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Dale Tallon
To be Cup contenders, Kings and Blackhawks had to outsmart salary cap
To be Cup contenders, Kings and Blackhawks had to outsmart salary cap

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi knew his team needed a productive left wing in order to go far this season and he knew Columbus winger Marian Gaborik might be available, but Lombardi had season-long salary cap problems and Gaborik's salary was $7.5 million. To make a trade work and keep the Kings under the cap, Columbus would have to keep some of Gaborik's remaining salary. "Because they could only take 50% we were within $50,000 of making it," Lombardi said. Lombardi acquired Gaborik on March 5, and if the rest isn't quite history, it illustrates the maneuvering necessary to sustain excellence in a salary-cap system. Without Gaborik, whose nine goals is...

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