The final opportunity for a compliance buyout (doesn’t count against the cap) will begin June 15th, or 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup final.
Each team had two compliance buyouts to use between last summer or this year. Chicago (Steve Montador, Rostislav Olesz), Montreal (Scott Gomez, Tomas Kaberle), Philadelphia (Danny Briere, Ilya Bryzgalov) and Toronto (Mike Komisarek, Mikhail Grabovski) have already used two.
The Red Wings(Carlo Colaiacovo), Devils (Johan Hedberg), Islanders (Rick Dipietro), Rangers (Wade Redden), Tampa Bay (Vincent Lecavalier), Sabres (Nathan Gerbe), Canucks (Keith Ballard), Predators (Hal Gill) and Capitals (Jeff Schultz), Oilers (Eric Belanger), Minnesota (Tom Gilbert) and Colorado (Greg Zanon) have used one, so that leaves a total of 40 potential compliance buyouts remaining.
The Oilers have one compliance buyout available, but they have no one who they’d use it on, so maybe MacTavish tries to make a deal by acquiring a bad contract that he would buy out.
Before anyone mentions Gagner as an option, he doesn’t qualify because he signed his deal after September 15th, 2012, but realistically the Oilers would be foolish to buy him out and let him walk for nothing.
Let’s look at some obvious candidates around the league who will likely be bought out:
Ville Leino, Buffalo Sabres:
He has three years left at $4.5 million cap hit, but is owed $11 million in actual money. The Sabres will gladly pay the $7.3 million to buy him out and spread it out over six seasons.
Jordon Tootoo, Detroit Red Wings:
Tootoo has one year remaining on his contract. His cap hit is $1.9 million, but he is scheduled to make $2 million this year. It will cost the Wings $1.333 million to buy him out and Holland hinted the Wings would buy him out.
Buying out Johan Franzen’s final six years is an option. He is a $3.95 cap hit, but he’s only owed $17.5 million in actual dollars. His buyout would cost the Wings $11.6 million, but it would be spread out over 12 seasons. He tallied 16 goals and 41 points last year, but it is obvious is footspeed is an issue. I think this option would make more sense long-term, but I doubt they do it.
Martin Havlat, San Jose:
Doug Wilson already said Havlat will not be back. Havlat was scheduled to make $6 million this year, $5 mill cap hit, so it will cost the Sharks $4 million to part ways with Havlat. He was injury prone the past three seasons in San Jose playing only 127 of a possible 212 games.
Ryan Malone, Tampa Bay: Even before his arrest for cocaine possession, he was a strong candidate for a buyout. The Bolts only have to pay $1.66 to buy him out (his salary is $2.5 million), but they would free up $4.5 million in cap space. After forking out huge dollars to buyout Vinny, this seems like an easy decision. He had 15 points in 57 games last year. (The Bolts might not be able to buy him out until the substance abuse program deems him fit to return to the NHL. I would assume this is similar to an injured player).
Erik Cole, Dallas. He is owed $4 million for one years. It would cost the Stars $2.66 million to part ways with the 35 year old. He had 29 points in the regular season, and only dressed for three playoff games. Buying him out would free up $4.5 million in cap space.
Anton Volchenkov, New Jersey. His cap hit and dollars owed are the same, $4.25 million for two years. It would be a $5.66 hit over four years to say goodbye, but he only played 56 games and was a healthy scratch multiple times.
David Booth, Vancouver. New GM Jim Benning has no connection to Booth, but it would cost the Canucks $3.16 million to get rid of him. It would free up $4.25 in cap space, and since I doubt the Canucks are in rebuild mode, they might want to use that money to bring in a free agent top-six forward.
Ed Jovanovski, Florida. I know the Panthers aren’t big spenders, but new ownership has said they are willing to spend to win. It would cost them $2.6 million to skate away from the 37 year old, and it would free up $4.125 in cap space. Jovo only dressed in 37 games last year, so he won’t be missed much on their blueline.
Brad Richards, Rangers. The Rangers didn’t buy him out last summer, instead they fired the coach, but Richards still has six years left on his deal. The reason I doubt it happens is because he has $8 million in signing bonuses that would need to paid out on top of the $12.6 million buyout. His agent was a genius for including that in the deal. The risk for the Rangers is that if he retires before his contract ends then they get dinged with a big cap hit penalty.
Mike Richards, Kings. A buyout would cost the Kings $19.3 million over 12 years according to capgeek.com. Ouch. Richards is a $5.75 million cap hit for another six seasons, but his playoff production the past three seasons (0.64 points per game) is better than his regular season production (0.57). The Kings don’t score very much — he was 4th on the team in scoring with 41 points — so I don’t see them buying him out. Eric Duhatschek suggested a possible buyout, because the Kings might not be able to afford Gaborik and Richards. Interesting.
- RJ Umberger has three years left at $4.6 million. He only played 12 minutes/game in the playoffs for the Blue Jackets. He did score 18 goals in the regular season, and he’s a big body the Oilers could use, but does he have three decent seasons left? The issue is he has a NMC. If the Jackets say they will buy him out, he can still balk at a trade because he could get bought out and then get a new deal which combined would give him more than the old deal. Like Danny Briere last year.
- There aren’t many options of teams willing to trade a guy who is a potential compliance buyout, but I’m sure Craig MacTavish will see if any are available. The Oilers have the money to do it, if they enhance the package enough to make them better.
- The Anaheim Ducks have eight D-men signed and they need to sign Sami Vatanen. They could send him or Hampus Lindholm to the minors, but I wonder if Bryan Allen might be available with Sheldon Souray set to return in the fall. Allen isn’t a buyout option, he has one year left at $3.5 million, but the Ducks have a lot of defensive depth.
ULTIMATE SPORTS FAN PACKAGE…
For the fourth consecutive year we are doing our Ultimate Sports Fan package in support of charity. On June 7th I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour, and I’ve come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan.
How it works is you make a $100 donation and you get 1 entry. If you make a $200 donation you get two entries.
We only take 100 entries and we will raise $10,000 for MS. The draw will be on Thursday June 5th.
This year’s winner will get the following: The final package will be value at over $5,000.00
- A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
- A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets in the lower bowl.
- A signed, game used Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stick.
- 20 tickets to the Oil Kings opening night game and banner raising night. Also, you will get an Oil King of your choice to come to your backyard rink or minor hockey practice for an hour. ( Between November 1st and December 15th.)
- A pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets.
- Four infield passes to the Canadian Derby on Saturday August 16th.
- I will add a few more prizes involving memorabilia, food and more sporting events in the coming days.
Keep in mind this sold out in two weeks last year, so if you want a chance to win and help end MS get in the draw today.
You can make your donation here. (click on Donate Now beside my bad picture). Thanks and good luck.
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