Skip to content

Compliance buyout process begins Monday

Jun 15, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings and Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers battle for the puck during the second period of Game Four of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden on June 11, 2014 in New York, New York. Getty Images

The unrestricted free agent market won’t open until July 1, but some big names could be available sooner. That’s because the window for exercising teams’ remaining compliance buyouts will start Monday and run through June 30, per CSN Washington.

Compliance buyouts are a special option that teams were granted as part of the new CBA to help them cope with the fact that the new agreement was lowering the cap. Each franchise was allowed to buy out the contracts of up to two players over the summers of 2013 and 2014 without suffering any cap penalty.

That led to players like Vincent Lecavalier, Daniel Briere, and Mikhail Grabovski becoming free agents last summer. In total, 18 players were bought out, per Cap Geek.

For some teams, this summer’s compliance buyout window represents their last chance to safely get out of long-term contracts that could hurt them down the road, especially given the recapture penalty that punishes teams when players signed to long-term, heavily front-loaded deals retire with years remaining.

One prime example of that is New York Rangers forward Brad Richards, who is 34 years old and comes with a $6,666,667 annually cap hit through 2019-20. Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards might find himself in the same boat as his role has diminished despite the fact that he’ll cost $5.75 million annually against the cap through 2019-20.

Not all the compliance buyouts will be on big names though. It seems likely that Detroit will buy out the contract of Jordin Tootoo while San Jose’s Martin Havlat and Buffalo’s Ville Leino will also probably be wearing new uniforms in 2014-15.

It’s worth noting that while these buyouts don’t count against the cap, those players will still receive two-thirds of what was owed, with the payments spread out over double the remaining length of his contract. For example, the Flyers are also paying bought out goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov roughly $1.6 million annually through 2026-27 in addition to consistently spending to the cap.

So while compliance buyouts are a helpful tool for teams to utilize, they also require that owners make a financial sacrifice.

Latest Posts
  1. Getzlaf: ‘I was terrible’ in Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf AP

    He wasn’t the only Anaheim player that deserved to be blamed tonight.

  2. Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7

    May 27, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Chicago endured Anaheim’s comeback attempt to win this one.

  3. Video: Goalie interference? Silfverberg bumps Crawford on Stoner goal

    May 27, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Stoner goal

    The Ducks might have caught a break there.

  4. Video: Maroon stays hot in playoffs, gives Ducks hope

    May 27, 2015, 10:08 PM EDT

    Maroon goal

    He has seven goals in 15 playoff games.

  5. Video: Saad comes up short in first frame, opens floodgates in second

    May 27, 2015, 9:46 PM EDT

    Saad goal

    Chicago scored three goals within four minutes.

  6. Kings’ AHL team advances to Calder Cup Final

    May 27, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Jordan Weal Getty Images

    Jordan Weal has been a big part of Manchester’s success.

  7. Voynov’s wife in counseling, still doesn’t want to testify

    May 27, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzhzjmymgu1y2i3mgyxogjlmddmmte0zdlimze1mwjm AP

    She’s previously been warned that this course could lead to her being found in contempt.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 6:06 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzinjawowi5ytdjzgvlogu3zwq0ndm4ywmxndq3zmu2 AP

    Anaheim has a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final tonight.

  9. Ehrhoff likely headed to free agency

    May 27, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff Getty Images

    After just one year in Pittsburgh.

  10. McQuaid camp ‘holding out hope’ to re-sign with Bruins

    May 27, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    One of the many decisions facing new GM Don Sweeney.

  11. As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial

    May 27, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final goes Friday at MSG.

  12. Robinson calls DeBoer ‘a good choice’ for Sharks

    May 27, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One Getty Images

    The two men worked together for a season in New Jersey.

  13. Etem likely to draw back in tonight versus Chicago

    May 27, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Tomas Fleischmann likely on his way out.

  14. Foley moves company to Vegas, hopes NHL sees him as ‘local owner’

    May 27, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    Hockey Vision Las Vegas News Conference To Announce NHL Season Ticket Drive Getty Images

    “We’re going to be embedded in this community.”

  15. Hitch thinks ‘goaltending is the least of our problems’

    May 27, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    Jake Allen AP

    “I get the fact there were three goals that went in that were ugly. That’s the growth of a young player.”

  16. On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’

    May 27, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Rangers forward has had issues with it thus far.

  17. Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach

    May 27, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Former Panthers and Devils coach will take over a team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Featured video

End of an era coming for Blackhawks?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1485)
  2. M. Carle (1400)
  3. K. Yandle (1298)
  4. A. Vermette (1291)
  5. N. Horton (1123)