Hello Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders. We assume that you know why you’ve been invited here today. You see, the NHL regular season is rapidly approaching and you’ve still got quite a way to go before you reach the salary cap floor. What’s that? The Winnipeg Jets should be in here too? They’re a measley $15k below the floor. We’re sure that they’ll work things out shortly. Besides, we don’t want to bother them right now. They’re still figuring out what to wear.

Back to you guys, do you have any ideas about how you’re going to reach the floor?

What’s that, Islanders? You want to bring Alexei Yashin back? We thought that the hysterical laughter that you heard last month had killed that idea. You’re already paying him $2.2 million this season to not play for you. Do you really have to give him any additional money?

How about you Colorado? We haven’t heard from you in a while. Yes, yes, we know. Semyon Varlamov was totally worth those draft picks. You’ve been saying that for a while now. That doesn’t help this situation at all.

So you guys really don’t have any ideas? Really? Okay, we’ll try to help.

You could start by calling some unsigned free agents. Most of them aren’t doing very much these days. Sure, we’re kind of hitting the bottom of the barrel with the remaining free agents, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t find someone who will suit your needs. Please note that at this point “your needs” translates to someone who will take a big contract to play on your team. Sure, overpaying players isn’t the best way to make your team successful, but it might help in this situation. Note to the New York Islanders: Do not sign this free agent to a 15-year contract. We repeat: DO NOT DO THIS. A one-year deal will be fine.

You could also take on some salary via a trade. Look at CapGeek.com for a minute. Do you see those teams up there at the top of that list? Teams like Washington, Buffalo and Philadelphia would certainly be interested in talking to you. Trading for a player with a single year left on a big contract will definitely help you hit the floor. You both should have been all over Daymond Langkow a few days ago. Colorado, please stop throwing those draft picks at us. You know what? When you’re calling teams to make a trade Colorado, maybe don’t call Washington this time. That didn’t work out so well in the past.

Don’t call Scott Gomez. There’s a reason no one wants him. Actually, let us rephrase that: There are 7.3 million reasons that no one wants him until 2014. The goal here to is take on salary for one year, not to handcuff your team for the next few seasons.

You could also try following in the footsteps of the Florida Panthers. At one point this summer we were worried about them reaching the cap floor. They made a lot of changes recently, hit the floor and now the team’s future is quite bright. Sure, they had to take one some big contracts, but it worked. If there’s a right way to crawl away from being a hopeless team struggling to meet the floor and towards becoming a team with a bright future, the Panthers have figured it out. Oddly, this is the first time anyone has ever suggested that a hockey team should try to become more like the Florida Panthers. That’s what we’re faced with right now.

We know that you don’t want to break the bank on a your team this season. We understand that neither of you want to hurt your team’s future and we commend that style of thinking. However, you kind of have to hit the floor or there’s going to be trouble.

No really, there is. You can’t play unless you meet the cap floor.