Mattias Ohlund, because of a serious knee injury, has not played a regular-season minute for the Lightning the past two seasons but still has collected $10.5 million in salary.

Worse for the Lightning, it is possible the defenseman will collect the $6.75 million he is owed in the final three years of his contract even though, as he admitted, "My chances of playing again are very minor."

"Maybe awkward is the right word," Ohlund said of the circumstances. "I clearly understand this has not been a great situation for ownership or management."

The Lightning, though, is probably stuck with it and Ohlund's $3.607 million salary cap hit that came with the seven-year, $25.25 million free agent contract he signed in the summer of 2009:

• Under the collective bargaining agreement, injured players cannot be bought out.

• The Lightning could put Ohlund on long-term injured reserve, but that is tricky and used only if the team is at or very near the salary cap.

Under the long-term IR formula, teams can exceed the salary cap by the amount of the injured player's cap hit minus the team's salary cap room at the time the player is designated.

As an example, if the Lightning had $2 million of cap space when it put Ohlund, with his $3.607 million cap hit, on long-term injured reserve, it would be allowed to exceed the cap by $1.607 million. If the Lightning was at the cap limit, the team would get a $3.607 million cushion.

The Lightning still must pay Ohlund's salary.

• Ohlund could retire and forfeit his salary. But given that the big Swede's injury is from the toll of his first 13 NHL seasons, don't expected general manager Steve Yzerman to push it.