BIG SUMMER BUYOUTS

Jason Gregor
May 22 2013 12:18PM

From June 15th to the 30th NHL teams have a chance to rid themselves of their bad financial decisions; also know as the buyout period. This year the buyout period should be more active with the introduction of two potential compliance buyouts per team.

Here's a quick refresher on how it works.

The regular buyout works like this.

If a player is younger than 26 at the time of the buyout, his team can buy him out for only 1/3 of the remaining value on his contract.

If the player is 26 or older then he is bought at 2/3 of the remaining value.

Teams still take a cap hit for the player, but the costs are spread out over twice the length of his remaining salary. For instance, if a player has two years remaining on a contract that paid him $4 million every year, ($8 million remaining) the team buys him out at a total cost of $5.36 million. Then they would split that into four payments.

His cap hit for the next four seasons would be $1,333,333.

The compliance buyout works the same, as far as paying the player, but the major advantage is that the player's salary doesn't count towards the team's overall cap hit. This is a huge opportunity for teams that are saddled with over-priced contracts, and need to free up some cap space.

Teams are only allowed two compliance buyouts. The Rangers and Canadiens have already used one on Wade Redden and Scott Gomez respectively, so that leaves 58 possible candidates. Teams can use a compliance buyout this year or next June.

If a team uses a compliance buyout, that player cannot re-sign with that same team for at least one season. I've never read anything that would prevent two teams from agreeing to buyout players, then sign the other team's player and trade them back to their original team. I doubt it happens, but I've never read anything that says it's prohibited.

COMPLIANCE CANDIDATES

Brad Richards, 33, New York Rangers: 7 years remaining with a $6.67 million cap hit.

He is owed $36 million in actual money, so the Rangers would have to buy him out at $24 million, but he wouldn't count against the cap.

If they used a regular buyout it would cost them $1.7 million in cap space for the next 14 seasons.

Daniel Briere, 35, Philadelphia Flyers: 2 years remaining with a $6.5 million cap hit.

He is only owed $5 million in actual dollars, so the Flyers could buy him out for $3.35 million. If he was a regular buyout he'd cost a lot more in cap space. I believe he's a lock to be a compliance buyout.

Ville Leino, 29, Buffalo Sabres: 4 years remaining with a $4.5 million cap hit.

He is owed $15 in actual dollars, and the Sabres could buy him out for $10 million. Leino only played 8 games this season, but he registered 6 points. He finished the season with lung issues, so he'd have to be deemed healthy before they buy him out. I'm curious to see if the Sabres opt to cut bait with a player who has 10 goals and 31 points in 79 games over two seasons in Buffalo.

Mike Komisarek, 31, Toronto Maple Leafs: 1 year remaining with a $4.5 million cap hit.

He's owed $3.5 million, so it would cost the Leafs $2.33 million to buy him out. That is pocket change for the Leafs, and even though the Leafs currently have $19 million in cap space next season, I see him as a legitimate compliance possibility.

David Booth, 28, Vancouver Canucks: 2 years remaining with a $4.25 million cap hit.

He's owed $9.25 million in actual dollars. It would cost the Canucks $6.19 million to buy him out. The Canucks are in dire need of cap space, so buying out Booth makes sense, as long as he is deemed healthy. He finished the season on the IR.

Keith Ballard, 30, Vancouver Canucks: 2 years remaining with a $4.2 million cap hit.

He's owed $8.4 million in actual dollars, and it would the Canucks $5.6 million to buy him out. Getting rid of Booth and Ballard would free up $8.45 million, but it would also illustrate two of Mike Gillis' worst signings. Ballard was a healthy scratch in the playoffs, and seemingly can't stay out of the Canucks doghouse.

SOME OTHER OPTIONS....

Ilya Bryzgalov, 32, Philadelphia Flyers: 7 years remaining with a $5.66 million cap hit.

He is owed $34.5 million, so it would cost the Flyers $23 million to buy him out. The Flyers are currently over the $64.3 million cap for next season. They need to find some cap space, and at the same time improve their team. Bryzgalov's play was actually fairly decent in Philadelphia this season, according to the beat reporters, but his aloof attitude seems to have worn out its welcome with his teammates and management. However, $23 million, just to say goodbye, is still a huge chunk of money, even for the rich Flyers. 

