I agree, but I just do not see a way out of the entire mess here for Lou, Bettman's help or not. This is not changing the fact the to sign all of the players he needs to, he is probably going to have to trade someone. Bettman may give Lou some leeway, but even he can only do so much here.
No doubt, Lou has to make his salary fit, but what can be or will be done if it becomes known that Gionta and Martin are signed, have been signed for days, weeks or months and the paperwork simply hasn't been submitted to the league? What can be or will be done if both have signed league minimum 1 year contracts this year, then mysteriously large multi-year deals next year?
What can be or will be done if both have signed league minimum 1 year contracts this year, then mysteriously large multi-year deals next year?
That would require Lou to talk them BOTH into taking one-year deals that would be extremely under their market value. THEN, they would have to be talked into agreeing that a) they ignore the UFA contracts that will be thrown at them in the off-season & b) that they do not demand that Lou repays them with even greater contracts, enough to offset the undervalued contracts for this year.
All in all, that is a lot of smooth talking and convincing that Lou will have to do. If anyone can come out smelling like roses from this, it is him. But I just do not see a way for him not to emerge dirtied up.