NHL clubs will have to adjust to a $64.3 million salary cap in 2013-14 as part of the tentative new CBA, but they will each get two amnesty buyouts to help them through the transition, according to CP’s Chris Johnston and Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
The debate on which players will be bought out will start immediately, but teams don’t need to rush to a decision. NHL franchises will be allowed to use the buyouts starting this summer and they will also have the opportunity to exercise them during the 2014 off-season. They can buy out two players simultaneously or spread them out if they wish.
The players bought out will still receive two-thirds of what’s left on their contract, but those costs will not count towards the salary cap. However, they will still count towards the players’ share of hockey-related revenues.
Given that the first amnesty buyout period won’t start until this summer, some potential candidates will have the opportunity to try to avoid that fate by performing admirably during the shortened season.
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.