Flyers’ Bryzgalov tops 20 priciest NHL buyouts

June 25, 2013, 2:23 PM

By Pat Pickens

There’s a new No. 1 on the all-time buyout list.

And here we thought no one would ever trump Alexei Yashin’s buyout — which he’s still collecting on.

Without further ado, here is the updated look at the 20 priciest buyouts of all time.

20. Jonathan Cheechoo, Ottawa Senators

The former 50-goal scorer was traded to the Senators for Dany Heatley on Sept. 12, 2009 but only played 61 games in Ottawa before being sent down to the American Hockey League. Cheechoo was bought out for the final two years at $2.33 million and has not played an NHL game since.

19. Duvie Wescott, Columbus Blue Jackets

Tell me, does anyone remember this one? Capgeek tells me he was bought out after 2008 for four years and $2.466 mill. Wikipedia tells me that he is playing in Europe. I’ll move on.

18. Todd Bertuzzi, Anaheim Ducks

Bertuzzi may have helped the Detroit Red Wings eliminate his former club this year, but his 68 games in Anaheim were terribly nondescript. Bertuzzi only registered 42 points — only two of which came in the postseason — and was subsequently bought out for two years at $2.66 million.

17. Jay McKee, St. Louis Blues

McKee may have had a memorable 802-game NHL career, but his three seasons in St. Louis were memorable for his inability to play a full season. After signing a four-year deal worth $16 million, McKee only played 158 games in three seasons before being bought out by the Blues.

16. J.P. Dumont, Nashville Predators

If nothing else, Dumont was durable, playing 388 games in five years with the Nashville Predators. If only he could’ve scored more. Dumont only produced 267 points and his four-year, $16-million deal was bought out after the 2010-11 season.

15. Trent Hunter, New Jersey Devils

Hunter was acquired from the New York Islanders in 2011 but only was a Devil for three days, being bought out by New Jersey for $2.667 million over four years.

14. Alyn McCauley, Los Angeles Kings

The long-time Toronto Maple Leaf was signed for four years by the Los Angeles Kings yet only played 10 games before the Kings spent $2.66 million to buy him out after the 2007 season.

13. Glen Murray, Boston Bruins

Murray played more than 1,000 NHL games and was in his second stint with Boston. However, his 30 points in 68 games at age 35 did not sit well, and the Bruins spent $2.76 million over two years to buy him out in 2008.

12. Sheldon Souray, Edmonton Oilers

Folks might remember Mr. Souray as the last big-time free agent to sign in Edmonton, but Oilers’ fans will remember him as a colossal bust. Souray signed for five years at $27 million but only played 144 games over three seasons in Edmonton.

The Oilers spent $3 million to buy out his final two years, yet Souray caught on with the Ducks and finished plus-19 in 44 games this year while helping Anaheim reach the postseason.

11. Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens fans could quip that Gomez burned them twice. After Montreal traded Ryan McDonagh to pick up the former all-star, Gomez registered only 108 points in 196 games. Gomez’s contract worth $3 million over three years was bought out with the new amnesty clause in the CBA, but the Alaska native caught on with San Jose and helped the Sharks to the second round of this year’s postseason.

10. Wade Redden, New York Rangers

Ahh, the Rangers portion of the program. Many remember Redden’s deal, a six-year contract worth $39 million, in which the Lloydminster, Sask., native played just 156 games before being cast off to Hartford/Connecticut of the AHL.

Redden’s final three years were erased as part of New York’s first amnesty buy out, yet Redden still can get his name on the Stanley Cup this year if the Bruins win it all.

9. Danny Briere, Philadelphia Flyers

The first of two Flyers. Philadelphia bought out the veteran who had spent his previous six seasons in Philadelphia. Briere was minus-13 in 2013 and was bought out for $3.33 million, as Philadelphia strives to get under next season’s salary cap.

8. Chris Drury, New York Rangers

With the Buffalo Sabres, Drury helped eliminate the Rangers in the 2007 postseason. New York signed the Trumbull, Conn. native to a fat five-year, $35.25-million contract, yet Drury scored only 62 goals in three-plus years. Drury’s deal was bought for $3.33 million over two years.

7. Bill Guerin, Dallas Stars

Guerin signed a five-year deal worth about $40 million in 2002 and recorded 159 points in three seasons. The Stars bought the final two years out for $4.49 million, yet Guerin wasn’t finished, as he helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2009.

6. Mike Commodore, Blue Jackets

Commodore’s tough play and intriguing hair made him a fan favourite with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Still, Commodore only played 77 games over the final two seasons of his five-year, $18.75-million deal and was bought out for $4.56 million after the the 2010-11 season.

5. Mark Parrish, Minnesota Wild

Parrish signed a five-year, $13.25-million deal with the Minnesota Wild before the 2006-07 season but only registered 69 points in 142 games. Parrish’s final three years were bought for $5.56 million over six years after the 2008 season — he’s still on the Wild payroll for next year.

4. Darcy Tucker, Toronto Maple Leafs

Tucker had his share of controversial moments as a Maple Leaf, but after the second year of his four-year, $12-million deal with Toronto, his shtick had run thin. Tucker is still on the Leafs’ payroll– he’ll make $1 million next year in the final year of a six-year buyout.

3. Vinny Prospal, Tampa Bay Lightning

Prospal prospered in two prior stints in St. Pete, so the Lightning decided to sign him for four years and $14 million before the 2008-09 season.

That move backfired, as Prospal recorded 45 points and was minus-20 in 82 games. The Lightning still owe Prospal $2.33 million over the next two seasons, even though he’s played with two other organizations since he was bought out.

2. Alexei Yashin, New York Islanders

Mike Milbury, the genius, decided it’d be a cracking idea to sign Yashin to a 10-year, $87.5-million contract after trading Zdeno Chara — yes, that Zdeno Chara — Bill Muckalt and the draft pick that became Jason Spezza for the Russian superstar. Yashin never scored more than 32 goals or recorded more than 75 points with the Isles and was subsequently bought out for $17.6 million over eight years after the 2007 season.

Yashin will earn $2.204 million over the next two seasons from New York. And that still looks sane compared to…

1. Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers

Yup. It happened. Someone finally made Mr. Milbury look semi-smart.

Bryz, who was a stalwart in Phoenix, signed a nine-year, $51-million deal with Philadelphia and played decently in 2011-12, winning 33 games and backstopping Philly to the playoffs. However, the wheels came off in 2013, as Bryzgalov posted just a .900 save percentage and a 2.79 goals-against average.

Philadelphia will pay Bryzgalov $23 million over the next 14 years to keep him from acting like a space cadet in a Flyers uniform. Do the math: he’ll be on Philadelphia’s payroll until 2028.

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