One of the interesting developments in the NBA's lockout resolution was the inclusion of the amnesty clause, a provision that allowed NBA franchises to waive a player and not have his salary count against the salary cap or luxury tax. It's a good deal for the players because they still get paid in full. Teams like it because it frees up cap space and provides a reset button for bad contracts.
Negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA are expected to begin shortly after the All-Star break, and the idea of a similar agreement in some form for the NHL is an option, although it's not at the forefront of discussions.
"[Amnesty has] not even been contemplated or discussed at this point," an NHL source said. "Far too early."
Teams that have a bad contract on the books may push for some form of amnesty in the next CBA, although it may just be the big-market, cap-limit teams that would be interested.
For the players, it would help prevent situations like we currently have with Wade Redden playing in the AHL and Cristobal Huet playing in Switzerland simply because teams wanted to clear salary-cap space, not necessarily because of performance. As long as amnesty would guarantee that 100 percent of their contract be paid, it shouldn't be a tough sell to players.
"From a players standpoint, I don't really see any downside," said Stephen Bartlett, who represents Huet. "They're going to get their money; they're going to get their freedom."
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