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.


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.


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.


  • 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?


  • Eddie Edmonton

    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.

  • OilClog

    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?

  • OilClog

    “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?

    • OilClog

      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?

        • OilClog

          He was on Montreal radio gushing about what a dream it would be to play for the Habs, yadda yadda.. I have no problem with him wanting to play there, but he was a free agent and signed here. A professional under contract.. the only thing I want to hear out his mouth is his love for his current team and how its a dream to play for them.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.

    • Eddie Edmonton

      Kevin Lowe alone has more Stanley Cups than Canucks will in their existence.

      Kevin Lowe played more important games in one season then Alain did in his whole career.

      Canucks will not win no matter who they hire. It is on the weakness of the Oilers rosters that the Canucks were made to look good and presentable. It is easy to collect wins in NW division, not so much against the Hawks and the Sharks.

      If Kevin Lowe needs Alain to hold his candle, I’m sure he’ll consider calling him.

  • OilersBrass

    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.

    • OilLeak

      Blah blah sh*t on Horcoff, blah blah, meaningless drivel. If Horcoff is bought out, who replaces him? I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen, but Horcoff still has use on this hockey team and is still a great mentor for the younger players. Yes Horcoff has slowed down, yes he’s overpaid, but no one on the current roster has the skill-set to replace him. In my mind Horcoff still has a year left with Oilers before cap issues become a problem, so I say let him play.

  • OilClog

    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.

  • Rocknrolla

    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?

      • vetinari

        Correct me if I am wrong… & I am trying to answer more than a few posts with this, so apologies in advance here Jason, as I am not disparaging your (or anyone else’s) stats/comments.


        Clubs can’t use a compliance/amnesty buyout on a player that makes under $3mill per season.

        So that would take the Belanger Triangle out of the mix for that option.

        MPS would also have to be be given a Qualifying Offer of $900K & not $850K, plus a 5% raise on his past years $900K salary.

        As for dealing a player who then gets bought out by another Club & then re-acquiring him.
        I’m pretty well sure that is still covered by the old CBA. (via the Dean Mcammond rule, where he was dealt & reacquired in a calender year & the trade was voided due to that clause, even if it was just a waiver claim as you cannot circumvent the Cap in any way)

        Although, that 1 is up for debate since the NHL & NHLPA only have the MOU to go by until the final new CBA Doc is ratified.

        ALL SPC’s are under the new CBA rules as of now, there is NO grandfathering of ANY SPC’s in any way. Hence the Soccer~Lou deal would cost the Knucks a penalty fee even if he was traded & he retires from his other team before his SPC goes to term.

        There is a 2nd opportunity for a buy-out period, but you have to take a player to arbitration for the Club to receive that reprise.
        You don’t actually have to have the meeting to do so either, you can settle & still get the extra buy-out period.


        • Jason Gregor

          Regarding trading guys for compliance, like I said, I hadn’t read it anywhere, but that didn’t mean it was possible. It would have made for some fun entertainment.

          As for the Paajarvi qualifying offer, it is based on his base salary of $810,000 and he is only guaranteed a 5% raise. He had a $90,000 signing bonus but that isn’t included in when it comes to qualifying offers. So he was a $810,000 +%5 which means $850,500. Oilers will easily qualify him.

          As for compliance buyouts, I thought the rule regarding $3 million+ contracts was only for players prior to the start of this season, like Redden and Gomez. This summer and next year it can be for any player. I’ll double check, but thought any player is eligible this summer.

          • Jason Gregor

            Fair enough JG…

            Did not know about the “signing” bonus part of MPS’s ELC… (other than the $625K that is added to his Cap Hit via the bonus ratio)

            How did you find that information..?

            I agree, they will give him a Q.O. without a doubt, & will likely (& smartly) try to lock him into a 2 or 3yr SPC for somewhere in the $1.6 to $1.75 range while hoping he doesn’t hit the bigtime after only taking a 1yr term deal. (Which I assume his agency will push for)

            My source is from the Pro-Rep Agency, (which I am sure you know of)so I sure hope they know what they are talking about… But then again, look at the R.o’R. agency with the Feaster debacle… (or DID they know it & prayed they wouldn’t end up in a Blue~Jacket..?) {Sorry for the > Tin Foil Hat Jargon)

            I do have a question for you from ALL the way down here in LaLaLand…

            Would you take a gamble on trading the 7th over-all pick BEFORE Draft day if you could get a Pre-Apex type player that can help the Club right away, or do you simply wait & hope you can make a better Draft day deal at the tables without knowing who is going where 1st..?
            (& maybe lose out on that player because of waiting..?)

            Personally, I think not drafting 1st for once is MUCH more exciting for River City fans than just deciding between Taylor/Tyler > RNH/G.L. > Nail/Murray.

            I’m sure you’ll agree as it will make for much better radio for you & your listeners…

            & Yes… We do listen to the show down here in CrownTown… 😉


          • Word to the Bird

            For the record…

            That was in the media’s eyes & NOT in the Oilers eye’s or a few other Clubs.

            It was a HUGE question… You may not dig the answer, but it was to a few of the top 3 teams that Draft.

            Although, the Oilers were taking RNH ALL the way…

            But YES, it WAS a question that more than a few puck people were seriously asking themselves.


          • Jason Gregor

            I would trade the #7 if I got a player who could help right away and was 26 and under and 3 years away from being a UFA.

            The #7 pick should be a good player in a few years, but if, big if, the Oilers could get a proven NHL player with that pick I’d look at moving it.

            Lots of good sites for contract stuff… is solid and so is

          • Word to the Bird

            I’m sort of with you on the pre-Draft deal, but certain teams get desperate & more G.M.’s get into the mix on that day, & with the entire Draft commencing on 1 day instead of 2, I think it really changes the dynamic to Draft than when you could “reset” with your scouting staff on day #2 after the 1st round was completed.

