The original thought was that the Edmonton Oilers would just buy out talented but troubled forward Patrick O’Sullivan. Instead, TSN reports that the team traded him to the Phoenix Coyotes for defenseman Jim Vandermeer. While the Oilers look to keep Vandermeer, the Coyotes were the ones who bought O’Sullivan out instead.
O’Sullivan will be bought out by the Coyotes. According to http://www.capgeek.com, O’Sullivan’s buyout is $795,583. The Oilers will keep Vandermeer and add his toughness to their thin defence corps.
Vandermeer carries a fairly heavy $2.3 million cap hit, which basically means the Coyotes saved about $1.5 million in cap space thanks to this deal.
That’s a great move by the cash-strapped Coyotes, who have some decisions to make this off-season. It’s a lateral move by the Oilers at best.
The biggest loser is O’Sullivan, though. He’s shown glimpses of promise and can provide a little versatility too, but I get the impression that he might be a bit of a locker room problem. It will be interesting to see if a contender takes a shot at him since he (should) come cheap or if perhaps a weaker team will hope he’s this year’s Maxim Afinogenov.
I’d be surprised if this was the NHL will see of O’Sullivan, but you never know. He hasn’t exactly made the strongest case for himself the last couple seasons, especially last year when he sported a horrific -35 plus/minus rating.