WWYDW: Buyout Bonanza

It’s almost that time of year! Buyout season! The time when teams begin to pay people to leave and snarky writers write things like “pay me $4 million dollars to leave?! Rough life huh!” and everyone chuckles. 

While it’s no secret that the Flames are in a bit of a money pickle next season, one of the ways that they can dig themselves out of trouble is by… digging further. Spending money to fix their spending problems. It’s wonderful. Let’s see how the Flames can fix their cap pinch with buyouts after the jump.

WHAT IS A BUYOUT?

So, let’s pretend that your favourite part of hockey is the part where people shoot pucks and score goals and not the intricate, arcane rules that govern the National Hockey League. Maybe you are a little behind on the latest rules that allow teams to eat their mistakes. Poor you, you’re really missing out on what makes hockey so fun!

The kind, smart folks at General Fanager have an excellent buyout primer on their site, which does a handy job of explaining buyouts. The absolute need-to-knows are:

  • the buyout period starts on either June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later;
  • the buyout period ends on June 30 at 5 p.m. ET;
  • there may be a second buyout period following arbitration hearings;
  • a player has to be placed on waivers before being bought out;
  • if the player is claimed, he joins the new team with his current contract; if he clears, he can be bought out;
  • a bought out player becomes an unrestricted free agent;
  • players with no-move clauses can be bought out;
  • injured players cannot be bought out, unless both player and team agree to it;
  • players that have been bought out will be paid over twice the length of the remaining contract, and stay on the cap for just as long;
  • players under 26 get one-third of the money owed them; players 26 and over get two-thirds.

Whew! You got all that? 

This option has been used by the Flames in the recent past, buying out ‘defenceman’ Shane O’Brien. However, that buyout was a part of the compliance buyout program instituted by the NHL to essentially help teams shed their salary cap dead weight following the most recent lockout. That means that O’Brien’s buyout money came directly from the desk of noted Londoner Murray Edwards to the pocket of O’Brien without counting towards the Flames’ salary cap.

If the Flames were to buy out players this summer, they will not be so lucky. Let’s dive into some of the players that are prime candidates for Flames Buyouts!

WHO’S AT RISK?

Before we commence Wideman buyout talk, perhaps he has simply been miscast as a defenceman?   

The first and most obvious candidate for a buyout is Dennis Wideman, who has just one more year remaining on his deal at $5.25 million. The lack of remaining term means that Wideman won’t hurt the Flames cap for very long after he’s bought out and the money saved could help sign Gaudreau and Monahan for next season. 

However, that’s a pretty bitter pill to swallow for Flames management, who likely aren’t in a huge hurry to be paying players to play for other teams given the current economic landscape of Alberta. Trading Wideman at a reduced rate is the obviously preferable option but, as has been written on this site at length, the chances of such a deal getting done seem less than slim.

We should note that the looming NHL expansion has the potential to complicate things – except Wideman won’t be a part of that. While it’s currently looking like players with NMCs will have to be protected, players with NMCs with expiring contracts will not.


Wideman fits the above bill: he has an NMC, but he’ll be a free agent in the summer of 2017 anyway.

But in case he’s bought out anyway, let’s review the terms: the Flames would be saddled with $4 million (2/3 of the $6 million owed to him) spread over two seasons ($2 million in each year).

In terms of the salary cap implications, Wideman’s cap hit next season would be $1.25 million (the cap hit minus the buyout cost) and the following season, when he is playing for some other team or sipping Mai Tais somewhere, it will be a full $2 million against the Flames cap. Is this worth it? What do you think? 

Mason Raymond is the next most obvious candidate for a buyout. After finishing last season in Stockton, it seems clear that Raymond, and his $3.15 million cap hit, have run out of time in Calgary. If the Flames were to buy Raymond out, it would cost them $1.05 million this year and next against their cap, which in and of itself isn’t so bad.  

But if the Flames choose to buyout Wideman, would they also be willing to swallow Raymond’s contract as well? This seems doubtful, especially for a team that has publicly stated their distaste for buying out players at all. 

The easy answer seems: yes! Do whatever it takes! Buy the whole team out if they have to! But that also doesn’t seem very pragmatic. CSEC is not MLSE. So, should the Flames pursue a buyout with Raymond? Or simply stash him in the minors for another season? What would you do?

There are other candidates for buyout; Lance Bouma (but that would see the Flames pay him until 2020) and Brandon Bollig are names that spring to mind. However, I think both of them, for… reasons… are still liked enough by management to be kept around, but that could change with a new coaching staff, perhaps. 

