With the majority of NHL teams up against the cap, they can use any relief they can get, which usually come in the form of long-term injured reserve (LTIR).
Seventeen of the league's 31 teams are currently utilizing LTIR to relieve cap space. But with the regular season winding down, the NHL is going to be monitoring those activities more closely.
"I think what the league is saying is 'we're going to watch you closely. We can request medical records if we think there's any funny business, cap circumvention, that kind of thing going on here,'" said Sportsnet's Chris Johnston during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. "I think especially any players activated just for Game 1 of the playoffs, there will be Spockian eyebrow raised from the league and that's something they intend to enforce quite forcefully."
This comes on the heels of the NHL trade deadline, which came and went on Monday, with multiple teams using LTIR to free up cap space for their respective acquisitions.