Skip to content

Let the buyout debates begin

Dec 28, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Scott Gomez Getty Images

Unless the NHL ends up pulling its latest CBA offer from the table, it appears there will be some form of compliance buyouts to help the transition to a lower salary cap in 2013-14.

Under the league’s new proposal, each team would be allowed one buyout that wouldn’t count against the cap; however, the money would come out of the players’ share (which the union may take issue with).

The NBA put a similar clause in its recently signed CBA. Notably, the “amnesty” provision allowed the Magic to bid adieu to Gilbert Arenas and the Knicks to rid themselves of Chauncey Billups’ contract (so they could afford Tyson Chandler).

Compliance buyouts will be most welcomed by the NHL’s big spenders. The league reportedly wants a $60 million salary cap next season (which again, the union may take issue with), significantly lower than the current $70.2 million.

Among the potential buyout candidates:

—- Scott Gomez (Montreal)
—- Wade Redden (NY Rangers)
—- Mike Komisarek (Toronto)
—- Keith Ballard (Vancouver)
—- Matt Stajan (Calgary)

Buying out players with long-term contracts is less likely, as those players will still need to be paid their salaries according to the buyout formula. (Unless there’s some sort of exception that allows a team to assume part of the salary of a bought out player.)

Related: $60 million cap? Here are 10 teams that could be in trouble

  1. matt8204 - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Shouldn’t have left the Devils in 2007. He chased the money, went to the Rangers and hasn’t been the same since.

    • bigtganks - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Parise = Gomez 2.0

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        And Suter = Redden….can’t wait to see how fast Wild fans turn on the twins.

      • martysbetter - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        The Parise/Gomez comparison is definitely not out of line…

    • stakex - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Well his first season with the Rangers was one of his best.

      The problem is the Rangers signed him to be one of their top goal scorers… and he had only ever scored more then 15 goals twice (33 and 19) in seven seasons. He was not a goal scorer, and the pressure to live up to his contract simply killed him after his first season with the Rangers.

  2. cruuuzcontrol - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Boy, wouldn’t it have sucked if the Rangers were stuck with both Redden AND Gomez? Thanks, Habs!

  3. mustbechris - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Add Chris Pronger to that list. Getting his contract off the books is crucial – $5 mill of dead money for the next 6 years, particularly on a $60 mill salary cap this season, would be a killer. For Bryzgalov haters, amnestying Pronger certainly takes precedence over Bryz’s contract, although I wouldn’t buy him out anyway.

    • Jason Brough - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Pronger: LTIR. No cap hit.

      • killerpgh - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM

        I’m no CBA expert, but buying out Pronger might be there best option. I understand the whole “LTIR . No cap hit”, but my understanding is it is not that simple (or atleast wasnt under the last CBA). Sure his cap hit doesn’t count for that current season, but if the Flyers go over the Salary Cap legally by using the cap space created by placing Pronger on the LTIR they then face a cap penalty the season. For the sake of using round number lets say the Salary Cap ceiling is set at 60 million. There is no LTIR during the off season, but teams can go over the cap ceiling by 10% during the off season. Now say the Flyers are at 65 million including Pronger’s 5 million cap hit but then place him on the LTIR. Technically Pronger contract doesn’t effect the cap this season, but next season the Flyers would be hit with a 5 million dollar cap penalty so if the cap stayed at 60 million the next season the Flyers would then have a 55 million Cap ceiling. I have read a lot of the old CBA and I won’t say I’m 100% correct. It’s not the easiest thing to fully comprehend (most GM’s have someone to help with all the CBA language) but from what I read and talking to other people who have read it I would feel comfortable saying with atleast 75% certainty that what I explained is correct. But like everyone else I have been wrong before. Now the next issue is can you buy out a player that is not medically cleared?

    • raveman213 - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      I’d buy out Bryzgalov in a heartbeat

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Uh dude, Pronger’s contract does not count against the cap.

