What I'd want to buy for $28 million

Updated: September 28, 2006, 12:13 AM ET
By E.J. Hradek | ESPN The Magazine

Hradek's Dream Rosters: $44 million cap | $36 million cap | $28 million cap

MY $28 MILLION TEAM
Position Player Team Salary
Goalie Cam Ward Hurricanes $684,000
Hradek: The Conn Smythe Trophy winner has a place on each of my teams. His current salary makes him easy to fit under any salary structure.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist Rangers $1.8795M
Hradek: I'm taking a bit of a chance with two young goalies, but these two guys are really good.
First Line: Left Wing Henrik Zetterberg Red Wings $2.65M
Hradek: I did what I could to keep him on this roster, too.
First Line: Center Sidney Crosby Penguins $3.7M
Hradek: I have to take advantage of his reasonable cap hit. When his entry-level contract runs out after the 2007-08 season, his salary will go up dramatically.
First Line: Right Wing Marek Svatos Avalanche $1.05M
Hradek: Here's a new addition. Svatos just signed a one-year deal with Colorado. I liked what he did last year, and the price is right.
Second Line: Left Wing Andrew Brunette Avalanche $800,000
Hradek: Bruno remains a bargain and well slotted as a second line left wing.
Second Line: Center Craig Conroy Kings $2.394M
Hradek: If I can, I keep my centers. There's still room in the smaller budget for Conroy.
Second Line: Right Wing Petr Prucha Rangers $537,500
Hradek: On this team, I've moved Prucha up to the second line. I'm hoping he clicks with Conroy and Brunette.
Third Line: Left Wing Jay Pandolfo Devils $836,000
Hradek: What can I say? He's valuable and affordable. I just wish he wasn't a Red Sox fan.
Third Line: Center Derek Roy Sabres $627,000
Hradek: The Sabres get a lot of mileage out of Roy. My teams will do the same.
Third Line: Right Wing Chris Clark Capitals $1.051M
Hradek: The Connecticut-born Clark is another Red Sox fan. Despite that, I'm keeping him on the roster.
Fourth Line: Left Wing Niklas Hagman Stars $675,000
Hradek: His speed and salary again make him a fit.
Fourth Line: Center Sammy Pahlsson Ducks $637,500
Hradek: Pahlsson is a good role-playing center that meets my salary requirements.
Fourth Line: Right Wing Darcy Hordichuk Predators $460,000
Hradek: I thought this team might need a little extra toughness. I believe Hordichuk brings some value for his near-minimum salary.
Defenseman Sergei Zubov Stars $4M
Hradek: He's really a bargain at this price. He gave the Stars a bit of a hometown discount last summer. Among his many duties, he can quarterback my power play.
Defenseman Niclas Wallin Hurricanes $1.725M
Hradek: Big and strong, Wallin impressed during the Carolina's Cup run last spring.
Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky Kings $1.824M
Hradek: A holdover from the $36 million team, Visnovsky is another bargain.
Defenseman Shea Weber Predators $610,300
Hradek: Another talented youngster who will give me bang for the buck.
Defenseman Dion Phaneuf Flames $785,300
Hradek: Again, talent and salary make him a fit.
Defenseman Duvie Westcott Blue Jackets $500,000
Hradek: He'll again be asked to fill the role of the sixth D-man on this team. With such a low payroll, his salary makes him very valuable.
Healthy Scratch: Defenseman Paul Ranger Lightning $450,000
Hradek: Congratulations, Paul, you made all three teams. Now, I just have to get you some ice time.
Healthy Scratch: Forward Ryan Craig Lightning $495,000
Hradek: The Bolts have a lot of valuable, inexpensive role players. Craig is another one of them.
HRADEK'S GRAND TOTAL SPENT: $28,371,100

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.