That could be a pretty big positive next year when the cap goes down or even this year. One year we picked up Ehrhoff for peanuts (make that stale peanuts) just because we had the room. In the new CBA that could be huge.
If I'm not mistaken, retaining/trading salary and cap is not a transitional clause but now a standard policy that is allowed between all 30 teams. However, I'm pretty sure there is a maximum amount of cap space and salary that can be traded each season. This shouldn't affect the Leafs ability to make deals like this every season if they wanted to - they only have to make sure they work within the confines of the maximum allowed.
Yes, I know its not a transitional clause but thought there was a limit of 2 per year. If so, it'd be wise to save one for a future trade.
Just googled it and wiki says:
A Club may have up to a maximum of three (3) SPCs on its Cap per League Year as to which a portion of the AA and Salary have been retained in a Player Trade
So we could use it on Connolly and still have 1 left.