The window for NHL clubs to buy out players could open soon, which is why a number of teams are currently in the thick of making tough decisions.
Like Nashville with Eric Nystrom, for example — the Preds have already indicated they’re going to part ways with the veteran forward.
So now it’s a matter of how they’ll do it.
“It has to happen pretty soon,” Preds GM David Poile said, per the Tennessean. “The buyout period starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I want to be in position to know whether we can trade him or whether we’d keep him or whether we’d buy him out.
“We’re about a week away from needing to make one of those three decisions.”
Nystrom, 33, carries a $2.5 million cap hit but is set to pull in $3M in salary next season. The Tennessean reports Poile is actively trying to flip Nystrom rather than go the buyout route.
But it could be tough to find a taker.
Nystrom was a press box regular during the playoffs — sitting up there for 13 of Nashville’s 14 games — though he did manage to score seven goals in just 46 regular-season appearances.
If there’s no taker for his services, the Preds have a decision. Do they buy Nystrom out, and absorb the cap hit penalty? Or do they keep him on board for another year, and let his contract expire next July?
If Poile goes the latter route, the possibility of waiving Nystrom would seem to be in play. That would give Nashville the option to send him to the AHL (should he clear), and recoup some cap space.