Compliance Buyout Candidates: Eastern Conference

Justin Azevedo
June 04 2013 12:27PM

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Pic via Bridget Samuels

This summer, I think compliance buyouts will be more focused on guys who can't play anymore and guys who just suck. I believe we'll see the "skill" guys bought out next year, when a decision absolutely has to be made one way or another. Guys like Lecavalier, Richards and Bourque will likely be given this season to prove one way or another if they're worth their contracts. That's just the way I feel about it - if it were up to me, most of those type of contracts would've never been signed.

Boston Bruins

Marc Savard - $4.03 million cap hit through 2016-2017 Season

Savard hasn't played a game for the Bruins since the 2010-2011 season and now that he's 35 it's unlikely he'll ever return to the NHL with his concussion history. As it is right now, Savard is simply holding a contract spot on the 50-man roster since his cap hit is cushioned by his LTIR status. He currently has $7.75 million left to be paid out on his contract, so the money seasons are over.

Buffalo Sabres

Ville Leino - $4.5 million cap hit through 2016-2017 Season

This is one of the worst contracts in the NHL, bar none and it has been since the day it was signed. Leino parlayed one 53 point season (81GP) supported by Claude Giroux into a huge contract from the Sabres - 6 years and $27 million. Thus far, $12 million of that has been paid out, $9 million of it in signing bonuses. Leino has had close to zero success other than that one season in the NHL, scoring at a .35PPG pace in non-Giroux seasons. Since arriving in Buffalo, Leino has scored 31 points in 79 games. He's also injury-prone (8GP last season) and his underlying numbers have been middling his entire career.

Cody McCormick - $1.2 million cap hit through 2013-2014 Season

McCormick, at best, is barely an NHLer, taking up a contract spot and burning cash. He only scored 11 points in 25 games the AHL level this year after scoring 4 points in 50 games for the Sabres in 2011-2012. At 30 years old, his NHL career is likely over barring some GM taking a risk.

Florida Panthers

Scottie Upshall - $3.5 million cap hit through 2014-2015 Season

Upshall was signed after a 34-point season, so it's unlikely Dale Tallon had any thoughts that he'd be an "offensive" contributor. Even so, the 10 points he's put up in Florida since signing there suggests to me that his tenure in Sunrise may be ending. Add to that his less-than-stellar underlying numbers and the Panthers' need for a top-9 roster spot and I don't see a way he isn't a UFA come July 5th.

Montreal Canadiens

Tomas Kaberle - $4.5 million cap hit through 2013-2014 Season

Played 10 games this year and hasn't been effective in any capacity since leaving Toronto. The Hurricanes were insane to sign him to this contract, and everyone knew that at the time.

New Jersey Devils

Bryce Salvador - $3.17 million cap hit through 2014-2015 Season

Three things work against Salvador: his age (37), the Devils' depth on defense (6 defenseman including Salvador already under contract with Zidlicky to sign) and his lack of offensive production (11 points in his last 121 GP). His underlying numbers weren't exactly stellar this season, either. He's also on a 35+ contract, which means if he decides to retire before he could be bought out next summer (a real possibility) the Devils would be stuck with his cap hit in 2014-2015.

New York Islanders

Rick DiPietro - $4.5 million cap hit through 2020-2021 Season

DiPietro appears finished in New York. He can't stay on the ice, and 31 year olds with more surgeries under their belts than...well, he's had a lot of surgeries. The Isles haven't proven shy with buying out long-term deals before, either. Alexei Yashin is still being bloody paid by the Isles and will continue to be until June 30th, 2015. DiPietro doesn't have the stats to suggest he'd be able to make a miraculous comeback, either.

Philadelphia Flyers

Danny Briere - $6 million cap hit through 2014-2015 Season

Briere will be 36 by the time next season starts and is through the money portion of his contract. He's seen his point totals drop dramatically over the past two seasons and Philly needs cap relief desperately.

Ilya Bryzgalov - $5.67 million cap hit through 2019-2020 Season

Paul Holmgren is nuts and the Philly media has had the red carpet at the airport out for Bryz since he signed the contract. He's an okay goaltender, but that's an obelisk of a contract and no team in their right mind would trade for it.

Chris Pronger - $4.94 million cap hit through 2016-2017 Season

Pronger's career is likely done and since he has a 35+ contract his cap hit will remain if he retires. He has just over $12 million remaining on his $35 million contract, but he might take a "functional" retirement (i.e. no longer plays but doesn't officially retire) as his contract will simply be added to the cap through LTIR cushion, which would help the Flyers and their cap crunch.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Mattias Ohlund - $3.61 million cap hit through 2015-2016 Season

Ohlund was a good player for a long time, but the reality of the situation is that his knees won't let him play anymore - so he might just retire as a favour to the Lightning. Otherwise, he hasn't played a game in two seasons and has only $6.75 million left on his $25.25 million dollar deal. The Lightning have $17 million tied up in contracts for defensemen sans Ohlund next year and they could use the cap space a buyout would provide, as they only have $3.5 million left to sign 5 players. However, until he is no longer listed on LTIR they can't buy him out - an interesting situation for sure.

Brian Lee - $1.15 million cap hit through 2013-2014 Season

Lee finished the season with Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate this season and likely won't play significant minutes ever.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Mike Komisarek - $4.5 million cap hit through 2013-2014 Season

He's brutal and he played in the AHL this season and he's as slow as a sloth and 31 and Toronto has cash coming out of their ears. I can't think of a reason not to buy him out, let alone vice versa. This is your GEM MINT 10 SOLID GOLD LOCK buyout candidate.

Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments.

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Justin is a 22-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#51 Sean L
June 06 2013, 01:49PM
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I think Ryan Malone is the Lightning top buyout candidate. He's a great player, but made of glass.

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#52 Patrick
June 06 2013, 04:38PM
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Unable to update comment

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#53 Sekkes
June 08 2013, 01:27PM
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Players on LTIR and whom are unable to pass a physical to play the game CANNOT be bought out. Savard, Pronger, etc. are stuck on the team's books and will continue to be put on LTIR (or retire which is highly unlikely).

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#55 dan
June 08 2013, 09:33PM
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new york rangers maybe brad richards

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