As long as Wang is prepared to spend more than what he is allowed to spend under this CBA - almost certainly the case - the Islanders are in good shape with this contract:
- If DiPietro does turn out to be an elite goalie, the Isles have a great deal.
- If DiPietro turns out to be an average goalie who is overpaid at $4.5 million, it is not a millstone for the hockey operation. It is only Wang's money at stake and he apparently is prepared to risk it. If the worst happens, Charles Wang has the most expensive goalie in the AHL. His contract will always clear waivers. The Islanders will always be able to create cap space by demoting him.
The Leafs are also a team that is willing to spend more than the cap. Why shouldn't they be looking at this method?
They could have offered Chara and Redden 12 year deals for $5 mil a year. When the players aren't worth it anymore, demote them to the farm and face no cap hit.
Budget $70 million for salary like a few years ago. That means you can have $25 million or so on the farm. So, next year, offer some UFA like Doan, Smyth, Datsyuk some contracts that will pay them into their mid 40s decent money for reductions over the start of the contract.
They just have to be willing to collect that money on a farm team.
UPDATE: Comment from Tom B in the comments of his post ...
The Islanders don't have to require him to actually report and they probably wouldn't want him to actually report. Andreychuk was demoted to the AHL last season and was paid his NHL salary to stay home.
Seems like a good way to get around the cap.
UPDATE2: Let's take the Anson Carter case:
The Leafs would love to get someone that could score an even strength goal but could only really afford him at $750,000 because they are still paying Domi and Belfour. Carter is 32 and wanted a 3 year, $3mil a year deal but nobody would bite. Say he's going to collect $12 million over the course of the rest of his career.
The Leafs could offer him a 16 year deal at $750,000 a year totalling $12 million with the understanding that once he can't make the team he gets demoted but never reports to the minors.
UPDATE3: I guess JFJ has to pick a different guy.