So Johan Franzen gets his $43.5 million and the Red Wings get the cap number they want, $3.95 million for the next 11 years.
Starts at $5 million per year, ends at $2 million, $1 million and $1 million for the last three years. If The Mule can't play by then, he'll be making his money in Grand Rapids.
But the real question the Franzen deal produces is this: can the Wings now still sign Marian Hossa and keep their core of star forwards together?
The answer is it's up to Hossa.
Basically, the Wings can now give him a contract that produces a cap number between $5 million and $5.5 million.
If he's looking to average the $7.45 million he's making over a long term deal - and his production probably warrants it - it won't be in Detroit.
But if, like Zetterberg, Franzen and other Wings, he's willing to take less to be part of the Detroit organization, it can still happen. And Hossa made the choice last year to take a short-term look at being a Red Wing, spurning big money and long term offers from other clubs.
Right now, the Wings have Zetterberg, Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk all under contract through the end of the 2012-13 season, with Zetterberg (12-year-deal) and Franzen tied up for years after that.
Basically, the Wings' philosophy is to use the unregulated area in the current CBA - the absence of term limits or rules on salary increases or decreases within a single contract - to give these players the money they want and give themselves the cap flexibility they need.
Guesses in the industry are that the next CBA will put in new rules, perhaps one that says you can't pay a player more than 25 per cent less in salary than you did the year before.
Right now, the Wings are betting on the quality of players they know extremely well and the ability of the Detroit organization to keep players productive into their late 30s to keep a talented roster intact.