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October 19, 2011 | 11:33am ET
Wings well-positioned for trade deadline

According to ESPN, the Detroit Red Wings may have the upper hand during the upcoming trade deadline.

For the current season, the Wings' cap payroll is estimated at $59 million, approximately $5.3 million below the salary cap.

This summer's sudden departure of defenseman Brian Rafalski, who retired during the off-season, gave the Wings an unexpected $6 million off their payroll. While walking away from the final year of his contract, Rafalski retired on an under-35 contract without being bought out; therefore removing his cap hit for this season.

If the Wings don't invest these dollars until the trade deadline in February, Capgeek's Matthew Wuest confirmed that "this figure will translate into as much as $24 million in acquirable cap hits" for them to use for in-season acquisitions.

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