EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Jersey winger Alexander Mogilny was placed on the long-term injury exception list Tuesday, clearing salary cap space the Devils can use to sign unrestricted free agents Brian Gionta, David Hale and Paul Martin.
The NHL informed the Devils that Mogilny qualified for the exception because the chronic hip injury that may force him to retire occurred while he was playing for New Jersey last season, team spokesman Jeff Altstadter said.
If the Devils had not been granted the exception, Mogilny's $3.5 million salary would have counted against the team's salary cap even if he had retired.
New Jersey signed the 37-year-old winger to a two-year deal before last season, but he played poorly and was demoted to the minors in January. In 17 seasons with Buffalo, Vancouver, Toronto and New Jersey, Mogilny has 473 goals and 559 assists in 990 games.
Combined with the $3.6 million the Devils unloaded when they traded Vladimir Malakhov's salary to San Jose on Sunday, New Jersey has freed $7.1 million in cap space.
The Devils are expected to use that to sign Gionta, the team's leading
scorer with 48 goals and 89 points last season; defenseman Hale, a
former first-round draft choice; and Martin, who was second in scoring among Devils defensemen last season with five goals and 32 assists in 80 games.