Atlanta's cap room pays off
"It's the new NHL, my friend.
It's nice to have cap room."
A lot of teams had enough cap room for Mathieu Schneider and didn't bite when he was available for nothing.
Here's the Toronto Star's Damien Cox on the Ducks' side of the deal:
So without the cap, the Ducks would still have McDonald and Schneider, with Ryan available to play high in their lineup.
In a cap world, however, McDonald and Schneider are gone, and it may be impossible for the club to use Ryan in the short-term.
Schneider getting shipped out was pretty much an inevitability once Scott Niedermayer returned to the lineup last season, as the plan was never to have all three of Schneider, Niedermayer and Pronger clogging up the salary structure.
That it took this long to deal Schneider is perhaps the biggest surprise there.
Andy McDonald, meanwhile, was a casualty of the fact that Todd Bertuzzi had a two-year, $8-million albatross of a contract. Had Brian Burke not inked that boneheaded deal, McDonald's $3.33-million salary would have easily fit, especially last season.
The biggest thing in all this to blame the cap on? The fact that Schneider was so incredibly hard to move. If there wasn't a ceiling, there'd be plenty of well-moneyed takers.
As it turned out, it was only the teams on a tight budget who got in the bidding.