Dany Heatley, 32, Minnesota Wild: 1 year remaining with a $7.5 million cap hit.

Heatley is owed $5 million, so the Wild would need to ante up $3.33 million to send him packing. The Wild have $8.5 million in cap space, but they need to re-sign Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Cullen, Jared Spurgeon and decide what to do about a starting goaltender. Backstrom is unrestricted. Buying out Heatley would almost double their cap space.

Eric Belanger, 35, Edmonton Oilers: 1 year remaining with a $1.75 million cap hit.

Belanger is owed $1.25 million, so it would cost the Oilers $833,333 to get him off the roster. I don't see him being in Edmonton next season. The Oilers could use a regular buyout on him, but because his contract was front-loaded he would be a $916,667 cap hit next season, and a $416,667 cap hit in 2014. The Oilers likely won't be in a cap-crunch this season, so they could save a compliance buyout for a bigger contract if necessary.

Some have suggested the Oilers send Belanger to the minors in early October and hope someone claims him on waivers, but I doubt they want him in the AHL around their younger players.

RANDOM THOUGHTS....

  • The Oilers only need to qualify Magnus Paajarvi at $850,000 to maintain his rights, so I think we can safely say that will happen. The bigger question is what will his new deal look like? I could see him getting a two-year deal at $1.5 million/year. His agent likely wants more money or only a one-year deal to allow Paajarvi an opportunity to have a good season and cash in next year. I'm curious to see how MacTavish handles Paajarivi's contract.
     
  • Many have asked if Shawn Horcoff is an option for a compliance buyout. I don't see the Oilers doing that unless MacTavish makes a few deals to acquire a few veteran centremen. You can't expect the Oilers to compete if they have Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner and Lander as their top-three centres next season.  They need some experience and strength. I don't see Horcoff being bought out this summer.
     
  • Here is Jordan Eberle's second commercial. How would you rate it compared to his ATB ones?
     
  • Who are some other players you feel would be obvious compliance buyouts, other thanTomas Kaberle in Montreal?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#2 SrCain
May 22 2013, 12:29PM
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@Jason Gregor

Is there a time frame for these buyouts? Basically does a team have to use them next yr or not at all?

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#3 The Beaker
May 22 2013, 12:30PM
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What I'm more interested in is buyouts that might become candidates specifically for the Oilers to pick up? Any useful defensemen? Any bottom 6 forwards that might fit in nicely?

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#4 JimW
May 22 2013, 12:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

DSF don't bother commenting. I encourage you to write a blog, I'll promote it for you, but you won't be hijacking the comments section in my articles. Good luck. Also, no need for anyone else to comment on this. Just talk about buyouts.

Can you please ban Weber trade talk as well?

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#5 TigerUnderGlass
May 22 2013, 12:34PM
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@Jason Gregor

Paajarvi at 1.5 X 2 is just about right. Keeps term low enough for the player to prove something and is an acceptable dollar figure. If they could bump it down to 1.3 or so that would be ideal.

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#6 Darrell
May 22 2013, 12:37PM
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My fear is that Calgary has three first rounders and money to spend on buyouts and they rebuild quicker than the Oilers.

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#7 Steve
May 22 2013, 12:37PM
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Vinny Lecavalier (TBL) @ $7.727M until 2020

JM Liles (TOR) @ $3.875M until 2016

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#8 JB
May 22 2013, 12:40PM
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I might get savaged for this, but does Vincent Lecavalier get bought out? It might not be likely given TB's financial state, but it's not out of the realm of possibility is it?

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#9 Hall Awaits
May 22 2013, 12:41PM
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What about Ben Eager? You think he becomes a buyout if he can't be added to some sort of package?

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#10 Manfly
May 22 2013, 12:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

DSF don't bother commenting. I encourage you to write a blog, I'll promote it for you, but you won't be hijacking the comments section in my articles. Good luck. Also, no need for anyone else to comment on this. Just talk about buyouts.

