The cost to win the Stanley Cup is great. At the conclusion of the finals, the list of injuries always emerges, injuries like punctured lungs, separated shoulders, torn cartilage in the rib cage -- and that was just Patrice Bergeron by himself in 2013.
Trying to win a Stanley Cup in the salary cap era also comes with a financial cost. General managers rightfully go all in. They sign players to contracts they suspect won’t look great at the end, but do it in the name of winning it all in the present.
In the window between the two previous lockouts, general managers used the Ilya Kovalchuk-tail long-term contracts as a way to drive down salary cap charges while deferring the pain even longer.
For some teams, that pain has arrived. And it could be worse than originally projected because of cap recapture rules since put in place in the new CBA to punish teams if the player retires early or the contract is traded.