that he is a cap value right now, and his trade value is reduced since he was on the bench. It might make more sense to deal Boswell midseason if that's the way you want to go (and, really, I don't want to go that way, but I am horribly biased).
So I think there are ways of making this work, it's just going to be tight, especially if we're not just looking at Veron, but Veron plus one other starter. And it could be awkward.