^thank you Jason!! anyways, good article and it's starting to become an interesting time of year, isn't it? Stanley Cup finals around the corner, the entry draft, compliance buyouts and the summer UFA season....can't wait to see what happens in general and what the Oilers do....and they better bloody well be active!!

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#11 Truth
May 22 2013, 12:45PM
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It will be tough for some of these owners/GM's to own up to the mistakes they've made. Paying Brad Richards $24M to not play on your team after that J Schultz-like signing debacle would be astounding. Can't see them doing it.

Good point about using Belanger as a regular buyout option, but I don't see who they use it on other than Eager. Horcoff is the only candidate, but (as hard as this is to say) he has value on this team, especially with the center ice weakness. If I remember correctly a team that buys out a player can not re-sign him, is that correct? A great idea would be to buy him out for 2/3 of his contract to remove his horrible cap hit, just to re-sign him for 1/3 ($1.8M) for the same term. No impact to the player, bonus cap room for the team.

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#12 Craig1981
May 22 2013, 12:45PM
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I would presume you scenario with teams buying out players signing another teams and then trading would be considered salary cap circumvention and be stopped then fined by Bettman. Do you not agree? Thanks for the post, I have been looking everywhere for a well written one. Its hard to take any blog seriously when they have Marc Savard as the top buyout. Whats your over/under for buyouts?

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#14 The Other Ron Burgundy
May 22 2013, 12:52PM
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Keeping Horcoff is not bold. He's owed $7MM more, so pay him his $4.66 and say goodbye, and at the same time put to rest any lingering doubts that Lowe is pulling the strings.

Agree you can't go into next year with Nuge, Gags and Lander but you can go in with Nuge, Gags (or someone MacT trades Gagner for) and one of the servicable free agent centers that are available - you could get almost all of this year's crop for less than Horc's 5.5MM cap hit. Or be bold and sign Ribeiro for that amount, bump Gags to 3C or trade him for help on D.

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#15 Will
May 22 2013, 12:55PM
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Hmm exciting times ahead with the possibility of so many talented players all of a sudden becoming UFA's as a result of buyouts. Makes you wonder of Calgary will simply create a new bubble team of aging veterans. It also will likely drive down the UFA prices of people like Horton, Clarkson, Bickell, and any other UFA the Oilers were looking to target.

With the Nishkuchnin news, and the buyouts, and Tambi no longer at the helm, this could be a very busy and rewarding summer for Edmonton.

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#17 Harlie
May 22 2013, 12:56PM
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Better acting this time out, although why does Kevin's Moms car have BC plates on it? Or are those Keybec plates?!

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#18 Steve
May 22 2013, 12:56PM
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The reason I bring up Vinny has more to do with the length of his contract versus the massive cap hit and what they're actually paying him in those later years.

The guy has 7 more years under this deal. That will be a financial handicap as the years go on. Plus, under the new CBA, if he retires before then does the team not take a hit? (or are old contracts signed before 2013 grandfathered in?)

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#20 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 22 2013, 01:07PM
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If the Oilers can't find a team that needs to get to the salary floor with Shawn, then they should use these buyouts on Horcoff and Hemsky. Probably couldn't even tell the difference with them not in the lineup. Kyle Wellwood (at 1/4 the salary) can do anything Horcoff can do, probably even better if you go off of the last couple seasons statistics. With the opportunities that will present themselves this summer, this is a good time to oust these 3 amigos (if we include Gagner)

Please please please, if Sam isn't moved at the draft, someone sign Gagner to an offer sheet. That 1st/2nd and 3rd round selections could be parlayed into a fine return on some level. Maybe get a 3rd or 4th for Whitneys rights next month, and a 6th/7th for Belanger. These overpaid, underachieving oft injured vets are just killin us.

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#21 russ99
May 22 2013, 01:08PM
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Horcoff is a much bigger trade candidate than buyout candidate, at least this year.

NTC drops to limited NMC (he can name 10 teams he can be dealt to) on July 1st. Maybe a team trying to get to the salary floor may be interested...

A deal would be a better move that the Oilers paying him for 2 years to play against us.