So what would you do? Buy out Wideman? Matt Stajan (who would stay on the cap until 2020, but net over $2 million in savings this season)? Raymond? Bouma? All of the above? Have I missed a name you think could be used as a buyout? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • JMK

    Buyout Raymond & Smid (both way overpaid and hurting the team). Attempt a Wideman trade retaining 50% salary, not bothered about return (way overpaid but still not a bad 3rd pairing). Send Bollig to AHL (good leader for young guys – doesn’t save much to buyout). Keep Bouma on the team for now, give him a chance to redeem himself (I’d settle for an average between last two seasons). Keep Stajan and Engellend on team too although consider a Stajan trade or buyout next year (I don’t mind Engellend on 3rd pairing albeit overpaid. Stajan still a decent 4th C)

    Start season with something along the lines of:

    Gaudreau-Monahan-Shinkaruk

    Colbourne?(Preferably new signing)-Backlund-Frolik

    Ferland-Bennett-Pribyl?(If ready)

    Bouma-Stajan-Jooris

    Grant-Hathaway

    Giordano-Brodie

    Jokipakka-Hamilton

    Nakladal-Wideman(preferably prospect like Wotherspoon)

    Engellend

    Ortio-New Goalie

  • flamesburn89

    If you can’t find a suitor for Wideman at a reduced cap hit, you might as well buy him out. Opens up a roster spot for a right-hander on the blue liner (say Nakladal).

  • Backburner

    1) I think Smid HAS to be bought out, especially now that news is he doesn’t require surgery on his neck… my guess is he can’t/won’t be placed on IR next season, even if he did, they would have to wait until Sept/Oct.

    2) Raymond probably should be, I can’t see him being buried in Stockton another year.

    3) Trade Wideman. There has to be a team that is desperate for Right handed D that can work on the powerplay. Retain some salary if you have to.

  • piscera.infada

    Nothing about buyouts really appeals to me. Aside from Stajan (and Bouma to a lesser extent), the Flames are basically free of bad contracts after this season. Yes, they have some weaknesses on the current roster right now, but carrying $2 million (Wideman), $1.33 million (Smid), and/or $1.05 million (Raymond) into 2017/18, is basically prolonging the problem.

    The best possible course of action is to try and trade either of them for peanuts, even retaining salary if you have to. I don’t see carrying dead cap-space into 2017/18 as a palatable option–especially with no one knowing what the cap might do in future.

    • PrairieStew

      Agree 100%, prolonging the problem is no solution. People also usually forget to factor in the fact that you need to replace the buyout player on the roster with someone that makes a salary. Wideman’s cap savings in year 1 is $4m, but someone making $1m (roughly) takes that spot reducing the net to $3m. Then you get the $2m charge in the following year – so total net cap savings over 2 seasons is $1m.

      Anyone advocating a Smid buyout needs to remember he has to be healthy to be bought out, or count against the cap.

    • Kevin R

      Totally agree there should not be any buyouts required. Especially the contracts with 1 year remaining. I am even reluctant to eat some salary, I would rather trade for a contract back. Said it before & will say it again, Wideman for Niemi straight up serves a purpose & solves our cap issue. The rest of them, you offer a 3rd rounder with Raymond to a team like Jersey or Arizona for their 6th rounder & try to get a deal like that done.
      Smid is going to be real tough to move as well, if you can’t move him by October, send him to Stockton & get a little bit of savings. Wideman for a goalie will solve our small cap crunch this year. Bouma deserves a next year to get his game back & Bollig will be useful in the press box with some spot duty. Stajan may has some value to Arizona or Jersey as well, not much but we add a sweetener & it may not be all bad for the other team. Time for BT to run that sale of buy one get one free.

    • Deef

      … the Flames are basically free of bad contracts after this season.

      I agree. Id be AOK with tanking one more year and getting some top end draft talent before the real push.

  • KH44

    Trade Wideman if possible, buy out if not. He cannot be on the team come October.

    Trade/demote Raymond.

    Let Engelland, Smid, Bollig play if cannot trade, and let them walk at the end of the year.

  • DoubleDIon

    Wideman is an actual NHL player. I have to imagine there would be a taker with one year left if we ate 50% of his cap hit.

    Smid is another thing altogether. If he can be bought out he should be. Same with Raymond.

    Stajan stretches too long to buy him out. How he cost over 3 million per long term I’ll never know.

