5 NHL Teams Freeing Themselves Of The Most Dead Cap After The Season

Many teams have been fortunate enough or smart enough to keep buyouts and retained salary to a minimum. Those teams won't appear here. It is the teams who have signed players to long-term contracts that start to look very bad before they are over and are forced to be bought out. Here are the five teams who will free themselves of the most dead cap after the 2022-23 season.

5. Edmonton Oilers- $2.5 million

The Oilers are right up against the cap with more players to sign next season. They have three different players contributing to the dead cap on their team, but fortunately have two of them coming off the books after this season.

When the Oilers traded Milan Lucic for James Neal, they retained $750,000 in Lucic's salary each season until the end of his deal. That contract ends after the 2022-23 season and that money no longer affects the cap hit each year. The other chunk of money coming off the books is the $1.5 million owed to Andrej Sekera. That frees up $2.5 million in cap space for the team next season.

The team still has to pay one more player for three more seasons, and that's Neal. The Oilers really lost that trade seeing as neither Lucic or Neal are playing for them, but they are paying them a combined $2.67 million this season.

4. New York Rangers- $3.428 million

The Rangers are freeing themselves of three bought out players after this season. Kevin Shattenkirk's $1.433 million, Dan Girardi's $1.11 million, and Tony DeAngelo's $883,334 will all come off the books and the team will have an extra $3.428 million to work with. This money will be integral to re-signing the young talent they have who will be needing new contracts next offseason.

3. Chicago Blackhawks- $3.5 million

The Blackhawks got the short end of the stick when Duncan Keith retired because they got the recapture penalty. This forces them to pay $5.538 million against the cap this season and $1.938 million next season. The team will have $6.788 million in dead cap for the 2022-23 season.
The good news is the Blackhawks aren't a contender and they will free themselves of $3.5 million after the season. Keith's recapture penalty actually gives them $3.6 million off but the team has to pay Henrik Borgstrom $100,000 more next season. The Blackhawks will still have Brett Connolly's $1.167 million buyout penalty for the next two seasons.

2. Detroit Red Wings- $4.18 million

The Red Wings look to be an improved team after the number of underrated signings this offseason. They still have a lot of cap space to work with but are going to be getting even more after the season to help with re-signing key players.

The team retained $1.375 million of Richard Panik's contract which will be ending after the season. On top of that, the Red Wings are still paying Justin Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen's buyout penalties of $2.806 million this season. It is the last year Nielsen is getting money while Abdelkader's cap hit goes from $2.306 million to $1.056 for three more years.

1. Florida Panthers- $5.333 million

The reigning Presidents' Trophy winners may have a bit of trouble with the cap this season, but they will be freeing themselves of the most cap space in the NHL next season. Keith Yandle's buyout is costing them $5.392 million in 2022-23 while the team is paying Scott Darling $1.183 million this year as well due to a buyout.

Darling's cap hit comes off the books after this season while Yandle's drop to very manageable $1.242 million for two more seasons.

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