The Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals both enter the 2011/12 season with payrolls that exceed the $64.3 million salary cap. This is because they have players on the injured reserve who are not counting toward their salary cap. It is expected that when these players become healthy enough to play some other player will be injured and they can make it through the season with a payroll above the salary cap. When the playoffs come they will have a payroll above the salary cap with which to try to win the Stanley Cup.
Vancouver has three players - Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Aaron Rome - who are out longterm. This allows Vancouver almost $1.5 million in extra salary space. Washington has Tom Poti out and this allows almost $2.5 million in extra salary space. These players may not be out all season, but when they return somebody else will likely be hurt and no payroll shedding will be necessary.
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