Caps could face amnesty dilemma

Caps could face amnesty dilemma
December 12, 2012, 3:45 pm
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OK, for the sake of argument, let’s go out on that brittle limb and say the NHL settles its three-month dispute with the players this week and ends this lockout.

Let’s also assume the NHL lowers its salary cap by about $10 million, instituting a new $60 million cap while allowing teams to amnesty one player.

How would the amnesty clause work and which player would you nominate from the Capitals’ roster?

Following the NBA model from last year, an NHL team could cut one player from its roster, eliminating his salary from the team’s cap.

Other NHL teams could claim the amnestied player at a reduced rate, with the original team paying the balance of the contract without taking a cap hit. If an amnestied player is not claimed, he would become an unrestricted free agent.

Let’s start with the Capitals’ current payroll. It stands at $61.2 million, just above the proposed limit. Next year that payroll number drops to $43.1 million with just 12 players under contract.

Among the players they have locked up long term, the Caps seem happy with their investments in Alex Ovechkin [9 years, $85.8 million], Nicklas Backstrom [8 years, $53.6 million], Brooks Laich [5 years, $22.5 million], John Carlson [6 years, $23.8 million], Mike Green [3 years, $18.2 million] and Troy Brouwer [4 years, $13.4 million].

But what about Joel Ward [3 years, $9 million], Mathieu Perreault [2 years, $2.1 million] or Jason Chimera [2 years, $3.5 million]?

Ward, 32, was a major disappointment last season with six goals and 18 points, but was he used properly by Dale Hunter?

Perreault, 24, surprised everyone by scoring 16 goals, but can he do it again?

Chimera, 33, delivered a nice bang for the buck with a career-high 20 goals, but was than a mirage?

Go ahead and make the call. If you could amnesty one Capital, who would it be? Join the conversation below: