NHL buyout window: Where your team stands

After a zero-goal season, Ville Leino has been targeted for an amnesty buyout by the Buffalo Sabres. (AP/Gerry Broome)
April 19, 2014, 1:16 AM

Owners, open your wallets. We’re counting down to buyout season.

The second and final window for the NHL clubs to use their amnesty buyouts will begin the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the 2014 Stanley Cup final concludes. The buyout window slams shut for good at 5 p.m. ET on June 30. Bought-out players become unrestricted free agents and can sign with a new club on July 1.

Each team has been granted two compliance buyouts to use either last summer or this one, a clause embedded in the new CBA to provide some previously spend-silly GMs with a mulligan. Or two. Some teams have already stated their intentions publicly; others are remaining tight-lipped and will work the trade phones until they’re left with no other options.

In order to be bought out, the player must not be injured, however. He must also pass through waivers, although that is more a matter of formality since no one is jumping to pay Ville Leino what the 2011 Sabres are. Important to note that a player cannot re-sign with the same club that bought him out until a full calendar year passes.

Here, in brief, is what we know about where your favourite team stands on using its buyouts before the window closes.

Anaheim Ducks Buyouts used: 0
The Ducks, quiet thus far, will likely sit pat — a testament to GM Bob Murray’s salary cap management.

Boston Bruins Buyouts used: 0
General manager Peter Chiarelli has committed big money and term to a handful of players, but they’ve all performed. The Bruins announced early last summer that an amnesty buyout wasn’t in the plans. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do the same this June.

Buffalo Sabres Buyouts used: 0
Ville Leino ($4.5-million cap hit until 2016-17) is the posterboy buyout candidate, but former GM Darcy Regier puled the trigger on forward Nathan Gerbe ($1.45 million cap hit through 2013-14) last season instead. Gerbe’s buyout, however, did not fall under the amnesty category. He signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and scored 31 points; Leino scored no goals this season. New manager Tim Murray said in April there would be “a very good possibility” he buys out Leino now.

Calgary Flames Buyouts used: 0
Positioned well under the cap and prepared to spend, it is highly doubtful the Flames use a buyout.

Carolina Hurricanes Buyouts used: 0
The Hurricanes traded their leading buyout candidate, Tuomo Ruutu ($4.75 million cap hit until 2015-16), to the New Jersey Devils at the March deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks Buyouts used: 2
They aren’t headline-grabbing names, but Chicago bought out Steve Montador ($2.75 million cap hit until 2014-15) and Rostislav Olesz ($3.125 million until 2013-14) after winning the 2013 Stanley Cup in order to free up cash and re-sign Bryan Bickell, then a pending UFA.

Colorado Avalanche Buyouts used: o
In 2013, Joe Sakic used a standard buyout on defenceman Greg Zanon ($2.25 million cap hit through 2013-14). Although P.A. Parenteau has spent time in coach Patrick Roy’s doghouse, he’s more likely to be traded than bought out.

Columbus Blue Jackets Buyouts used: 0
No buyouts last summer. This summer, there is an outside chance 32-year-old forward R.J. Umberger ($4.6 million cap hit through 2016-17) is a candidate.

Detroit Red Wings Buyouts used: 1
Defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo ($2.5 million cap hit through 2013-14) got the buyout last summer; he signed a cheap, one-year deal with St. Louis and played sparingly on the Blues’ blue line. Overpaid forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson will have their contracts expire, so it’s unlikely Detroit uses its second buyout.

Dallas Stars Buyouts used: 0
Veteran forward Eric Cole isn’t cheap ($4.5 million cap hit until 2014-15), and he wasn’t GM Jim Nill’s acquisition. The 35-year-old’s production (29 points in 2013-14) has fallen off sharply.

Edmonton Oilers Buyouts used: 0
The Oilers’ big-money deals have all been made with young, promising stars. Nothing to see here.

Florida Panthers Buyouts used: 0
Panthers GM Dale Tallon might take a look at buying out ailing captain Ed Jovanovski ($4.1 million cap hit until 2014-15) now that the team is under new ownership more keen to spend to win.

Los Angeles Kings Buyouts used: 0
General manager Dean Lombardi says his club is devoid of poor contracts. Don’t expect a buyout here.

Minnesota Wild Buyouts used: 1
Last summer the Wild used its first compliance buyout on defenceman Tom Gilbert ($4 million cap hit through 2013-14). Gilbert signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with Florida and provided the Panthers with good value. With forward Dany Heatley’s $7 million cap hit coming off the books, the Wild should be fine.

