When an NHL team signs a new player, they are depending on that player becoming a reliable player for them, whether he be a first-line sniper or a fourth-line bruiser. The hope is that they earn all the money that they gave the player in his new contract. The problem is, not all players end up earning their new contract.
These players and their contracts become unwanted by their teams and inevitably everyone in the city wants them gone. It gets to the point where they will give him away for nothing if they could. Sure, they would like to get some value in return, but getting rid of $7 million in cap space is value by itself.
Almost every team in the NHL has one player they would like to get rid of to free up cap space. The teams that don't are either the best at spending money wisely or it's practically impossible that they can have a player like that.
Here are the players that would be unemployed if their general managers could find a way to dump their contract.