There's a lot of speculation that could be made on lots of team's but I'm going to focus on a few teams who are in real cap trouble. Easier to speculate on the potential buyouts of the teams who will be more desperate to get under the cap -
The Flyers -
Philly's got 14 forwards, 8 d-men and 2 goalies under contract for 24 players, and they're over the cap by about $2.5 million (give or take). They'll definitely be using a buyout, and probably both of their amnesty buyouts this summer. Here are some candidates:
Danny Briere, 36 RW/C - $6.5 million, 2 years remaining
Scott Hartnell, 31 LW - $4.75 million, 6 years remaining
Ilya Bryzgalov, 32 G - $5.66 million, 7 years remaining
The Canucks -
Vancouver has 17 players under contract for next year. Needing to sign 4 forwards and a couple of defencemen, as well as a goalie to trade/buyout. They're a little over the cap as of right now. Candidates:
David Booth, 28 LW - $4.25 million, 2 years remaining
Keith Ballard, 30 D - $4.2 million, 2 years remaining
Roberto Luongo, 34 G - $5.33 million, 9 years remaining
Just like after they won the Cup in 2010, the Hawks could be poised to have to make some tough cuts after a deep playoff run. They've got 13 forwards, 7 D, and 1 goalie (Crawford) signed through next year. And they're right at the cap. They could use some space to potentially re-sign Bickell and Stalberg, but may have to let them walk. Either way, they'll need a 2nd goalie. Candidates:
Michael Frolik, 25, RW - $2.33 million, 1 year remaining (probably has trade value)
Johnny Oduya, 31, D - $3.9 million, 2 years remaining
Tough call with Chicago. I guess they could buy out Oduya or trade both the aforementioned players. Other than that, all the players making any kind of significant money are the core guys - Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Bolland, Keith, Seabrook, and then to a lesser extent Hjalmersson and Crawford who both have reasonable salaries. I think the Hawks will be more likely to go the trade route to dump a few worth depth players and add some cheap players on entry level deals, like they did in 2010.
The Lightning -
Tampa Bay only has about a million $ of cap space, and will need to sign 3-4 forwards and 1-2 dmen. They will be needing to shed some legitimate salary. Safe bet that two of these three candidates will become UFA's after a buyout:
Vincent Lecavalier, 33 C - $7.72 million, 7 years remaining
Ryan Malone, 33 RW - $4.5 million, 2 years remaining
Mattias Ohlund, 36 D - $3.6 million, 3 years remaining
Les habitants -
Montreal has 10 forwards, 8 D, and 2 goalies under contract. So they'll need to fill in a few spots up front, and have about $2 million to do so.
Brian Gionta, 34 RW - $5 million, 1 year remaining
Tomas Kaberle, 35 D - $4.25 million, 1 year remaining
Andrei Markov, 34 D - $5.75 million, 1 year remaining
Markov is coming off a big year, but he finished the year off healthy, and with his injury history he has to be considered a candidate. They can buy him out since he's no longer on IR, and although he played well this past year, they might want to save on the cap space. More likely that the former two players on the list are bought out, or possibly just Kaberle, depending on what kind of offseason plans they habs have in store.
The Wild -
Minnesota has 12 forwards, 5 D, and 1 Goalie signed, and are about a million under the cap. They'll need some space to sign a forward, 2 or 3 dmen, and a goalie, as well as re-signing RFA Cal Clutterbuck. Here are some buyout candidates:
Dany Heatley, 32 RW - $7.5 million, 1 year remaining
Tom Gilbert, 30 D - $4 million, 1 year
Not much else in Minny, in the way of high priced players. Except for the core guys (Koivu, Parise, Pominville, and Suter. Even Setogucchi is reasonably priced.) Good chance they move Heatley, and probably have to let Cullen and Bouchard walk.
Of course any of these teams could get creative with trades and try to find other teams to take on some salaries. Still these players are some guys to keep an eye on if any of these team's backs are against the cap-wall.