Teams are allowed to go over the cap by player on LTIR's salary.
So, it could be that the Pens with what they were under the cap and the LTIR overage can afford (via cap hit) those two players.
I realize that teams are allowed to go over the cap by the player on LTIR's salary but his salary still counts, what confuses me is that if you have X in accumulated cap space, at what point are you determined to go over the daily cap and into LTIR?
To understand how each team's cap count is calculated, think of a bank account. For the 2009-10 season, teams got a "deposit" of about $294,300 each day which they can spend on player salaries [$56,800,000 salary cap upper limit / 193 days in the season]. The difference left over is "payroll room," or the amount that has been "banked" for the future, if needed. "Payroll room" can never fall below zero, meaning teams can't borrow from the future to pay for today. Everyone on a team's roster counts toward the cap, including players on the:
Long-term injured reserve
Players sent to minors on conditioning assignment
Players on waivers, until such a time they are reassigned
Players on emergency recall
Players signed to 35-plus contracts, less $100,000 if assigned to minors.
NOTE: Players on a team's active roster, injured reserve, injured non-roster or non-roster as of 5 p.m. New York time on a particular day will count toward the team's upper limit. In addition, if a player practices or travels with his NHL team or plays in an NHL game prior to 5 p.m. and is then assigned to the minors, he will still count for that day.
Also included are:
Deferred salary and bonuses
The way I read it, that would mean that the daily limit is always equal to the yearly salary cap divided by the total days in the season, and that after the daily limit, you tap into your accumulated payroll room, and after that you go into your LTIR replacement.
But that doesn't seem quite right because it would seem to me that if you call a player up and tap into LTIR and then send them down, afterwards, you'd have zero payroll room.