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#22 The Other Ron Burgundy
May 22 2013, 01:09PM
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Some other candidates that jumped out at me (aka anti-value contracts):

Wisniewski (4 years left @5.5/yr cap hit) Ohlund (3 @ $3.6) David Jones (3 @ $4) Tuomu Ruutu (3 @ $4.75) Brian Campbell (3 @ 7.1) Stafford (2 @ $4) Fleischman (2 @ $4.5) Havlat (2 @ $5)

Some of the 3-year guys you maybe see next year instead of this year depending on the cap situations of their teams. Interesting times ahead indeed.

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#23 Taylor Gang
May 22 2013, 01:30PM
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Hey Gregor, do you think that Horcoff could be traded to a team like Florida who wants to save money? His cap hit is 5.5 million for two years but his actual pay is 4 million and 3 million dollars respectivey.

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#24 Fantheoilman
May 22 2013, 01:31PM
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Props to Gregor

What are the odds of trading for a soon to be bought out player, playing them for a year and if they can't get it together, then buy them out. Or trade horcoff to the rangers for Richards. Or at least something relative to this idea.

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#25 freeze
May 22 2013, 01:32PM
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Great cameo by Jay and Dan in the Eberle commercial! I'm going to miss those two clowns. Be sure to watch their outtakes.

oh, and, bye bye Belanger! Thanks for nothing - except the false hope!

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#26 Smokey
May 22 2013, 01:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

DSF don't bother commenting. I encourage you to write a blog, I'll promote it for you, but you won't be hijacking the comments section in my articles. Good luck. Also, no need for anyone else to comment on this. Just talk about buyouts.

Im going to miss the dirty bastard. Sure you won't reconcider. Some of us grew fond of the troll. He will be missed.

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#27 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 22 2013, 01:43PM
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It's unfortunate both regular and compliance buyouts occur in the same time frame. Be nice to have a second wave of opportunities for teams to improve if the compliance portion expired in mid'ish/late July. Guys bought out would still find work in plenty of time for training camps.

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#28 Spydyr
May 22 2013, 01:55PM
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Hope the Oilers can fill a few holes with brought out players this summer.

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#29 Old Soldier
May 22 2013, 02:12PM
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Considering the inherent lesson involved with compliance buyouts, or buyouts in general, the one lesson I would hope and pray for is that the Oilers avoid any player who is on the receiving end of one.

As bad as the Horcoff contract is, its laughable compared to some listed, especially those signed in the last two years already being considered buyout options.

Horcoff's situation with the Oilers is difficult to pigeon hole. "If" the Oilers were in cap difficulty, then I can definitely see the logic, "If" the Oilers had a glut of usable centers, then again I could see it, but as of right now, Horcoff is still a servicable 3rd/4th line center albeit an expensive one for two more years. I can see the Oilers keeping him at least one more year, re-evaluating after next season and if they havent used up both compliance buyouts, then perhaps using it then.

I may be in the minority, but I do see Hemsky having some trade value, not high value, but perhaps packaged with a prospect to a low scoring team, his one year cost is negligable (look at Semin last year).

An option not being discussed, though a cheaper alternative, is the Rangers option of moving players to the AHL next year even at full contract value, opening up slots for other options. If you gave Smythe or even Horcoff the option of retiring or playing in the AHL, they might unhappily see the light.

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#30 clyde
May 22 2013, 02:18PM
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Is the following allowed: Team A trades a 3rd round pick to Tampa for Vinny and a 2nd and perhaps Connelly. They then buy out Vinny. Is anything stopping Vinny from immediately resigning in Tampa? Why would either team do this? Team A has a richer owner who gets a couple of good assets. Tampa gets salary cap relief while keepingt Vinny.

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#31 T__Bone88
May 22 2013, 02:31PM
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I can definitely see Olesz and Montador out of Chicago and Malone out of Tampa Bay being bought out this summer. Although if Richards was bought out in New York maybe the Oilers would take a look at him as 2nd line center at a 3.5-4 million dollar cap hit. Horcoff although has a high salary would still have value if traded to a team like florida, colorado, dallas or islanders or any other low cap team looking for that 'phoney' cap hit to get over the floor.

