PuckToons: An Extreme Approach to Salary Cap Management

Every Thursday, Earl Sleek will conspire with his pen and scanner to bring you another installment of PuckToons. Hopefully you will find these amusing, relevant, well-drawn, or you're a person who is tolerant towards mediocrity.

With NHL training camps opening up in little more than a week, a few teams are still looking to shed salary to get under the $56.7 million cap. A week ago, Dan Wood of the OC Register Duck's Blog posted a list of overcommitted teams, which includes the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals. "The amounts in question range from a few hundred thousand dollars to as much as $4.5 million."

Now I'm not really an expert on the CBA and the salary cap, which is entering its fourth season in the league (don't turn to your cartoonist for technicalities), but I do know there is a Long-Term Injury allowance that lets teams temporarily outspend the salary cap while a player is unable to dress.

While I fully expect that the teams in question this summer will fix their salary issues through traditional means (trades and expensive demotions), I do wonder what the future has in store for spend-happy general managers. Will they ever get to the point where a budget-dictated surgery becomes a cap-cheating strategy? It's unlikely, I suppose, but if it ever does happen, I hope they'll now cut me in on the cap savings.

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