The window of opportunity for buy-outs in the NHL is from the 15th to the 30th Jun 15. During this period, teams can buy out contracts of players they want to cut off their roster and reduce salary cap. All trams who do a buy out must follow the rules as laid out in the CBA agreed in 2013. below we are having a look at potential players who could be bought out this season.
Vincent Lecavalier 4.5M cap hit
The Philadelphia Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier two years ago for five years at 4.5 million per season. At the time the Flyers thought they were getting the center perfect for Claude Giroux. Lecavalier was already bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning after leaving a team he gave it all for so many years and being an active member of the Tampa Bay community. Lecavalier made a lot of money from this buyout and we shouldn’t be sad that he was let go from the Lightning.
After seasons where he scored 40 (2007-2008) and 52 goals (2006-2007), Lecavalier headed on a decline due mainly to injuries and the lack of decent winger to complete him. In his last season, he scored only 10 goals and recorded 32 points in only 39 games. The Flyers took a chance on him where Lecavalier managed to score 20 goals in his first season with the Flyers. Last year Lecavalier only played in only 57 games recording only 8 goals. He was out of the lineup due to injuries and coaching decisions. He was the subject of many trade rumors but no teams was willing to take on his contract and his low production.
Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall refuse to buyout Lecavalier but looking at how close the Flyers are against the salary cap; he may not have a choice. Lecavalier is signed for another three years and unloading him has been next to impossible. The salary cap which is predicted to be around 70-71M doesn’t leave any space to the Flyers to resign their prospects or to upgrade their roster. Their current cap is at 69.3M, so room will be needed.
Cody Hodgson – 4.25M cap hit
The buyout for Cody Hodgson is at this point only a rumor that has come out this week. It was reported that the general manager was mulling over the decision to buy Hodgson or not. Hodgson who is currently working on his conditionning and skating at the request of general manager Tim Murray is not decided to keep Hodgson or not.
As reported on Thursday, Hodgson who has a cap hit of 4.25M has not responded to the expectations of Sabres management when they acquired him from the Vancouver Canucks. Hodgson who recorded 6 goals and 13 points in 78 games played last season was traded for defenseman Zach Kassian in 2012. Hodgson will be a UFA on;ly in 2019-2020 and is set to earn another 18.5M on his current contract. Although the Sabres have cap space with a current payroll of 45.5M, the contract of Hodgson may prove to be a burden for the Sabres to acquire the elements in their roster to speed up up their success and to ensure Jack Eichel is properly resigned to a the contract he will deserve in the long term.
P-A Parenteau – 4.0M cap hit
P-A Parenteau was acquired last summer from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for veteran Daniel Brière. In this trade, it was the tale of two veteran players looking for a change of scenery with a potential to have more ice-time. Parenteau who came to Montreal had plenty a good intentions, but his on-ice performance didn’t pan out as expected for the Canadiens. There was a possibility to see him on the top six and occupy the position left vacant by departed team captain Brian Gionta.
Parenteau had his best seasons with the Islanders obtaining seasons of 67 and 53 points. His best season in New York was in 2010-11 where he recorded 20 goals. Since then, his production has been steadily declining. With the Montreal Canadiens, Parenteau obtained only 8 goals and 22 points in 56 games played. A season where Parenteau missed a considerable amount of games due to concussion.
With one year left in his contract Montreal may be tempted to buy him out and make room under the cap especially since they signed recently acquired defenceman Jeff Petry. Packaging Parenteau in a deal may prove to be difficult, which could motivate general manager Marc Bergevin to buy Parenteau out.
Alexander Semin – 7.0M Cap hit
For the Carolina Hurricanes, signing Alexander Semin to such contract may be one of the worst signing in their history. After signing a one year contract in 2012, with Carolina, the Hurricanes decided extending his contract five more years. Semin’s best years were in Washington with the Capitals. In 2009-2010, Alexander Semin recorded 40 goals and 44 assists in 73 games played. After leaving the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-2012 season, Semin’s production with the Hurricane continued to decline.
He had a decent first season with Carolina registering 44 point in 44 games in the shortened season of 2012-2013 with 13 goals. Semin is currently is about to start his third season at a cap hit at 7M a season.
Semin has the talent to score many goals. He has a great wrist shot and is very accurate. in the recent years, Semin was often injured which caused is decline. The winger can also be streaky and is not one of the most dedicated when playing in a grinding style of game.
Mike Richards – 5.75M cap hit
Mike Richards has spent the last four seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Traded in the summer of 2011, Mike Richards was relegated to a role as center on the third or fourth line capable of killing penalties.
His best season came in 2008-2009 when he collected 30 goals and 80 points and in 2010-2011, when he recorded 23 goals and 66 points. often paired with Jeff Carter in Philadelphia, Richards was split from Carter when they both arrived in Los Angeles. His best season in Los Angeles was his first one. He scored 18 goals and 44 points in 74 games played with a plus -3.
Last year, Richards’ role was downgraded to a fourth line which didn’t make him happy. Even with a Stanley Cup win, Richards saw limited ice-time. The issue with Mike Richards is that he is still on a long term contract awarded to him in Philadelphia. His current contract is set to expire only after the 2019-2020 campaign. It will be hard for Dean Lombardi to trade Mike Richards unless he assumes at least 50% of his salary. The Kings are cap strapped and may have no choice to buyout Richards contract.
There are other contracts that could be bought out. Teams who are right against the cap will be put in a position where they may have to do so. Some other possible players who could receive a buyout are: R.J. Umberger at 4.6M cap hit again with the Flyers, Ales Hemsky at 4.0M cap hit with the Dallas Stars,
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