I was wrong. Paul Holmgren actually made a completely genius move that I have been criticizing since it happened. Not only that, but there are many others who agree with me, possibly due to my fervent usage of this criticism. Well, I'm here to make amends and apologize. The following is my public apology to Paul Holmgren.
Dear Mr. Paul Holmgren,
Can I call you Uncle Paulie again? I'm sorry for thinking you didn't know what you were doing with Pronger. But today, I was on CapGeek and I found somethings and I realized you have 1 of 3 ideas in mind to keep Pronger from being a cap nightmare. You ARE planning to do these 1 of these 3 things right? If you're not, do them anyway.
Pronger Solution 1:
Keep Chris Pronger on perma-LTIR like Mike Rathje was. This one is fairly simple, it's been done before.
Pronger Solution 2:
Trade Chris Pronger after the 2013-14 Season. Because in 14-15 Pronger's salary drops to 4M, followed by 2 years of 525K.
While the cap hit would be 4.921, a "salary floor" team may be in need of some extra cash like Florida was this year. A team could in fact "pay" Pronger the 5.5M for 3 years to have a defenseman who could play the #7 D-man role and tutor some younger D-man. Imagine if Nashville loses Shea Weber to UFA and Ryan Suter. Pronger could be traded to NSH for a 5th round pick he could tutor some young D-men who are on ELC's in order to keep them (or another team in the same situation) above the Salary Floor. Pronger could play 30-35 games a season as a PP specialist but really be more an extra coach in practice. His performance wouldn't be the important part (he just needs to do what he did in his few playoff appearances, be a PP specialist and log some third pair EV minutes in limited game duty)
Or, if the team just wants a cap hit, they could trade for Pronger and buy him out like NSH did to Brett Lebda this year. In a 35+ Buyout, the cap hit stays the same BUT instead, the team would payout 2/3 the salary. So, on July 1, 2014 Pronger is dealt and bought out, thereby counting for 4.921 to the salary floor while the team would only owe him about 3.5M during the buyout time frame.
There is a possible issue with this scenario though. If Pronger is bought out by his new team just for the sake of counting against the cap, the new team could face Cap Circumvention charges like the Kovalchuk contract. Because of this, the first scenario is more likely.
So, I'm sorry Paul Holmgren. This move might not be a bad one.