  4. raveman213 - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Bryzgalov please?

  5. gettingpwned - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM


    • jaredo10 - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      i with you on the Diperto one.. Wow what a bust

      • 950003cups - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        Islanders could have bought out DiPietro any time they wanted. The buyout still gives a player 2/3’s of his owed balance. The only difference is that if they did it would count against the cap. But its not like the Islanders were spending to the cap ceiling anyway and needed cap space.

    • stakex - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      As 9500003cups points out, the Islanders actually need the cap hit they get from DiPietro when hes healthy. Given that, its unlikely they would buy him out since they need to pay him anyway if they do. Might as well get the cap hit from him if nothing else.

      • gettingpwned - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        true, but if they didn’t have to use it this year they could use it in a year or two when they move to brooklyn. i’d expect them to spend a few bucks when they move and players will actually chose to come to the new arena/area.

    • zetaone - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      He’d get injured walking down his driveway to his mailbox to collect the buyout check.

  6. loinstache - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Friend suggested buy out Ballard and then offer him a new contract, sensible as long as there is room for a new Edler contract

    • Jason Brough - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Ballard: “Is AV still the coach?”
      Gillis: “Yes”
      Ballard: “Yeah, I’m gonna sign somewhere else.”

  7. broadstbully33 - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:11 PM


  8. atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    They should just name this the Sutter/Stajan rule! Not sure what Darryl had seen when he called Stajan up to his office and decided to make it rain.

    • Jason Brough - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      It was his way of justifying the trade. “He MUST be good if someone signed him to a $14 million contract.”

      • danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        I like to call it the Burke Manuever.

  9. 950003cups - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    One has to wonder if Lou Lamoriello would continue his “Former Cup Winning Devils Last Hurrah” trend with Scott Gomez?

  10. danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Lecavalier. No, he’s not a bad player at all, but he’s signed ’till 2020 at $7,727,273 – a bigger cap hit than Stamkos for a guy who hit the 70-point mark once IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS.

  11. 950003cups - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Caps should buyout Ovechkin. The guy is a showboat who can’t seem to play “team oriented” hockey. Watching him out on the ice, he thinks he’s Jesus and all the players are his disciples.

    NOTE TO OVI: Walking on FROZEN water doesn’t make you Jesus. Play a team game!!

    • danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Slight problem with that plan – he’s almost singlehandedly brought the Caps from general irrelevance and turned them into an exciting (and drastically more profitable) product. Yes, his ego is enormous. Yes, he’s a spoiled, petulant manchild. But he still brings them more money by far than his contract is costing them.

      • 950003cups - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        It wouldn’t kill him to bring a few goals with that. What you say is very true. Plus he’s wayyyyyy overpaid. He has 9 years left with $88,000,000. Its almost impossible to buy him out. It would cost the Caps close to $60,000,000 just and he would be a UFA!!!

        Leonsis is screwed!!

      • danphipps01 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        Oh yeah, there’s little chance in my mind that he’ll play his whole contract with the Caps. But someone else will be willing to risk that contract in the hopes of seeing his old form restored, guaranteed. Columbus, if nothing else – I’m sure they’ll still be looking for someone to save their impossibly unlucky, misfortunate club by the time the Caps are tired of Ovi’s ego.

    • stakex - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      First of all, the Caps would have to give Ovechkin about $90 million if they bought him out. That would never happen…. ever. So the idea is laughable anyway. Second, the Caps make far more money off Ovechkin then they pay him. You don’t just throw away your cash cow in business.

      Besides, Ovi is the Caps best chance to win a cup. He had the worst year of his career last season and scored 38 goals…. every team in the league wishes they had players with those kind of problems.

      Its also worth noting that hes playing quite well in Russia. Hes 5th in points, 4th in goals, and hes played 3-5 less games then almost everyone on the top of both lists.

