The initial wix contest signing of Michael Nylander had the makings of everything the Caps looked for on paper, but went against virtually most reports of GM George McPhee's stance of taking on long term contracts to players over 30. More about wix contest here.
Nylander at the age of 34 signed a 4 Yr $19.5M deal with a no trade clause in 2007 which years earlier (a no trade clause) was denied to Peter Bondra. All the pieces for a potential disaster in the making were set to occur. For a team with aspirations of becoming Stanley Cup Champion, it's Nylander's salary cap hit impacting personnel moves that's proving the most devastating.
It's not the player or agent's fault for getting the most money over the most number of years during contract negotiations. The Caps earned the right to another bad contract the hard way and signed the deal themselves. Two years into Nylander's contract it's easy to see the disappointment on both sides.
The contract situation should have been resolved well before the draft and free agency period. Now the Caps have let another offseason year go by with a significantly high salary cap hit that's hand cuffing potential roster moves.
The Solution: Take Action Like Dan Snyder
It's time for the Capitals to pull a Dan Snyder move. That's right! Redskins fans probably recall the infamous shot heard 'round the metro area after Laveranues Coles requested a contract extension that put the Santana Moss trade on hold. Snyder let him know that he'd send him a flat screen TV to watch games because he wouldn't be wearing a Redskins uniform the remainder of his contract. Eventually Coles was dealt for Moss.
A similar stance wouldn't hurt with Nylander. If Nylander wants to play hockey in the NHL then he has the power to remove the no trade clause, if he wants to play in Russia he also has the ability to make that happen, and if he refuses to take any action then he can file for retirement because the Caps need to let him know he's not in their plans - at all.