The question I pose is this: If an NHL GM were allowed to pick any of the NHL UFAs who were unsigned as of
August 1, 2010, is there enough talent in that group of players such that a GM could build a contender around them?
To avoid any possible hint of confusion: Yes, Kovalchuk is indeed an unsigned UFA on August 1, 2010. Yes, he is
unsigned. He counts. He is included. Count Kovalchuk in. Also, note the words, "build a contender around them." That
means can these players serve as the foundation such that with trades, AHL signings, drafting, NCAA signings,
European League signings, and KHL signings, the GM would be able to have a team that is able to get to the playoffs
and go deep into the playoffs. Also, to be absolutely certain there is no hint of misunderstanding, the GM is not
required to win the Stanley Cup straight out of the box with the signings.
My answer to that question is yes, as of August 1, 2010, among the group of human beings living on planet earth,
who were considered unsigned UFAs, they had sufficient talent that around them an NHL GM could build a contending
NHL team. Although permutations of players and lines are entirely proper, one set of lines includes the following as