As CBA talks continue between the NHL and NHLPA, there have been discussions on allowing teams to buyout one player (and possibly two) and not take a hit against the salary cap. Even though they are being saved from taking a cap hit, the owners want to look at the cash they are saving in total as well. So it is not going to be about the biggest contract all the time. Let’s look at teams in the Northeast Division.
Buyout choices are based on players that have contracts that extend past 2012-13; salaries are the average per season.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Mike Komisarek (D) Two Years / $4.5 million
During his time in Toronto, Mike Komisarek has appeared in 154 games while recording just two goals, 15 assists, and 167 penalty minutes. His current contract is not money well spent, and this move plus the 2013 offseason will free up cap space.
Ottawa Senators: Chris Phillips (D) – Two Years / $3.083 million
Ottawa is another team toward the bottom of the league when it comes to spending toward the salary cap, choices are limited. Chris Phillips can see his contract bought out the same time we see Sergei Gonchar’s contract expire and young defencemen will emerge to accompany Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and Jared Cowen.
Montreal is another one of those teams above the $60 million in player salaries and Gomez’s performance has been on the decline for the past few seasons in Montreal. This move provides the Canadiens with the financial room needed in to sign current RFA defenceman P.K. Subban.
Boston Bruins: Marc Savard (F) – Five Years / $4 million
Marc Savard is still making a slow recovery and a return is uncertain after suffering a concussion on March 7, 2010. The Bruins salary cap is one of the 16 teams exceeding $60 million that may need to be reduced pending current CBA negoiations.
Buffalo Sabres: Ville Leino (F) – Five Years / $4.5 million
Ville Leino, 29, had that great season producing 53 points back in 2010-11 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, but Buffalo may have jumped the gun here as they saw his production get cut in half. Even after playing 10 less games than the season before, this contract has to go.