Montreal Canadiens Buyouts used: 2
The Habs have used up both buyouts already. After paying off Scott Gomez immediately after the 2012-13 lockout ended, Montreal gave defenceman Tomas Kaberle his pink slip. After single-season stints with San Jose and Florida, Gomez is a UFA once again. Kaberle spent 2013-14 playing for Kladno in the Czech Elite League.

Nashville Predators Buyouts used: 1
General manger David Poile tapped defenceman Hal Gill for a buyout in 2013. The free-agent veteran found a one-year, $700,000 gig with Philadelphia early in 2013-14 but played just six games.

New Jersey Devils Buyouts used: 1
Upon acquiring Cory Schneider from Vancouver, Lou Lamoriello bought out third-string goaltender Johan Hedberg in 2013. This year Anton Volchenkov ($4.25 million cap hit until 2015-16) has a target on him.

New York Islanders Buyouts used: 1
It is as if the compliance buyout was created for Rick DiPietro ($3.57 million cap hit until 2020-21), whom the Isles bought out in 2013. Regardless if another club signs him as a UFA, DiPietro will collect $1.5 million annually 16 seasons. Read that sentence again. Now feel free to retrieve your jaw from the floor.

New York Rangers Buyouts used: 1
Perhaps the most compelling buyout candidate of all is centre Brad Richards, who was rumoured to be on the chopping block in 2013 but turned his game around under new coach Alain Vigneault. The Rangers already used up one get-out-of-jail-free card on defenceman Wade Redden, who enjoyed a brief NHL encore with the Blues and Bruins in 2013 before retiring. The 33-year-old Richards’ $6.67 million cap hit through 2019-20 is a strain in New York, even when he’s playing well.

Ottawa Senators Buyouts used: 0
Don’t expect to see a compliance buyout in the budget-conscious Canadian capital.

Philadelphia Flyers Buyouts used: 2
The Flyers cut two giant cheques — one to forward Danny Briere and one to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov — in 2013, giving GM Paul Holmgren a pair of significant mulligans. It’s as if the whole idea of amnesty buyouts was created for this free-spending team. At reasonable rates, Bryzgalov (Minnesota) and Briere (Montreal) enjoyed stretches of success in 2013-14.

Phoenix Coyotes Buyouts used: 0
Buyouts are the least of the Coyotes’ worries; the rumour mill has been quiet on the amnesty front.

Pittsburgh Penguins Buyouts used: 0
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury ($5 million cap hit through 2014-15) was a rumoured candidate last summer. His bounce-back season has quieted all speculation.

San Jose Sharks Buyouts used: 0
Past-his-prime forward Martin Havlat has been plagued with injuries and carries a $5 million cap hit through 2014-15. He’s a possibility here.

St. Louis Blues Buyouts used: 0
The St. Louis Blues’ player salaries have been very well managed. No buyouts here.

Tampa Bay Lightning Buyouts used: 1
Former franchise face Vincent Lecavalier ($7.73 million cap hit until 2019-20) became the recipient of the largest buyout in NHL history ($32 million plus) in 2013. He was snatched up by the Flyers. Depth forward Ryan Malone ($4.5 million cap hit through 2014-15) is the prime candidate to go this summer; his cocaine arrest didn’t help his trade value.

Toronto Maple Leafs Buyouts used: 2
The cash-flush Maple Leafs pulled the plug on defenceman Mike Komisarek and centre Mikhail Grabovski in 2013. Komisarek played 32 games for Carolina in 2013-14, while Grabovski left angry and had a nice little bounce-back season in Washington.

Vancouver Canucks Buyouts used: 1
Defenceman Keith Ballard ($4.2 million cap hit until 2014-15) was bought out in 2013 and signed a two-year, $3-million deal with Minnesota. Much speculation has winger David Booth ($4.25 million cap hit through 2014-15) becoming the Canucks’ second compliance buyout this summer, although there is a case to keep him.

Washington Capitals Buyouts used: 1
Capitals GM George McPhee bought out defenceman Jeff Schultz ($2.75 million cap hit through 2013-14) last summer. Schultz signed with L.A. but only played for the Kings’ AHL affiliate this season. Forward Brooks Laich ($4.5 million cap hit through 2016-17) scored just eight goals in 2013-14 before injuring his groin; the 30-year-old had his least productive season since his rookie campaign. A team cannot buyout an injured player, however, and Laich, who underwent groin surgery in March, failed his end-of-year physical. The Capitals can bring him in for another physical before the buyout period commences.

Winnipeg Jets Buyouts used: 0
Despite rumblings that goaltender Ondrej Pavelec ($3.9 million cap hit through 2016-17) might not be long for Winnipeg, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff announced in April that Pavelec will be the Jets’ starting goaltender in 2014-15. The Jets are unlikely to use an amnesty buyout.


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