  • ApolloRising

    I honestly can’t see any team wanting Wideman. He’s not a very good player. It would be amazing if we could trade him, but I doubt that will happen. I know people don’t like the idea of buying out guys in their last year, but if you don’t, better rookies get left out. Ultimately hurting their development and our teams future. The roster spot it opens up is what you are buying. Wideman should not be on the team next year. We are significantly better without him. The same goes for Engelland. When our rookies were able to finally get ice time, our backend was deadly. The buyout helps our team development. It’s an ugly problem, but needs to happen.

    The only reason I can see keeping him is due to expansion. As he would help protect our other players. But it would be a nightmare to see him and Engelland anchor down the blue line for another year.

  • The Beej

    Big no no no no NONONONO to buyouts for Bouma and Stajan this year.

    1. Their deals will go a long way to our 25% that needs to be unprotected. If Vegas or Qbec picks one of them up then that is a decent outcome as well. An expansion team will have to hit the cap floor and Bouma and Staj have deals below league Avg for only 2 years.

    2. 4 years is far too long for a buyout to stretch and could be an issue down the road.

    If Bouma and Staj survive the expansion draft then maybe buyout is an ok option if trades are not possible next summer… still possible that they have good years and improve their stock.

  • everton fc

    We have a lot of picks. Some teams don`t. The Rangers come to mind, but have cap issues. Chicago doesn’t pick until the 3rd. Washington has the 26th, but there next is in Round 4 (#116. Isles are in a similar boat. Ditto San Jose. Dallas. Could Wideman land with one of these teams if we eat a little salary and add a 2nd round pick?

  • deantheraven

    Best case, Treliving finds a new home for Wideman at the draft. Even with retained salary, the money saved and the spot he opens is really necessary for the coming season. Nakladal, Wotherspoon & Kevin at $1 million each or Wideman @ 5+?
    Raymond would be a reasonable buyout since the cost is low.It would be best to trade Stajan but if the team’s showing ‘loyalty’ by keeping him around I suppose that has value, too.
    And please, somebody talk Smid into a buy out.That way he doesn’t have to retire but leaves the game while he can still hold a drink and walk.

  • freethe flames

    I suspect that Bt has been working hard trying to trade Wides along with the other buyout candidates and the only way I see it happening is if we make them part of package deals.

    WW has suggested a straight across deal Wides for MAF but I doubt that it happens. Pittsburg needs cap space and will not want that kind of cap return also MAF has 3 years left at over $5m per and I can’t see the Flames wanting that deal.( read somewhere today that the PP were wondering if the Flames would trade their 1st rounder for MAF; if that happens BT should be fired). A deal that would make better sense from a $ angle would be Stajan, the PP get over $2m in savings and we get a starrting goalie for $2+ for two years and then trade him off.(Not that I really want MAF). Someone else mentioned Wides to Dallas for Niemi; I floated that one around awhile back as well. What I think will happen is Niemi to PP(and some cap space) and MAF to Dallas. PP has a veteran back up for Murray and Dallas gets their starter.

    I honestly believe that the flames have little choice but buyout Raymond; he was waived twice last year and no one claimed him. Smid depending on his health is another one with little interest and I would rather see him bought out than spend a draft pick to trade him.

    I believe Wides can be traded and yesterday I floated a deal with the Rangers that I will repeat today. The Rangers do not have a 1st or second rounder and I am sure they would like one. Also the scuttle but is that they would like to shake uo their roster. A simple deal that would work for both sides is something like this: Wides and 56 to NYR for Hayes and their 7th rounder. They get a second rounder and defender to replace Boyle and Yandle(not his talent) Wides can still be their 6th defender and play 2nd PP. We get cap space and a RW who can play in our top 9 and is still only 24.

    However I am a fan of package deals: so the same as above but we add Bouma, Colborne and Ortio for Kreider and Raanta. They change up their team(fixed cost for Bouma), Colborne replaces Stall in their lineup and they get a young back up goalie. We get a forward who can play in the top 6 and proven back up at a fixed cost of $1m for two years.

  • T&A4Flames

    Buyout Raymond. It’s a no brainer. The savings is 2x the savings we’d get if he was buried in the minors again. And $1.05/yr for 2 years is not a big deal.

