This whole Malakhov issue should be very interesting as it relates to the Devils cap. Malakhov's agents say he wants a leave and hasn't retired. General Lou says he is retired and then suspends him without pay apparently taking his salary off the Devils cap. (And, what's the point of suspending without pay a 'retired' player. That action alone says Malakhov never retired.) This should be fun. Officially, Malakhov isn't retired until he signs his retirement papers, which he hasn't done. Malakhov himself has not announced his retirement only Lou has. How does this lead to a suspension? This is a total desperation move by Lou to get a bad contract off his cap. If he can 'retire' Malakhov what's to stop the Penguins from 'retiring' Gonchar, or any other team from 'retiring' a player with a big contract and a bad game. Can you say arbitration? I wonder if the NHL is going to let Lou get away with this move? If I'm Malakhov I'm suing Lou and the Devils in civil court as well. He could walk away with a whole lot more money than what's in his contract. Secondly, what ever happened to that reported Dec. 1 signing date that was much talked about when the new CBA was announced. My understanding was that any free agent player who signed after that date had to pass through waivers. That was also the date for restricted free agents to sign or lose a season. The point of the free agent date was to prevent teams from convincing retired players to come back late in a season as has happened in the last few seasons. Does this mean Malakhov's replacement Tommi Albeline has to pass through waivers? What about Nolan when he signs?