With the NHL offering to allow teams two compliance/amnesty buyouts prior to the 2013-14 season, speculation has begun over which NHL players could become buyout candidates.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch listed Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, Philadelphia’s Ilya Bryzgalov, Montreal’s Scott Gomez and NY Rangers’ Wade Redden as four possible candidates for compliance buyouts under a new NHL CBA. Garrioch believes Luongo could be bought out if the Canucks are unable to trade him prior to next season. He believes buying out Bryzgalov, entering the second season of a nine-year deal with a cap hit of over $5.6 million, would be a bad move by the Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gomez and Redden appear certainties to be bought out. I believe the Canucks will find a taker for Luongo via the trade market. Flyers fans might want to see Bryzgalov gone, but even though the buyout wouldn’t count against the Flyers cap, they’d still have to pay out the remainder of his contract for years to come.
YAHOO! SPORTS: “Puck Daddy” Greg Wyshynski examined CapGeek’s recent listing of “most popular buyouts”, which listed Rick DiPietro, Tomas Kaberle, Mike Komisarek, Chris Pronger, Vincent Lecavalier, Shawn Horcoff and Zach Parise. Wyshynski believes Gomez and Redden are goners, as could Horcoff and DiPietro, but doubts the Maple Leafs (who aren’t pressed for cap space) would buy out Komisarek, who has only one season left on his contract. He doubts the Canadiens buys out Kaberle (whose contact runs through 2013-14). The politics behind buying out Lecavalier could be tricky for the Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild won’t buy out Parise, whom they just signed last summer. As for Pronger, he’s been on LTIR since the mid-point of last season because of post-concussion symptoms. If he’s still unfit to play, he’ll be ineligible for a buyout, though the Flyers can keep him on LTIR and get some cap relief that way, just as the Boston Bruins have done with the concussed Marc Savard.