            I know of those sites Jason… Not always the DEFINED truth/facts though…

            As for moving that pick… it would take much more than the pick. But that was what I was alluding to… Would it be better to leverage an earlier offer against another few Clubs or pull the trigger right away..?

            What IF is the crappy thing you think of at 2am in bar when the lights go on.

            I am hoping that is not the case when it comes to New Jersey in June…


  • DieHard

    We will need Horcoff for at least 1 more year. It will depend on what MacT can do regarding that position for Horcoff’s last year. Next year he can be bought-out for 2M and saving 5.5M on cap.

  • Word to the Bird

    What I would like is for Lecavalier to be bought out. Maybe a 5 year, 27.5 million dollar deal (5.5 million a year to save the counting) and he could be our second line centre. Thoughts everyone?

    • Jason Gregor

      I’d also like Lecavalier but not a 5 year contact . Three year with options and devoid of a NTC . He’d still be our first line center on our club , and that’s no offence to a still developing Hopkins . Could he turn Gagner into the next St.Louie ? We should be so lucky .

  • misfit

    I don’t know what the Lightning’s financial situation is, but Lecavalier’s buyout would be incredibly expensive for anyone.

    He’s owed $45M over the next 7 years. If they bought him out, they’d have to spend $30M over the next 14. I guess $2.14M a year could be easier to swallow than the $10M they’ll have to shell out this coming season to have him play for them.

  • Jason Gregor

    What does everyone think of Burmistrov for Gagner? A pure hockey trade. Jets get deeper at center. Oilers get a better defensive centermen who could slot in at 2 or 3. Im down with it.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I would consider this a step backwards. Gagner is a much better all round player than Burm at this point in their careers. Not sure how Burm projects but we lose this one at the start. I honestly believe that a big winger with skill is all that it would take to improve Gagner’s defensive stats. He needs someone to do the heavy lifting and assist with scrambled face-offs. He doesn’t lose too many clean draws but has no support to clean up the loose pucks. A ‘Horton’ on the wing would make that second line click. Alternatively, a big centre with Gagner shifted over to the wall. The kid has great skills, great hockey sense, determination, and 6 years of NHL hockey under his belt. I just can’t see how you give that type of player away when we have so many other issues. And you’ll never get full value in a trade for him.

  • Jason Gregor

    I am pretty sure I read somewhere that compliance buyouts can only be used on players already signed to their existing team at the time of the CBA being ratified.

    For example, shawn horcoff can be bought out by the oilers. If horcoff is traded to team X, team X can not “compliance buy out” horcoff because horc wasn’t on their team when the CBA was signed (perhaps he could be “traditional buy out”‘d though). So all these ideas of trading for a player + pick and then compliance buying out the player are probably not valid. I am too lazy to find a source, but it logically makes sense too.

    • vetinari

      @matt– Don’t think so, bud. Plain English– the player must have a Standard Player Contract in order to be bought out. The Team that buys him out can’t resign him but it says nothing about acquiring a player and then buying him out.

      Here is the summary from the website
      at page 2 and you can check it out for yourself: (

      During the Ordinary Course “Buy-Out” periods following the 2012/13 season and 2013/14 season, in addition to any other Ordinary Course “Buy-Outs” a Club may elect to effectuate pursuant to Paragraph 13 of the SPC, Clubs may elect to terminate and “buy-out” the already existing SPCs of up to two (2) additional Players (in the aggregate over the two (2) years) on a Compliance basis (a
      “Compliance Buy-Out”). Such Compliance Buy-Out(s) would be effectuated on the same terms as
      are set forth in Paragraph 13 of the SPC, except that the amounts paid under such “buy-out(s)” will not be charged against the Club’s Cap in any of the years in which the payments are made to the Player. Amounts paid under such Compliance Buy-Out(s) will, however, be counted against the Players’ Share during any League Year in which the “buy-out” payments are made. A Player that has been bought out under these Compliance Buy-Out provisions shall be prohibited from re-joining the Club that bought him out (via re-signing, Assignment, Waiver claim or otherwise) for the duration of the 2013/14 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2013) and the 2014/15 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2014).

  • Jason Gregor

    Paajarvi has to be qualified at (current salary) + 10%…no..?
    $900,000k + 10% = $990,000k

    That’s just nitpicking though-retaining Paajarvi is the least of their worries.

    • Jason Gregor

      Not true. Paajarvi’s base salary was $810,000 with a $90,000 signing bonus which made it $900,000.
      He only has to be qualified at 5% ($40,500) of his base salary, ($810,000) because his contract is between $660,000-$1 million.

      So his qualifying offer will be $850,500…

  • vetinari

    Thanks for clearing that up vetinari (interesting name). Good news for the oilers. Well, maybe Katz will step up and allow a trade for a buyout player. It sure is an interesting trade opportunity.

  • Jason Gregor

    @Jason Gregor

    Can’t we buy out Kevin Lowe??? LOL

    Who do you think based on the other teams buyouts, should the Oilers target?
    Eg: Danny Briere, Komisarek etc?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’m confused as to why we couldn’t replace Horcoff if we bought him out?

    A competent GM should be able to fill some holes with $5.5million and a roster spot, no?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Why trade down from that 7th pick. Oilers will get nothing but another support type player back. A player who, when he steps onto that ice, is at best, going to be another non factor type player.

    Oilers need impact players, not yet another Gagner, Smyth, Horcoff, Hemsky non factor type most nights.

    • Aitch

      Non-factor type player – Gagner??? I don’t know about that. He was a factor every game. He was always creating offence. (Sometimes it was for the other team,) but he was certainly a factor.