It appears the NHL and NHLPA are getting closer on a number of sticking points for a new CBA, including a key one for 2013-14.
The league has reportedly agreed to two compliance buyouts per team next season, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. This would coincide with a salary cap decrease for 2013-14, which is believed to be in the $10 million neighborhood (from $70.2 this year to around $60 million.)
Under the league’s proposal, each team would be allowed two buyouts that wouldn’t count against the cap but, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, will count against hockey-related revenue.
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).
As Brough mentioned in an earlier post, there are a number of NHL teams that would be in financial trouble should the cap drop to $60 million for 2013-14. (He also wrote about a few likely buyout candidates.)
Montreal’s Scott Gomez, Toronto’s Mike Komisarek, Vancouver’s Keith Ballard and Calgary’s Matt Stajan are all viable buyout options given how much cap space they eat (all have cap hits of at least $3.5 million per season) and the fact none are signed past 2015.
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.
Of course, there could be an exception allowing teams to assume part of the salary of a bought out player.