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There's no crying in hockey!

General managers around the NHL are whining once again while one of their brethren outfoxes them. Everyone expected New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello to conduct a fire sale in order to get under the $44 million salary cap, but today he got clearance from the league to assign Alexander Mogilny (and his $3.5 million salary) to Long Term Injury status. In a nutshell, that means that while Mogilny is unable to play, the Devils can spend an additional amount over the normal cap, up to Mogilny's salary. Other GM's are up in arms over this, because it never occured to them that a player over 35 could land on the LTI list. Many assumed that if you had a geezer on a big contract, that you were stuck with him, as the new CBA says that even retired players can count against the cap. The Devils aren't gaming the system here - Mogilny has a degenerative hip condition and legitimately can't play.

In a related move, Lamoriello traded Vladimir Malakhov and a first-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for Igor Korolyuk and Jim Fahey. Malakhov isn't going to play this year either, but unlike Mogilny, he's not going on the LTI list. Instead, the Devils basically unloaded his $3.6 million salary on the Sharks, who have the cap room to absorb it. In exchange for doing so, they're getting that first-round pick. That's an idea that I had mused about in message boards over the summer, but the notion got ripped at the time. Lamoriello and Bobby Clarke have clearly outperformed their peers this offseason in Salary Capology, leaving their lessers to do nothing but complain. You have to love some of the juicy GM quotes from that TSN piece:

'This opens up a real can of worms for the league,'
'This is going to get ugly.'
'It doesn't break any rules, but it still has a smell to it. It stinks.'

Boo-freaking-hoo, boys, get your game on and get to work. The guys one the ice aren't the only ones competing for that Stanley Cup.