Updates on Briere, Rask, Malone & Byfuglien – May 1, 2013.

Danny Briere hopes to remain with the Flyers, Tuukka Rask’s next contract will depend upon his playoff performance,  the possibility of a buyout or trade for Ryan Malone, and one Winnipeg pundit isn’t sure trading Dustin Byfuglien is a good idea.

Danny Briere wants to remain with the Flyers.

Danny Briere wants to remain a Flyer.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Sarah Baicker reports Danny Briere acknowledged the possibility he’ll be an amnesty buyout candidate this summer, but hopes it doesn’t happen. Ultimately, he knows it’s a situation beyond his control. Briere also said he hadn’t been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause in his contract. He also said he never refused to accept a trade, only that his preference was to remain a Flyer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers management would prefer to retain Briere, but given the cap squeeze they’re facing as a result of the declining salary cap for next season, they don’t have any choice. It’s either trade Briere or take advantage of a penalty-free buyout opportunity.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggarty reports Bruins RFA goalie Tuukka Rask is likely to receive something between Jimmy Howard’s contract (six-years, $31.8 million) and Carey Price’s six-year, $38 million deal. The determining factor will be his performance in this year’s playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rest assure Rask will be re-signed, but it’s not surprising his playoff performance this year will affect how much he’ll get in his new deal.

TAMPA TRIBUNE’s Erik Erlendsson doesn’t expect the Lightning will buy out forward Ryan Malone but wouldn’t rule out his being dealt this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Flyers, the Lightning have little choice. They must either buy out Malone or trade him to free up cap space. It’s possible they could buy out Vincent Lecavalier, but I get the sense GM Steve Yzerman prefers not going that route this summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe recently examined the pros and cons of the Jets trading defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. While Wiebe is against such a move, if the Jets were to trade Byfuglien, he feels it should be for “at least” an all-star forward in return.  Wiebe also doubts the Jets will buy out Olli Jokinen.


  1. I’m as big a fan of Briere the person as you’ll find. He’s a down-to-earth, conscientious human being who values his family and does tons of work in the community. You won’t find many more professional athletes that set better examples for younger players coming up than Briere, just ask Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
    He’s also a very skilled and tenacious player with a never-give-up attitude. Even as a mid-late 30’s veteran, he holds value, especially with his penchant for increasing production in the postseason.
    That said, the NHL is a business and sometimes these difficult decisions have to be made. As a Flyers fan, I would hope that they’re able to acquire something of value for him, even a mid-round pick, as opposed to losing him for nothing as an amnesty buyout.
    I’m wondering out loud if (pending Briere’s approval on a trade) so-called “floor teams” like Phoenix, Nashville, Florida or a team like St. Louis who might be one affordable offensive contributor away from true contender status, would have interest given the huge differential in his salary cap to real money owed. Over the next two seasons, he counts for $6.5M against the cap, but is owed only $5M collectively ($3M next year, $2M in 2015).
    In a worst case scenario, the cap space in itself is a valuable commodity to get in return, but I would hate to see Briere end up with a division rival with space (ie NJ Devils, NY Islanders).

    • It would be in his best in his best interest to waive his ntc. He wont get that kind of money again. He is old slow cant play d awful plus minus.

  2. Hey Lyle, I have a question for you, yesterday when you posted about the possiblity of one team trading a player to another with some compensation to be bought out by the other team, it got me thinking, with this new CBA, what would stop a team from trading away a player to a friendly GM, have him buy out the contract and then resign them for a cheeper cap hit? For example say the flyers call LA and say “hey we will give you a 2nd round pick if you buy out the last 2 years Brieres contract for us(2 years 6.5 m cap hit), and then we can resign him for less(2 years 1 m cap hit). LA gets a 2nd, Briere gets every dime hes owed plus an aditional 2m for the new contract and the flyers have him at a 1 m cap hit for next year… hows that for salary cap circumvention. would also open the possibility for 2 teams to make an arangement to trade their best players to one another to be bought out and resigned for reasonable cap hits. Example. Pit trades Crosby to Was for Ovechkin, Pit buys out Ovechkin, Was buys out Crosby, and they both resign with thier former teams for 10 year 10 M(1 M cap hit). Im also unclear if the player gets every cent of their contract but even if they only get 2/3 then you can still save by giving them a contract for the 1/3 that was left plus a bonus. Anyway its an interesting idea though!

    • Hi, Tristan, interesting question. The new CBA hasn’t been released yet (the league is still functioning under a memo of understanding with the PA), but given your example, I can’t see anything which would prevent a team from trading a player to another club, that player being subsequently bought out, and then signed by their former club. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s addressed in the new CBA, because if it isn’t, that would be the first big hole allowing cap circumvention.

    • Great – and terrifying! – question, Tristan. I could easily see teams doing that! (but I do think it’d be terrible if teams figure out how to circumvent the cap that way)

    • I always read this blog and never reply but that is a fantastic question about circumvention of the cap. It will be interesting to see if this is an actual loophole or not.

      • I’m currently looking into this matter and hope to have a post in an upcoming “Soapbox” soon.

    • Just ask New Jersey if they think circumventing the cap is worth it. Even if this issue is not specifically written into the new CBA I’m quite sure the league would not hesitate to put their foot down when such a move is so obviously cap circumvention.

    • I was wondering, if that is possible, if TB and NYR try pulling that off with Lecavalier and Richards. Make the trade. Buy out each player and re-sign the original player for next to nothing.

    • Thats a dangerous route, what if Crosby doesn’t sign back wth the Pens and another team say the Habs convince him to sign with them for 5 million a year? Even more money for the player isn’t?

  3. No matter how much they say they need it, even before the ink is dry Owners and their GM’s will be looking for loopholes if they think they can gain an advantage. Nature of the beast. Cooperation between teams, given the ‘incest’ where competing managements played and even grew up together, is not unlikely.

  4. even if they do circumvent the cap, it won’t last too long, they can only do it for two players and thats the end of it

  5. The cap circumvention question is so super interesting and very creative. I believe that it may violate anti-trust laws as it seems somewhat collaberative and NHL teams are for-profit businesses. However, the NHL exists in both the United States and Canada so not sure that this has been addressed in international treaties or not…again very interesting question!

  6. Forget about trading a player to have another team buy them out…Can a team buy out a player, then re-sign the same player?

    • No. That’s why people have been thinking about this loophole.