Anyone have any idea what happens if a player retires before his contract is up? Let's say a player on a 4 year deal decides to hang 'em up after two year for whatever reason. Would the team still take a 'cap hit' for the last two years? If they don't take a hit against the cap, a team could do the following... An 'older' but still valuable player, (Yzerman for example) knows he's going to only play one more year. A team could sign him for two years, 2 million first year, 1 million the second. As I understand it, the cap hit is the average of the contract, therefore it would cost only 1.5 against the cap for year one and year two doesn't matter because he retires. The math could look even better if it was say a 5 year deal, 2M year one, 1M years 2-5, for an average of only 1.2M.