  12. stakex - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    If the new CBA doesn’t let teams stash people in the AHL anymore to avoid the cap hit there is little debate… Wade Redden is the most obvious buyout. Hes the biggest bomb that would be dropped on any team in the new CBA under those rules. Him being forced into the NHL would put the Rangers in a huge bind. They have $10 million in cap space for this year if the cap stays at $70m… but they still need to re-sign Del-Zotto and would already be over the cap for next season (likely to be $60 million) BEFORE you add Redden. Thats a huge problem, especially with Stepan and McDonagh both in for big new contracts next year.

    • 950003cups - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      McDonough deserves a payday. The kid is big and very quick. He gave Kovy an ulster in the playoffs. However under the former CBA he will be an RFA, and under the new one, it might be a long time until he’s a UFA.

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        *ulcer? Or maybe you meant a house in Ireland….

      • 950003cups - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:20 PM

        No, a house in Upstate NY. They bet a house in Ulster County on the playoffs. Kovy now owns it. But now that you mention it, he did give Kovy ulcers too

  13. dbarnes79 - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    The Leafs could probably unload 2 or 3 contracts if they were allowed. Put Conolly and Lombardi on that list with Komisarek.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 30, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      Shame it doesn’t apply to GMs, or I’d frontlist Brian Burke.

  14. jimw81 - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    disappointed in no gomez/Bryz picture.

  15. sportsfan69 - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Hey Flyer fans,

    If you get rid of Bryzgalov, who plays goal for you? Frank Rizzo?

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      They trade for Bernier of the Kings…

      • sportsfan69 - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Who does the Flyers give back in return? Not so easy.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      One assumes they’ll throw a lifetime contract at a different goalie and watch him turn into a statistical nightmare instead. Don’t you know the rule? By divine providence, the only good goalie the Flyers are allowed to have is Ron Hextall.

  16. hockeyfan28 - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    looking at this it doesn’t seem to have a hard timeline when you would have to use a buyout clause
    this makes teams like the Flyers with Bryz in a better position since they can see how he performs
    before making a hard decision between using it on him or Pronger.

  17. kappy32 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Rick DiPietro? Hello???? The WORST contract in NHL history.

  18. kappy32 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:31 PM


    Very good point with the Isles & DP buyout before this “amnesty clause.” The Isles haven’t spent to the cap since a hard cap was instituted. My question is, however, if they bought him out in seasons before, would the entire 2/3 buyout amount count towards only that season’s cap or would they have been able to spread it out over 2 or 3 years. I know that in the NBA, before the one-time Amnesty Clause with last year’s new CBA, if a team bought out a player in years prior the entire buyout amount counted against that year’s cap & they couldn’t spread it out. If the Isles were to have been forced to put then entire 2/3 buyout amount to a single year’s cap number, there would have been absolutely no way they could have bought-out DP & still put a full roster together – 2/3 of DP’s remaining salary would have taken up a large portion of the Isle’s cap room.

    • killerpgh - Dec 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      NHL cap geek has a buyout calculator. If the islanders would buy out DiPietro under normal conditions the Iles would take a cap hit penalty of 1.5 million until the 2028-29 season.

  19. jcmeyer10 - Dec 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Luongo? I thought one of the only reasons he hasn’t found a new home is his bloated, and long term contract.

    Thumbs down or explain if I am wrong.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      More like nobody was going to trade for a long-term high cap hit without knowing what the new CBA and salary cap looked like. He’s a very tradeable product – what everyone saying otherwise seems to forget is that none of the GMs know for certain what the cap will be going forward and no-one’s going to take a chance on a decade-long contract ’till they do.

  20. inhokewetrust - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Who cares about buyouts….we make 2.4 million a home game….suck it NHL….

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1450)
  2. P. Kessel (1404)
  3. M. Boedker (1224)
  4. S. Matthias (1160)
  5. M. Zuccarello (1144)
  1. R. McDonagh (1137)
  2. D. Carcillo (1115)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1107)
  4. A. Ladd (1023)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (985)