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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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 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.


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.

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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

  1. A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
  2. A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets in the lower bowl.
  3. A signed, game used Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stick.
  4. 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.)
  5. A pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets.
  6. Four infield passes to the Canadian Derby on Saturday August 16th.
  7. 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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Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • Lofty

    I don’t completely understand the details of buyouts but why would it benefit Umberger to be traded vs. bought out?

    If he gets bought out doesn’t he get the cash on his old contract + the right to sign a new contract with a different team? Seems like there’s more money and freedom with a buyout. What am I missing?

  • BlazingSaitls

    At first glance Id jump at Havlat. His injury proneness is too likely however. Forget the last three years, his entire career has been stifled in injury.

    Jordan Tootoo could be a solid fourth liner. He is a poor mans raffe torres imo. Great kid, huge heart. Im not sure how he would react to the pressure of playing so close to his family in Edmonton. Im torn. idk

    Cole, Booth, Jovocop – No thanks

    Volchenkov is interesting. I dont know enough about him to comment further.

    I know MacT is a very strong believe in second chances. Malone intrigues me greatly. I think he can fit in the Oilers lineup and I think MacT can help keep the young man on the right path.

    Mike Richards? I just dont see the fit.
    Brad Richards? Seems way to streaky in his latter years. Even when surrounded by talent the numbers are too streaky for me at his price.

  • BlazingSaitls

    B.Richards has 57pts avg with 70.5 gms/played avg. over the past four years.

    Does anyone see those numbers improving at his price, at his age? Might as well stick with Sam Gagner

  • T__Bone88

    Two players that might be of interest are Laich and Green out of Washington. With Wash bringing in a new GM those two could be candiates for a compliance buyout or trade which the Oilers should at least look at.

  • Maggie the Monkey

    I think there are a couple of other mistakes in this article. First, the purpose of the compliance buyouts – which were introduced after the lockout to compensate for the reduction in the salary cap – is that they would not have lingering cap hits. These are distinct from regular buyouts which have the trailing hits that Gregor refers to. Looking up Tampa and the Islanders on Capgeek, for example, neither DiPietro nor Lecavalier DiPietro count as ongoing cap hits. This means that buying out Leino’s and Franzen’s contracts would not cause any long term consequences to their teams’ salary caps. This part of Gregor’s article is misleading

    The second issue with the article is that the league has stated that any player traded after the lockout is not a candidate for compliance buyouts. This condition was set specifically so that teams couldn’t make a trade just to buy a player out. (I can’t find a reference for this but it has been mentioned several times on Lowetide’s site, Sportsnet’s site, the Cult of Hockey, and a couple of other blogs.)

    • Anyone that is even slightly in the know about hockey should know that a compliance buyout doesn’t come with a cap hit. Pretty sure Gregor knows that. He even mentions it in the first paragraph. Any numbers he mentions is in reference to salary the player is paid.

      • Maggie the Monkey

        Ah, I see how I’ve misinterpreted the statement: “The Sabres will gladly pay the $7.3 million to buy him out and spread it out over six seasons.” This is in reference to Leino potentially being bought out by the Sabres, and I interpreted it to mean that they would be spreading the cap hit out over the six years. The wording is somewhat ambiguous but I understand how it was intended now.

        Sorry for any confusion.


    I believe Torts was also trying to get rid of Burrows by buyout if necessary . Some intriguing names , but any of value will be traded most likely , and team eating part of the salary .

    • Maggie the Monkey

      Thanks for this link. According to the article I was wrong about the second part of my comment – Capgeek asserts that players can be traded for the purpose of being bought out. Capgeek is almost definitely right, but I’ll keep trying to figure out why I thought otherwise. (The obvious answer is my addled memory.)

      • What you might be thinking.. You can’t compliance buy out a player and then re-sign him (same team)

        Edit: that was from memory.. But I went and checked link just now and saw another point that actually may be what you are thinking.. You can’t trade someone, they buy them out and then you trade back for them. That’s probably what you were thinking

  • Between buyouts and burying millions of dollars in the minors, it is shocking how poorly managed many nhl teams are. And then they have the gall to claim they are not profitable and demand subsidies.

    How many millions have the oilers wasted on fired coaches and seven figure one way contracts in the minors? Then they claim they lost a couple million and demand handouts. Sick industry.

  • Zarny

    Jarry lets in another softie in last minute and here we go again to overtime . How did the Oil Kings ever get this far with the goaltending they have gotten ?

  • Zarny

    I can’t wait till the cap recapture penalties start kicking in!

