As per James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail, the deadline to buy players out of their contracts is Saturday.
We haven’t heard much in the way of potential buyouts. The upcoming CBA negotiations may be making teams wary of pulling the trigger, with speculation that an NBA-like amnesty clause could be part of a new agreement.
Scott Gomez is probably the first name that comes to mind. The Canadiens’ forward has two years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $7,357,143.
Gomez, 32, is coming off another nightmare season – in 38 games, he scored just two goals and nine assists.
However, if the Habs were to buy him out, they wouldn’t get him off the books for another four seasons. According to CapGeek.com, his cap hit would be $3,523,810 next season, $4,523,810 the next, and $1,666,667 the final two.
Montreal would also still have to pay Gomez $6.7 million of the $10 million in salary owing, for a savings of just $3.3 million. Besides, Gomez’s roster spot would have to be filled with someone, and that someone wouldn’t be playing for free.
The Habs have plenty of cap space, but in the unlikely event they need to free more up, they might be better served sending Gomez to the AHL, assuming the new CBA allows such a move.
Of note, the top 10 buyout searches on CapGeek are Gomez, Roberto Luongo, Mike Komisarek, Rick DiPietro, Tomas Kaberle, Sidney Crosby, Tim Thomas, Chris Pronger, Alex Ovechkin and Shawn Horcoff.
Of those 10, Gomez, Komisarek and Kaberle are the only legitimate candidates, and even then it’s unlikely.
If there are buyouts prior to Saturday, chances are they’ll be minor ones.