NHL

Cap conundrums spark trade buzz

FOX Sports The Toronto Star
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Some NHL teams make trades because of salary cap restraints. Cap-crunched teams hit with injuries, though, are in a special kind of hell. They get relief this year for players on long-term injured reserve, but the amount by which they go over the cap comes off their limit next year. Some would be better off moving players now. A look at the prime candidates (2010-11 salaries from capgeek.com) :

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

2010-11 salaries: $58,053,790

The situation: Putting Jeff Finger on waivers frees up $3.5 million as of noon Wednesday, giving GM Brian Burke a total of $4 million to play with. In retrospect, Burke was wise to steer clear of Boston's Marc Savard and his headaches, physical and financial.

The solution: Burke can improve his club in small ways. He's done it before, taking G Olaf Kolzig off Tampa's hands along with a fourth-round pick. The Leafs covet Tampa's Ryan Malone ($4.5 million) and New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner ($2.8 million).

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

2010-11 salaries: $62,828,593

The situation: The Devils are over the cap, but get relief due to injuries to Bryce Salvador ($2.9 million) and Anssi Salmela.

The solution: The Devils have to trade players. They are too tight to the cap, only dressing 15 players the other day. Constant rumours have Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston ($5 million) on the trade block.

PHILADELPHIA

FLYERS

2010-11 salaries: $59,422,933

The situation: Long-term injuries to Ian Laperriere ($1.2 million) and Michael Leighton ($1.55 million) create some room.

The solution: Will trade, but don't have to. G Sergei Bobrovsky ($1.75 million) can be demoted when Leighton returns.

CALGARY FLAMES

2010-11 salaries: $64,866,662

The situation: They're $5.4 million over the cap but get relief with five players on long-term IR.

The solution: Bringing in players solves short-term problems, which may be all GM Darryl Sutter cares about. Long term, they must move salary. How many Jay Bouwmeester fans are left?

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

2010-11 salaries: $63,242,993

The situation: Three players on long-term IR.

The solution: Could trade one of six defencemen who earn more than $3 million.

BOSTON BRUINS

2010-11 salaries: $64,805,024

The situation: The Bruins were in a bind faster than you can say "post-concussion syndrome." Marc Savard (seven years, $28 million) was shopped, but there were no takers.

The solution: Veteran Michael Ryder ($4 million) could find himself in the minors.

DALLAS STARS

2010-11 salaries: $51,060,833

The situation: Owner Tom Hicks is bankrupt. The team missed the playoffs. The Stars are more than $8 million under the cap and want to spend even less.

The solution: Move Brad Richards ($7.8 million in final year) or Mike Ribeiro ($15 million over three years), arrested for public intoxication Sunday.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

2010-11 salaries: $48,234,416

The situation: More than $11 million under the cap but new ownership runs a tight ship.

The solution: Start those Vinny Lecavalier ($7.7 million) to Montreal rumours all over again. The Leafs, as mentioned, like winger Ryan Malone.

Kevin McGran

Tagged: Bruins, Stars, Devils, Flyers, Lightning, Marc Savard, Ian Laperriere, Ryan Malone, Michael Leighton

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