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#32 Will
May 22 2013, 02:36PM
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Vigneault fired, Burmistrov wants out, compliance buy outs, regular buyouts, decent forward and goalie UFA's abound, several bad contract situations, high draft pick that now might include a power forward Russian Winger, and a GM looking to make some bold moves, this is shaping up to be the most interesting summer of not watching hockey ever.

Outlandish prediction for such a summer that somehow strangely come true:

PK Subban becomes an Oiler after we send back Klefbomb and our first. Roundly regarded as a bold yet terrible deal, PK finds himself at home by being able to join in Yak's crazy cellies, and with Hall and Ebs down at Oil City Road House (now called Nashvilles?)

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#33 FSD
May 22 2013, 02:43PM
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AV fired from Vancouver, Edmonton should hire him as head coach

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#34 Ducey
May 22 2013, 02:49PM
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A have not seen Rick Dipietro mentioned. The second he is healthy, Garth Snow will almost certainly buy him out.

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#35 Eddie Edmonton
May 22 2013, 02:54PM
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I just signed in to prop the fist comment.

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#36 JB
May 22 2013, 02:54PM
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Gregor, thoughts on a Marc-Andre Fleury buyout?

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#37 PapaMike
May 22 2013, 03:21PM
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With Andy Sutton retiring, are we still on the hook for his salary?

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#38 Jeffff
May 22 2013, 03:22PM
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KHL thing sounds fishy. Nichushkin

AV would make Oilers a better team.

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#39 RexLibris
May 22 2013, 03:27PM
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Where can I buy a "Kevin Wheeler" Oilers' jersey?

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#40 westcoastoil
May 22 2013, 03:32PM
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I'm not sure whether it's his coaching - as the head coach i assume it is - or the players on the roster but Van. plays a BORRRRING game and everyone out here is crying that the team is all defence first with AV and has no personality. Just throwing it out there.

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#41 OilClog
May 22 2013, 03:32PM
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lots of potential veteran players that are going be pinched out due to the cap crunch, we will find out really quickly if they plan on post season hockey or not for next season. There will be so many names available that we have no idea about that if MacT doesn't start off with a bang.. then we're all screwed.

Gagner is pretty much a goner the way I see it, he's not a good fit on this roster. He would be the worst 3rd line center in hockey. Can't win a draw, can't out muscle anyone, is just horrible on the defensive side of things. Replacing Horcoff with Gagner would be worse then all we've witnessed so far.

Richards will never come to Edmonton regardless of any buy out situation. It was made pretty clear during his big free agent summer of fun that he has no interest out west, wants to play in a time zone that his family can watch him.

How about we do a big ass trade with Boston.

Gagner, Klefbom, #7

Krejic(sp?, Hamilton, Horton's negotiation rights?

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#42 JackBauer
May 22 2013, 03:33PM
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"Some have suggested the Oilers send Belanger to the minors in early October and hope someone claims him on waivers, but I doubt they want him in the AHL around their younger players."

This raised a white flag for me? How come? What kind of person is he to be aorund?

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#43 OilClog
May 22 2013, 03:39PM
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@JackBauer

Well.. he talks about wanting to play for another team while just finishing the 1st year of a 3yr deal.. that he's been sucking dry wind on..

I can't recall a Oiler publically saying he'd like to play somewhere else while an Oiler and ends up still being an Oiler by season or even weeks end lol. What happened to the blue collar days when he would been driven to the airport and told to not come back?

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#44 OilersBrass
May 22 2013, 03:39PM
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OilClog wrote:

lots of potential veteran players that are going be pinched out due to the cap crunch, we will find out really quickly if they plan on post season hockey or not for next season. There will be so many names available that we have no idea about that if MacT doesn't start off with a bang.. then we're all screwed.

Gagner is pretty much a goner the way I see it, he's not a good fit on this roster. He would be the worst 3rd line center in hockey. Can't win a draw, can't out muscle anyone, is just horrible on the defensive side of things. Replacing Horcoff with Gagner would be worse then all we've witnessed so far.

Richards will never come to Edmonton regardless of any buy out situation. It was made pretty clear during his big free agent summer of fun that he has no interest out west, wants to play in a time zone that his family can watch him.

How about we do a big ass trade with Boston.

