Given the fact that the NHL salary cap for next season will probably stay flat or even decrease, a solution to help teams in trouble would be to give every team in the NHL a free buyout option. For the Canadiens, this would obviously be used to scratch off the last two years of Karl Alzner's contract, an unexpected boon for the Habs.
This will be the cap situation if this happens.
Total: 61.097M for 19 Players
Forwards: 29.646M for 12 Forwards
Defense: 20.201M for 5 Defensemen
Goaltending: 11.25M for 2 Goalies
All buyout and retainer penalties will come off the books at the end of the season, which means that the Canadiens would be roughly 20 million dollars below the salary cap if it remained steady. Where do we go from here?