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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Garrioch: 'flat cap' took a bite out of the trade deadline

03/07/2015 at 11:28pm EST

Instead of discussing all the "could'ves" and "nearly" trades that the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch discusses in his sunday column, this reminder of the state of the salary cap as it applied to the trade deadline might set more realistic expectations for fans who believe that no matter what happens to the "upper limit," we'll see another feeding frenzy in July:

Turns out this was the dollars and sense deadline.

"If you were going to take on money it may not have made sense," said a league executive Friday.

Amongst the deals that were made just before last Monday's NHL trade deadline, not many involved players with term which tells you teams are worried where the cap is going to go next year with the Canadian dollar taking a slide and concerns the NHLPA may not use its 5%-inflator.

"Lots of teams are wondering what's going to happen with the cap and they were scare off from doing anything," said another executive.

"That's why they were so careful with their moves."

That doesn't mean there was a shortage of talk. Teams still discuss moves like they're going to make them but when push comes to shove the general manager's found it difficult to get anything done.

Garrioch continues, and if the NHLPA does not use its 5% inflator clause because of escrow withholding concern, the cap might not go up from $68 million to anything more than $69 or $70 million this summer, yielding a cap crunch of a kind we haven't seen in a decade.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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