First, let me say that nothing I write below is based on any rumors floating around. It’s just me putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with, well, something.

A nice post by Chris Lund over at the essential Backhand Shelf blog put my hockey-foggy brain into high gear. He outlines which players are likely to be targets of the “amnesty buyout” this year and next. A few names caught my eye, and I list them in order of preference.

Marian Hossa:

‘is signed into the next decade at a cap hit of over $5 million. He’s still an elite scorer but that tag at his age is too much to justify for most franchises.”

Look, we were willing to forgive the baby Jagr; why couldn’t we do the same for Hossa? The guy can still play, and if you can get him for 2 or 3 years at his current salary, I say go for it.

Johan Franzen:

“is the obvious choice here given his age and his contract which continues through to 2020. A $3.95 million cap hit isn’t totally unsustainable, but the length of the deal is cause for concern.”

Personally, I doubt the Wings wax him, but if they do because of that contract length, he’d sure look nice in black and Vegas gold. The only problem is I’d have to stop calling him “Jackass.”

Ryan Malone:

“He is a serviceable forward who provides value up front, but he doesn’t provide $4.5 million worth of value in addition to a limited no-trade clause. If Ohlund is amnestied in 2013, Malone could be the guy to go next season.”

I’d see if we could help them make the decision to do it this year. he’d look good on the PP.

Martin Havlat:

“Martin Havlat at a $5 million AAV through 2015 is high for a player whose best years are behind him in addition to the standard injury concerns.”

The guy can play. But can he ever stay healthy? There’s risk in this one, but if the salary is low enough, it might be worth it.

Ville Leino:

“It isn’t a ringing endorsement of their 2012 offseason, but the Sabres number one amnesty target has to be Ville Leino who was a massive disappointment in year one. As a guy signed through 2017 who has shown nothing in your uniform to this point, Leino should feel vulnerable.”

I’d take him only at about half the amount AND term as his current contract.

Dany Heatley:

“is obscenely overpaid for a guy whose best years are squarely in the rearview.”

I don’t have a whole lot of interest, as he’s soft and doesn’t play Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey.

There were a few other names like Justin Williams on the list, but they didn’t get my heart pumping like the guys above did. So let the speculation begin. These next two weeks are going to be crazy!