    If healthy, buyout Smid. Again his cap hit is not substantial enough over 2 years to hurt, especially if we manage to move other contracts like Wideman. If he’s not healthy enough for the buyout, maybe a team needs to reach the floor and will take him. Or a team wanting to dump a bigger contract on us that would be useful (like a G or RW) would take the risk. Otherwise, put him on LTIR and if he becomes healthy, he goes to the minors. This may actually prove to be reason enough for Smid to agree to a buyout.

    Bury Bollig in the minors. The difference between a buyout and that is nominal.

    This represents (if my math is correct) around $5mil in cap savings this year.

    I’m sure Wideman can be moved, especially if we eat more salary. Given the saving above coupled with the final savings on a Wideman contract, it’s a non issue for 1 year. Or like Kevin said, trade his big contract for another big contract in an area of need.

    Buying out Stajan or Bouma at this stage (2 years remaining) makes little sense. And 4 years of cap hit is a lot worse than 2. Certainly try to move both, but if unable both are useful if we can’t move either.

    • ApolloRising

      If you trade Wideman for another big bad contract, how does that help the Flames? We want to get rid of money and bad contracts. Adding in a guy like neimi sets the Flames back. I don’t see the value in trading one bad contract for a bad contract that lasts longer. At that point you might as well wait out the year. we also need a better and younger goalie than Neimi.

  • T&A4Flames

    By the way, can someone explain why the 1st year on a buyout is smaller than the 2nd year on some players (eg. Smid is $833,333 yr 1 and $1,333,333 yr 2) while others are even both years (eg. Raymond $1,050,000 yrs 1 and 2)?

    • Greatsave

      It’s because the cap hit remaining for each season after the buyout depends on both the original cap hit (or AAV) *and* the actual salary in those seasons.

      With Raymond, he earns $3.15m each season of his contract in actual salary. With one year left, that means the Flames would owe him 2/3 of $3.15m if they buy him out, spread over two seasons. That means the Flames pay him $1.05m for both years 1 and 2.

      His cap hit after buyout is calculated as the original cap hit (or AAV), plus the amount owed to him after the buyout, minus his original salary. Thus, with Raymond:

      Year 1: 3.15 + 1.05 – 3.15 = 1.05

      Year 2: 0 + 1.05 – 0 = 1.05

      But with Smid, his contract is backloaded, meaning he makes $4m in the final year of a $3.5m AAV contract. So, for Smid, whom the Flames need to pay 2/3 of $4m, or $2.667m, over two seasons, his cap hit becomes:

      Year 1: 3.5 + 1.333 – 4 = 0.833

      Year 2: 0 + 1.333 – 0 = 1.333

      The same idea goes for Wideman:

      Year 1: 5.25 + 2 – 6 = 1.25

      Year 2: 0 + 2 – 0 = 2

  • Bananaberg

    Engelland is the most logical buyout of all of them, and isn’t mentioned in the article? He doesn’t belong on that NHL roster (Nakladal and Jokipakka are better options, plus Wotherspoon and Kylington deserve a look; and Schlemko could be had for cheap in UFA market).

    Engelland Buyout Breakdown:

    Next Year: Savings of $1.833 (cap hit of $0.917)
    Year 2: Cap hit of $0.917

    That’s reasonable. He can’t be traded (even with retained salary) and he’s taking up a valuable spot.

    Wideman, however, has value for another team. We should be happy to retain some salary to get a late pick in return, since retention is a 1-year cap hit.

    We need to stop talking about buying out Wideman on this site. BOS would take him if we retained 50%. You can bet on that. And he’d waive to go there.

    • ApolloRising

      You are far more optimistic on Wideman than I am, but I agree. Engelland is a huge issue on our defense and should be the priority for a buyout, then Wideman (if he can’t be traded). We have significantly better prospects that can take their place.

      I pray we can trade Wideman…

    • freethe flames

      While I am not an Eng’s fan he is actually in my mind the easiet of the bad contracts to move, last year he proved that he can play as a 6th defender. I agree with you that both JJ and Nakdaddy are better options.
      You suggest Wide’s to Boston; how do you see that going down. I presented a case for Wides to the Rangers and would like to see your option for the bruins.

  • everton fc

    Boy, the Stars are really screwed w/Lethonen and Niemi – I was thinking we could dump Raymond and a 3rd on them for one of these two, but at 5.9mill and 4.5mill respectively, through 2017-18… Brutal, as both will be mid-30’s….

    What about Raymond or Wideman and a 2nd for one of Kreider or Hayes? Dreaming, of course. Probably Raymond or Wideman and our #6 get that deal done, if the Rangers toss in a prospect.

