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Presenting the Puck Daddy all-compliance buyout team

In this Oct. 2, 2013 file photo, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, of Gemany, shoots against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit.  A person familiar with the move says veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has agreed to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Penguins had not announced the deal, reached a half hour into the start of the NHL's free agency period on Tuesday, Juloy 1, 2014
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FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2013 file photo, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, of Gemany, shoots against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit. A person familiar with the move says veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has agreed to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Penguins had not announced the deal, reached a half hour into the start of the NHL's free agency period on Tuesday, Juloy 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

It's the fourth of July, the day Americans celebrate freedom. Freedom from tyranny. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech, which includes our comments section. And today, for our purposes, freedom from bad contracts.

When the NHL lockout ended two years ago (thanks to me, and this video), the cap dropped, necessitating the shedding of a handful of poor contracts signed before the stoppage. Now, mormally, buyouts count against the cap, but Gary Bettman took pity on his teams, and gave each club two buyouts that wouldn't. 

Of the 60 possible amnesty buyouts, 28 were used, for a total of $176.9 million, although these numbers would have been way higher if teams were allowed to trade their unused buyouts to the Philadelphia Flyers. Or, in a much cooler twist, just exile all these players to a 31st team, which, for our purposes, we'll call The Las Vegas Compliance. Here is their sweater:

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The Las Vegas Compliance.

The Las Vegas Compliance.

And here is their roster. 

FORWARDS

Martin Havlat - Brad Richards - David Booth

Ryan Malone - Mikhail Grabovski - Daniel Briere

Ville Leino - Vincent Lecavalier - Rostislav Olesz

Jordin Tootoo - Scott Gomez - Aaron Rome

I like the center depth of the Compliance. Brad Richards isn't really first line center material anymore, but Richards, Grabovski, Lecavalier, Gomez? I'm fine with that depth chart.

Plus you've got the skilled Havlat and possession wizard David Booth on line 1. They may not score, since scoring isn't what gets you on this team, but they're better players than most people think, especially now that they're out from under the contracts that called for more production than they could muster.

I converted Aaron Rome to forward to flesh out the lines. Whatever. That fourth line isn't getting off the bench.

DEFENSE

Christian Ehrhoff - Tom Gilbert

Jeff Schultz - Keith Ballard

Ed Jovanovski - Shane O'Brien

I like this top pairing a lot. Ehrhoff is a decent first-pairing guy, and Gilbert is an underrated puck-mover. This team won't have trouble getting into the offensive zone, so long as those guys are on the ice.

Granted, when they're not, the Compliance won't be leaving the defensive zone. Keith Ballard in your top-four is never a good sign, Jovanovski appears to be out of gas, and Shane O'Brien? Well, he's really only there to keep the room light.

GOALIES

Ilya Bryzgalov

Johan Hedberg

Not much choice here for my goalie tandem. Bryz and the Moose were the only two goalies to receive buyouts. But I'm happy about that. Hedberg is a career backup, and the Las Vegas Compliance gets Bryzgalov quotes. This is the best team ever.

Well, not really. They're pretty mediocre. But they might be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.

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