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03-12-2012, 02:03 PM
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As I noted in a different thread, the summer will be an odd one to watch unfold - everyone knows that the CBA could undo all of the salary cap limits in September. No one knows how contentious or smooth the NHL-NHLPA negotiations go - the cap could climb up to that $72M limit and just be endorsed with the new CBA, or it could be radically decreased. I'm curious to see which teams / GMs ignore the CBA risk and spend to the new limit and which ones stay conservative in expectations of the cap going down.

My gut feeling is that nearly all of the teams will be cautious about overcommitting to added payroll for fear of the new CBA burning them, and that the prime UFAs like Parise, Suter and Semin will stay unsigned past July 1st.

I definitely don't see the Sabres trying to bump their current payroll much if Regier remains in place - he's typically one to sit back and watch what happens around the league before making decisions. I could see the Sabres being quiet in the summer with only dollar-for-dollar type trades or swapping free agent exits for extensions of their own players; if the new CBA is in place in September and the cap is higher, they would then use training camp as the time to add payroll if necessary.

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