Devils Might Find Cap Relief Through Injury…Again

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 30: Bryce Salvador #24 of the New Jersey Devils skates against Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on March 30, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Bruins defeated the Devils 1-0 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Adrian Dater is reporting the Devils might have found a way out of their cap troubles via yesterday’s Bryce Salvador injury.

Dater says Salvador off of the Devils cap on the long-term injury might take some of the trade pressure off of the Devils, although even with Salvador off the books, they would still need to trim salary somewhere to get under the cap.

And Salvador out with a long-term injury, assuming he’s injured enough to require that, would merely delay the Devils’ need to shed salary. It wouldn’t address that need.

The Devils have successfully used the long-term injury exception for cap relief in the past.

Back in 2006 they successfully applied to put Alexander Mogilny on LTI, even though Mogilny stopped playing in the minors and even though his hip injury seemed to be pre-existing, to a certain extent. Plus, Mogilny was on an over-35 contract.

For whatever reason, the Devils were granted the exception and Mogilny’s salary came off of the cap, allowing the Devils to sign Brian Gionta, Paul Martin, David Hale, Erik Rasmussen and Scott Clemmensen.

The Salvador situation is different because he’s an important player the Devils actually want on the ice. Plus, the extent of his injury is still being determined.

But if Salvador is injured enough for the LTI, it’ll save Devils GM Lou Lamoriello a fair amount of wheeling and dealing.

Lamoriello has an incredible talent for becoming absurdly capped out and then miraculously finding an escape route. I can’t imagine he’s happy about the possibility of Salvador being injured, but if Salvador does need to spend some time on the shelf this season, the timing of this injury is pretty impeccable.

Dater also says Jamie Langenbrunner is drawing the most trade interest, but the Devils will probably try to hold onto him, assuming they don’t run out of options.

If the Devils aren’t able to get any good trades going, they always have the option of demoting players to the Panthers’ AHL affiliate.

Between Wade Redden and Michael Nylander, the AHL is starting to look like NHL 2005. It’s almost a marketing strategy. Almost.