Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/13/05 at 10:31 AM ET
New Jersey, managed by one of the game's most respected GMs, Lou Lamoreillo, has 21 players signed for $43,748,929. Tough decisions await a team that already lost cornerstones on defense and huge figures in the Devils' identity when Scott Stevens retired and Scott Niedermayer signed with Anaheim. Toronto has $39,177,600 committed to 21 players, plus two more salaries that are undisclosed, and that does not include $5,627,000 for ex-Shark Owen Nolan, whose salary is in dispute. And they are not the only teams on the financial edge. Five others -- Dallas, Colorado, the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay and Vancouver -- are within $3 million of the ceiling. These teams don't want to be that close because it limits their ability to add pieces as the season unfolds, and all, with the exception of the Isles, would be considered Stanley Cup contenders, at least in the recent past.
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