    A new coach may also get something out of Raymond, as a 4th liner. Wideman is more “in the way”….

    All that said, move them both, and Bouma. That frees up some space…

      • everton fc

        I know you did. I got 5 thumbs down for my post!

        I think the Flames are ready to take Chychrun. Sad they’ll pass on Nylander, and if Nylander, I’ll assume Abramov isn’t Burke’s type of player.

        Mascherin may be. Ditto Katchouk.

      • Kevin R

        Unless Rangers get rid of Nash, they are in cap hell. Why would they trade for Wideman? Hayes or Krieder will get them a decent prospect & decent pick. Not understanding how they could be a trading partner with the Flames.

        • Baalzamon

          And yet you keep suggesting the Flames trade Wideman to Dallas. Calgary is no better a trade partner for the Stars than they are for New York.

          I guarantee you the Stars would rather buy Niemi out than trade him for Wideman. They have two FA defensemen to sign, both of whom play the same role as Wideman, and both of whom are better. Bringing in Wideman interferes with their ability to re-sign Demers and Goligoski (and Russell), not only because of his cap hit, but also because he takes up a roster spot (the same reasons that keeping Wideman interferes with the Flames’ ability to keep Nakladal).

          The Stars could easily find a taker for Niemi’s contract that doesn’t have to send salary the other way like the Flames do. They’ll have to add a sweetener, but I’m fairly confident they’d rather do that and keep two of their top three defensemen, than keep the sweetener (a draft pick, maybe?) and take on an expensive player who won’t help them for no reason whatsoever.

          • freethe flames

            Personally I think the Stars and Penguins do a deal: Niemi for MAF. Dallas gets a goalie they think takes them to the next level and the Penguins get both cap space and a veteran to support Murray if he needs it. Then Dallas buys Lehtinan out. This kind of deal would help the Flames as it would reduce the number of teams bidding for the UFA goalies or in the trade market.

        • freethe flames

          You are right they do face cap hell with $56m committed to 28 players but they are also in draft hell with no picks in the first 2 rounds. My multiple player deal: Bouma, Colborne, Ortio and #56 for Hayes, Kreider and Raanta would save them money I believe. The cost of #56 is the Wideman contract(or at least 1/2 of it); Boyle is retiring and Yandle is probably asking for a big raise so from a players perspective Wides could be a good one year fit for them.( they also have the money to buy him out) If Wides is too costly then make it Eng’s. I can live with the Flames keeping one of Wides or Eng’s this season as the 6th/7th defender but we really can’t have both.

          Again every idea for a trade has to try and have some balance (both sides have to believe they got something they need). While I doubt this deal actually happens I think it is close to trying to create a win win for both teams.

          There are other teams that the Flames could consider doing some deals with as they have players we need and we have assets they want. My basic belief is you trade for need and draft for the future.

  • Greatsave

    On Bollig: From a cap hit point of view, it’s actually better to bury him than to buy him out. His cap hit is only $300k for one season buried; with a buyout it’s $383k and $433k over the next two seasons.

    You still have to pay him his full $1.3m salary, obviously, but buying him out only saves you 1/3 of that. Not worth it.

  • Stu Cazz

    To no one’s surprise Brian Burke confirmed on Bob McCowans Sportsnet show that Flames will not draft by position but will take the best player available. Of noteworthy he also confirmed that all things being even they would draft a defensemen over a forward…as D are more difficult to replace than forwards…i.e. if Chychrun and Nylander are available and rated evenly they will take Chychrun….

    • Greatsave

      Is it just me, or does anyone else find this contradictory?

      “Flames will not draft by position but will take the best player available.”

      But…

      “… all things being even they would draft a defensemen over a forward.”

      So… they won’t draft one position over another, except when they do.

      Good stuff, Burkie. Good stuff.

        • Stu Cazz

          Except in this years draft there are no goalies rated highly in the top 6…so that is not a Flames option. I don’t find anything contradictory in what Burke has said…the Flames like many other teams (not all) will draft the BPA…and will chose a defensemen over a forward things being even.

          I also agree with Jake the snail that he does not like Nylander…he is simply not the type of player Burke wants…I say in the unlikely event Tkachyk is available the Flames will draft him….if not look for Chychrun to be a Flame.

          • Greatsave

            Well you guys may very well be right that Burke doesn’t like Nylander; all I’m saying is that it didn’t come across that way on Prime Time Sports.