    How do the Rangers not buyout Richards? He gets paid $1M when he’s 37, 38 and 39. His production the last 3 years is 66, 60 (prorated) and 51 pt @ $6.66M per year. If he retires after 2016-17 the Rangers get hit with a $5.57M penalty for 3 seasons. The penalty is the same if he plays an extra year or two.

    How about Hossa in Chicago? His contract tails to $1M for the final 4 years when he’s 37-40. If retires when it tails off Chi gets a $4.25M penalty for 4 years. If Zetterberg doesn’t play the final 2 years of his contract Det gets a $5.083M penalty for 2 years.

    Good times, good times.

  • Zarny

    I don’t think the Oilers should consider any of these guys with the exception of maybe Umberger. We should continue to mine our own players and only consider free agents and trades not buyout guys.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    MacT needs to sign Vanek- 6 millionx5years.

    This would allow us to trade Yakupov.

    Yakupov + Klefbom for Floridas 1st overall.

    Yakupov for Spezza.

    Hall Hopkins Eberle

    Perron Spezza Vanek

    Ekblad Nurse

    Marincin Shultz

    If MacT signs Vanek – we are set. Replace Spezza with Bennett if we trade Yak to Florida instead of Ottawa.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I agree with Danincalgary. Nothing we need in any of those baskets. Stay the course.

    Move anything not bolted to the floor for a shot at the best player in this draft. Ekblad and Bennett are what this team needs more than anything.

    Even if they trade that 3rd for fools gold. Edmonton is still 3/4 yrs away from a playoff hockey club.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Lesson to be learned here. NEVER offer a long term contract (more than 3 years) to a player over the age of 30, unless his name is Wayne Gretzky or Nick Lidstrom.

    For every 1 you might end up winning on, you will lose big time on 3 or 4…….the odds are definitely stacked against you.

  • Old Soldier

    Okay this might get torn to shreds by the rest of you heartless Oiler fans out there but what about a trade with Florida

    Jovanoski, Kulikov and their 1st

    for Gagner and Maricin(I would upgrade this to Ferrence if Florida was being tough)

    The Oil buyout Jovanoski for pennies on the dollar as its his last year on the current deal

    they have Gagner off the books and can make a solid RFA offer to Kulikov and Florida gets a young defenceman who will probably drop in the Oilers rotation a fair bit if they can get Ekblad to go with Nurse and Klefbom, Petry, Schultz, Kulikov….a very young, but damn talented top 6 defence.

    And this way there is a great chance to get both Ekblad and as everyone knows my pet favorite Draisatl

    • Quicksilver ballet

      You won’t get any criticism from me. There’s and opportunity here if the Panthers aren’t sold on Ekblad. Hate like heck to give up Marincin. He, along with Nurse are going to be some nasty bizness on the back end if they’re patient enough with them. Rather decide on keeping either Klefbom or Schultz. They seem to be similar type players. Put one of them in there instead.

      There’s not a lot off limits that I wouldn’t add to that package if Tallon needed more. Oilers walk into next season with Jovo, Kulikov, Ekblad and Bennett/Draisaitl. Let Jovo play out his deal so they could let one or two guys season even further in the AHL. Give Kulikov 2 yrs to see how he fits, there must be a reason the Panthers are anxious to get rid of him. Wouldn’t mind Upshall too in that package if it gets a little bigger.

  • Old Soldier

    In my Oiler Dominatrix Fantasy I Swallow

    Hey guys. I don’t know why MacT doesn’t just trade Gagner and Lander for Seguin. This would help Dallas achieve their goal of centre depth, and give the Oilers the big second line C they covet.

    send Ferrence and Musil to Toronto for Phaneuf.

    trade Pitlick, Chase and Arcobello to Boston for Lucic. Helps the B’s get under the cap…..

    Hall Nuge Eberle
    Lucic Seguin Perron

    seems like an improved top six to me. Maybe grab an Earhoff on D and we’re off to the races. These are all very plausible moves that I believe could help us contend.

    If Katz wants to reach me for advice I have many realistic ideas I am willing to share

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    With 28+ million in cap space the idea of signing Vanek gets 33 trashes to 1 cheer- which I gave myself.

    Sad day to be an Oilers fan- we have unlimited cap space and the idea of signing a solid ufa becomes unthinkable. So unthinkable you get trashed for even suggesting it.

    I guess the organization has become a joke.

  • Joy S. Lee

    Booth and Mike Richards are the only two names that interest me on this list; one for his upside, the other for his experience and intangibles. Neither may be available, however.