When NHL free agency kicks off at noon today, many teams around the league will use the extra money they have under the salary cap to try to improve their squad. After issuing qualifying offers to Jason Akeson, Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning, and Tye McGinn — and not issuing offers to Marc-Andre Bourdon, Cullen Eddy, Tyler Brown, Kyle Flanagan, and Cal Heeter — new GM Ron Hextall is left with a bill of $236,429 over the cap. The team is allowed to go up to 10% over the hard cap.
It’s been a not-so-well kept secret that Hextall is desperately trying to dump Vinny Lecavalier and his $4.5 million salary cap hit on anyone who will take him, but as of yet that’s been nobody. In fact, due to his handcuffing by the salary cap, Hextall is more likely to make a splash in a trade than via free agency. That doesn’t mean we won’t all get a little anxious when noon rolls around, it just means that anxiety won’t be added upon or relieved. But hey, that also means no ridiculous giant contracts. That’s always nice.
UPDATE: In ultimate optimism, I mistakenly reported that the Flyers were under the cap.