That's the question I have to ask when considering the imminent return of both J.P. Dumont and Taylor Pyatt from long-term injures. It's been so long and this team has played so well that guys like Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Danny Paille feel like the regulars while Dumont and Pyatt are the outsiders.
In case you're wondering, I won't feel that way when Danny Briere returns. With Goose returning from his head bump and Scud grounded because of his adding Pyatt back into the mix is an easy substitution.
Dumont, on the other hand, is more of a problem (aside from my ambivalence towards him). When healthy and motivated he brings a mix of skills to the top lines that no one else on this roster does: sand, hands and a nose for the net. Pominville has taken his role and mutated it. In 24 games JPom has 9 goals and 6 assists and, by a wide margin, the best Shooting % on the team. He's a sniper like Big Al Kotalik, with a heavy shot that really helps drive the power play when he's manning the point. He too has a good nose for the net, skulking around looking for garbage. But he doesn't bring the edge that Dumont does. But, all in all, he's become a very valuable asset to this hockey club.
The obvious thing to do is send Danny Paille back to Rochester allowing him to build on this experience for next season. That's the most likely course of action when both Pyatt and Dumont are inserted into the lineup. Of course, Regier could (perish the though) trade a goalie, or waive Andrew Peters to free up a roster spot, but that doesn't seem likely right now, regardless of the rumors in western Canada. But, when the time comes for Scud or Briere to play one has to think that Pominville is the odd-man out.
... and that would be a shame.
Before the season began this team was deep at Center, RW and Goalie and short on Defensemen and LW'ers. Now, the logjam is even worse because unknown/questionable quantities like JPom, Connolly, Kotalik and Afinogenov have proved invaluable to this team's success. Ugh. The logjam is now a full-fledged beaver dam.
Ruff and Regier are very conservative vis a vis asset management. Ruff is looking forward to the playoffs where he can see the parade to the trainer's room continuing unabated and wants the insurance of having extra bodies to plug holes. Regier won't make a move without someone overpaying in return. I know they both are thinking about how best to navigate the playoffs in such a way as to give us the best chance possible to win it all. Make no mistake, Lindy Ruff is thinking Stanley Cup and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand the situation.
My gut feeling is that no one will be moved (except maybe a goalie + a prospect like Janik or Novotny) and we'll try and manage around the roster limit with creative use of IR until the roster limit is lifted, almost hoping for a series of small injuries that will allow everyone to rotate into the lineup and stay sharp for the stretch run.
If Biron is traded (perish the thought at this point, dammit, Marty is too important in that room) it will be to a Western Conference team. No way does Regier give anyone in the East a chance to burn him that way. We all know the logical partners, the question is how much are those teams willing to pay from their rosters to acquire Smilin' Marty's services. Honestly, I don't think either Vancouver or Edmonton have the depth to give up anyone of significance to tempt Darth Shrewdness.
If Mair is done for the season (NOOOO!!!) then things are a little easier in terms of roster manipulation, but not in terms of the playoffs. The 4th line that started the season, Pyatt/Gaustad/Mair could possibly be the difference maker in a series with Toronto or Philly. Size, speed, sand, the ability to check players making an order of magnitude more money than them and the odd goal... no one else on this roster is capable of all those things.