Gagner, Klefbom, #7

Krejic(sp?, Hamilton, Horton's negotiation rights?

Why are you guys suggesting to trade Klefbom?? He's their best defensive prospect, and he is the type of 2 way defender that they desperately need.

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#45 Jason
May 22 2013, 03:41PM
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I truly believe if Oilers were serious about winning, they would drop the old boys network and hire Alain Vigneault. It would take a strong President to do this. Kevin ( 6 Stanley Cups) Lowe does not guts to do what is right.

Oilers will be losers until Lowe is fired. Edmonton has the worst record in the NHL since the lockout 2004. And Kevin thinks he knows about winning.

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#46 Rama Lama
May 22 2013, 03:44PM
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Unless there is a buyout of Shawn Horcoff's contract, the culture of this team and the progression of the youth will suffer.

It's time for guys like Horcoff and Smyth to move on to other roles.........apparently the team has plans for Smyth and Horcoff would make a good management candidate. As far as their hockey skills go, especially Horcoff, their best before date long expired.

I hope Mac T shows his courage and totally transforms the bottom six .........watching the playoffs with teams like Boston, San Jose, LA, and Chicago makes one realize that our team needs toughness on at least two if not three lines.

If we were in the playoffs our small team would need a hospital on-site. Thank god that Tamby is gone.........time for Mac T to show us some of his vision , everyone is watching.

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#47 vetinari
May 22 2013, 03:58PM
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PapaMike wrote:

With Andy Sutton retiring, are we still on the hook for his salary?

No, Sutton's contract was for one year and would terminate on June 30th anyways.

As for buyouts-- what about trying something a little different and creative? We may not need both of our compliance buyouts but there may be a few teams that could use an unofficial third buyout-- could we swing a trade with a modest buyout partner ($2M to $4M range/one year or so) and maybe land a NHL player or top shelf prospect or a decent draft pick as part of the process? We could also expand the scope to look at more going back our trading partner's way if there is of some quality involved in the transaction. The end result is we would only mainly give up money.

Philly or Vancouver may need to move more than two players to become reasonably cap flexible for 2013/14 and our owner, Mr. Moneybags, may have cap room to trade or use in the cause.

Would Vancouver trade us Ballard (to be bought out) and maybe Edler for an affordable alternative like Potter and maybe a second or third round pick? We carry the cap buyout on Ballard, Vancouver dumps two salaries while getting a 6/7 roster player and they keep their buyout options open.

Would Philly trade us Briere (for buyout) and maybe a centre like Talbot or a defenceman like Meszaros for futures or maybe a third rounder? It would still leave them with an available compliance buyout for Bryzgalov if they wanted?

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#48 bumboclate
May 22 2013, 04:03PM
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wow oilers are weak down the middle. we need to do something right away to address this and im not talking about sean monahan either!!!!

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#49 oilerman53
May 22 2013, 04:15PM
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I wonder how Mr Katz would feel about us all on here throwing his money away? But on to bigger topics, Horcoff's value was noticed without him in the lineup. With all of these skilled wingers the Oilers should be looking into getting huge centermen who can actually win a faceoff in the offensive zone.

I don't think there is one guy on this team who will be bought out. You can just send Belanger and Eager to the minors in hopes of someone claiming them off of waivers.

P.S. Props to Gregor for shutting out DSF.

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#50 Rocknrolla
May 22 2013, 04:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I love the idea of us looking at our 2 compliance buyout spots as assets.

Although we can't trade them, we can help some other teams that may have more than 2 that they need to do and by doing so acquire some talent.

For example if the rangers buyout 2 of their big guys, maybe they send us Boyle over for a lot less if we take one of those compliance buyouts, and take care of it for them.

I would be curious to know what the regs are for cash on the side deals. If we do a CB for another team that Keats sat coats us $1.5 for 6 years, can the other team pay us back on the side?

I agree that we will likely use a regular buyout on Belanger and will not buyout horcoff, so we should be able to help 2 teams here and score some assets back.

Another question for Gregor or anyone else...re hemsky...if we keep some f his salary, up to half I believe is the limit, does the other team only get the cap hit portion, or do they take the whole cap hit of said player?

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