Michael Grange of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that the NHL has agreed to two compliance buyouts per team for the 2013-14 season, likely beginning this offseason. (Why the NHL is so against referring to them as “amnesty” buyouts is beyond us; must be a Frank Luntz thing. )
The NHL’s initial offer in this round of bargaining included a one-time buyout whose money would not count against the salary cap but would count against the players’ share of hockey related revenue. That the players agreed to this “keeping money outside the system” provision, and accepted a second buyout, is a significant concession.
Then again, taking a dozen elephantine contracts off the books next season could be beneficial to the players. With the salary cap dropping – the NHL wants a $60 million cap while the NHLPA is asking for a $65 million cap – the union wants to keep its escrow withholdings from spiraling upward . The fewer teams pressed up against the upper limit of the cap, the better the chances are that escrow wouldn’t balloon.
A couple of thoughts:
1. Check out Cap Geek’s most popular buyout searches for the last seven days:
How many of those actually come to pass? Scott Gomez ($7,357,143 hit through 2013-14) and Wade Redden ($6,500,000 hit through 2013-14) are goners. Shawn Horcoff ($5,500,000 through 2014-15) would seem a logical choice given he’d still be on the books when the Nuge and Justin Schultz will both be free agents for the Edmonton Oilers.
Is it worth buying out the last year of Mike Komisarek ($4,500,000 through 2013-14)? The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t appear to be a team that’ll be capped out.
Tomas Kaberle ($4,250,000 through 2013-14) isn’t getting a buyout. Neither is Roberto Luongo, so long as something comes back to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade.
Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders has a $4.5 million cap hit through 2020-21. Most of the time, he’s an injury exception. When he’s healthy, he’s a serviceable tandem goalie … and that’s a bit much for someone in that role. The expectation is that he’ll get the buyout; but is Charles Wang looking to spend $24 million to correct what he might not see as a mistake?
Posted under NHL