            Personally I’d like the Flames to pick Nylander, though I wouldn’t be shocked if they passed on him. If they do pick him up, that would mean either a) Burke doesn’t dislike him as much as some think, or b) Treliving really makes the decisions around here.

            I just hate to see this organization shun or eventually run another skill player out of town over such things as size or “softness”. Nylander Sr., Savard, Martin St. Louis, Valeri Bure, Drury, Reinprecht, Tanguay, Huselius, Baertschi, etc.

          • everton fc

            I don’t think Nylander will play “soft” in the NHL. If he’s there at #6, and we go for Chychrun…

            I don’t know… I am really hoping we take Nylander. Thinking of him w/Gaudreau and Monahan is pretty cool. Thinking of him with Shinkaruk and Bennett – also pretty cool.

            We need to find a way to draft Mascherin. Mascherin with Bennett would be awesome, as well. Debrincat is also growing on me, as a RW. .

            We could have a great draft if we could grab Nylander, and/or Mascherin, Katchouk, Debrincat or even Raddysh… Even Max Jones wouldn’t be a bad pick for Burke’s “truculent” nature. But we need RWs… The only RW’s in the draft that interest me – Nylander, Gauthier, Debrincat Abramov, and maybe Raddysh….

            Agree that the Stars are not going to trade w/us, and we can’t really afford Niemi at 4.5 mill until 2017-18. The Rangers may want a pick prior to Round 3, and may move cap space for a pick in the 2nd. But they won’t take on salary. We get a guy like Hayes by moving a pick and a prospect of greater value then Poirier. Still, I think Hayes w/Gaudreau would be interesting….

            Seems we are stuck w/Wideman. And they want Bollig back. Madness?

            Who would want the #35 (or 53rd, or 55th?) packaged with either Wideman or Raymond? Could we salvage one more year out of Raymond without looking at his salary? We did the same (basically) with Stajan last season…

      • Greatsave

        Burke revealed nothing about how they rate the draft class internally, so we can’t say he’s keen or not keen on any particular player with any degree of certainty.

  • Trevy

    If Justin Schultz can be traded for a 3rd round pick, then surely Wideman has some value as a better pp specialist with a right hand shot. I also wouldn’t worry about his no movement as I’m quite sure he is more than willing to leave a city that clearly wants him out. All the best in the future Wides, keep your eyes open for zebras.

    • Greatsave

      Completely different circumstances:

      1. Schultz made $3.9m this season; Wideman $5.25m.

      2. Schultz is an RFA this summer; Wideman has another season of $5.25m cap hit and $6m salary, and is UFA next summer.

      3. Schultz is 25; Wideman 33.

      4. Wideman has NMC; Schultz didn’t.

      5. Schultz was traded as strictly a TDL rental, at 50% retained salary, with rights control after expiry. That’s different than trading for Wideman during the off-season, even with retained salary.

      Pittsburgh picked up only a $450k cap hit on Schultz. Who’s going to want a $2.625m cap hit on Wideman? You’d have to wait until TDL, when he becomes a $600k cap hit for whoever picks him up. Which means $4.65m is against your cap.

      • KiLLKiND

        I think trading Wideman at the deadline does make the most sense as you’ve pointed out. He will have a very manageable cap hit, and the need will likely be there for a playoff team that has an injured defenseman or two. Trading Wideman right now would be impossible until at least after Free Agency when Demers is available to pick up without giving up any assets, also Demers is better than Wideman and around the same price.

        I think this will be one of our last seasons in which we field a non playoff competitive team simply due to bad contracts like all the above buyout options. Those buyouts will hurt us more in the long term when we could use the cap space to improve from a non-playoff team to a bubble team. Look at the West we have too many players with bad contracts to compete with California and the central division who have been a lot better with not handing out big contracts to players who haven’t earned them.

      • Kevin R

        & that’s exactly why we should be trading him for a contract of need coming back. Niemi or Bernier(we would have to add something because he’s still an RFA & will have value) as opposed to buying him out. Niemi or Bernier would be as good as any bridge we will be able to find. The other option is giving up assets & not addressing our cap crunch by going after Fleury or Bishop. It can be done but we will still have issues.

  • KiLLKiND

    I saw a trade suggested of Dennis Wideman for Iginla, this trade would work for both teams. Avalanche need a RH powerplay specialist and a veteran defensemen, while the Flames have very few legitimate options at RW. I doubt it would happen both players have NMC, and have shown little signs of wanting out.