Let the buyout debates begin

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Unless the NHL ends up pulling its latest CBA offer from the table, it appears there will be some form of compliance buyouts to help the transition to a lower salary cap in 2013-14.

Under the league’s new proposal, each team would be allowed one buyout that wouldn’t count against the cap; however, the money would come out of the players’ share (which the union may take issue with).

The NBA put a similar clause in its recently signed CBA. Notably, the “amnesty” provision allowed the Magic to bid adieu to Gilbert Arenas and the Knicks to rid themselves of Chauncey Billups’ contract (so they could afford Tyson Chandler).

Compliance buyouts will be most welcomed by the NHL’s big spenders. The league reportedly wants a $60 million salary cap next season (which again, the union may take issue with), significantly lower than the current $70.2 million.

Among the potential buyout candidates:

—- Scott Gomez (Montreal)
—- Wade Redden (NY Rangers)
—- Mike Komisarek (Toronto)
—- Keith Ballard (Vancouver)
—- Matt Stajan (Calgary)

Buying out players with long-term contracts is less likely, as those players will still need to be paid their salaries according to the buyout formula. (Unless there’s some sort of exception that allows a team to assume part of the salary of a bought out player.)

Related: $60 million cap? Here are 10 teams that could be in trouble