If they did an accelerated compliance buyout on Connolly, they still have to carry his full cap hit for the balance of this season. It saves them no money, and clears no space.
I know you can't bury cap in the AHL anymore, but what if someone claims him? I have always been a little fuzzy on the rules for that (are both teams are responsible for portions of the salary?) and I am not sure if the new CBA has altered that process. Does that still count against the cap?