Oilers to buy out Korpikoski, open up additional cap space ahead of free agency

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The day before the opening of free agency, the Edmonton Oilers have put Lauri Korpikoski on unconditional waivers for the purposes of buying him out.

The move will save $2 million in cap space for 2016-17, as per General Fanager, and that additional space could factor into what the Oilers do Friday, when the market opens (and chaos ensues).

Korpikoski, who the Oilers acquired from Arizona for Boyd Gordon last June, was entering the final year of his contract, with a cap hit of $2.5 million.

He scored 10 goals and 22 points in 71 games for the Oilers last season.

With the beginning of free agency approaching, the Oilers have been linked to speculation, rumors and reports about forward Milan Lucic.

There were reports — citing anonymous sources — two days ago during the time teams are allowed to talk with pending unrestricted free agents that Lucic was in fact going to sign with the Oilers, who now have about $15.2 million in projected cap space for next season.

From the Edmonton Journal:

The Oilers are thought to be in hot pursuit of Milan Lucic and Jason Demers, so the riddance of Korpikoski’s overpriced pact will be helpful. It also opens up a roster spot in the bottom six for a better player, never mind a cheaper one. 

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