Would this work? June 25th: Toronto declines Belfour's option for next year and pays him the $1.5M he is due. June 26th: Toronto trades Belfour's rights (still under contract for this year until July 1?) to another team. July 1: Belfour becomes a UFA and signs somewhere else The question is, would the $1.5M for Belfour for next year be assigned to Toronto's cap, or to the team he was traded to? If the team Belfour is traded to has cap space they won't be using then something like this might let convert that space into an asset coming back from Toronto. Likewise, Toronto would be able to convert a prospect into $1.5M of valuable cap space.