Part of the tentatively agreed to CBA between the NHL and the NHLPA includes a pair of amnesty buyouts for teams to rid themselves of contracts that have become burdensome against their salary cap (h/t ESPN).
With the salary cap lowering from $70.2 million in this lockout-shortened season to $64.3 million in the 2013-14 season, teams will be looking to shed contracts that are not only expensive, but that have multiple years left on them.
It's all about roster flexibility in the new NHL.
Who are some of the bigger names in danger of being amnestied away?
Let's take a look.
Scott Gomez, F, Montreal Canadiens
Since joining the Canadiens prior to the 2009-10 NHL season, Scott Gomez has been less than impressive for the Habs.
Playing over 196 games for one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, Gomez has only notched 21 goals and 87 assists for 108 points—59 of which came in his first season with the club.
As currently constituted, the Canadiens would enter 2013-14 with only 16 players under contract—and just over $4.1 million to spend on those seven spots.
With Gomez producing virtually nothing on the ice, shedding the more than $14 million that he's due through the end of the 2013-14 season is a no-brainer for Montreal.
Gomez Cap Hit: $7.35 million per year through 2013-14 season
Gomez Buyout Cap Hit:
- 2013-14: $4,357,143
- 2014-15: $1,500,000
Marc Savard, F, Boston Bruins
Thanks to concussions he's suffered over the course of his career, Marc Savard hasn't taken the ice for the Boston Bruins since the 2010-11 season. As Savard told his followers on Twitter back in October, he wasn't optimistic about stepping back in the rink anytime soon:
For the fans that keep asking there is no comeback in the foreseeable future I miss the game it has given me everything I have today— marc savard (@MSavvy91) October 22, 2012
I do in fact hope there is still a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel to play but that rest on the doctor shoulders so far #nochance— marc savard (@MSavvy91) October 22, 2012
With five years and $16 million remaining on his contract, Savard, unfortunately, has become more of a hindrance than a help to the Bruins.
Like Montreal, Boston only has 16 players under contract for 2013-14, though they have just under $7 million of cap room to fill those remaining spots, slightly more than their Canadian counterparts.
With a return to the ice not on the horizon, the time may have come for the Bruins and Savard to part ways.
Savard Cap Hit: $4 million per year through 2016-17 season
Marc Savard Buyout Cap Hit:
- 2013-14: -$363,690
- 2014-15: $3,136,310
- 2015-16: $4,111,310
- 2016-17: $4,111,310
- 2017-18: $629,167
- 2018-19: $629,167
- 2019-20: $629,167
- 2020-21: $629,167
Mike Komisarek, D, Toronto Maple Leafs
In 154 games for Toronto, Mike Komisarek has a total of 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) and 167 penalty minutes.
He's not been the shutdown defenseman that Toronto thought they were getting when they signed him as a free agent prior to the 2009-10 season, and the $9 million that the Maple Leafs owe him through the end of the 2013-14 season could be better spent elsewhere.
Komisarek Cap Hit: $4.5 million per season through 2013-14
Komisarek Buyout Cap Hit:
- 2013-14: $2,166,667
- 2014-15: $1,166,667
Rick DiPietro, G, New York Islanders
Since the end of the 2007-08 season, Rick DiPietro has played a grand total of 47 games for the New York Islanders.
DiPietro simply cannot stay healthy, he's the poster boy for crazy contracts (he signed a 15-year deal for $67.5 million in 2006) and he simply does nothing to help the team win.
Now I'm a lifelong Islanders fan, so I understand that he's one of Charles Wang's favorite people on the planet.
But not even Wang can consider DiPietro to be a worthy investment at this point, and the chance to leave the era of futility that DiPietro represents is more valuable than any cap relief the Islanders could achieve.
DiPietro Cap Hit: $4.5 million through the 2020-21 season
DiPietro Buyout Cap Hit:
- 2013-14: $1,500,000
- 2014-15: $1,500,000
- 2015-16: $1,500,000
- 2016-17: $1,500,000
- 2017-18: $1,500,000
- 2018-19: $1,500,000
- 2019-20: $1,500,000
- 2020-21: $1,500,000
- 2021-22: $1,500,000
- 2022-23: $1,500,000
- 2023-24: $1,500,000
- 2024-25: $1,500,000
- 2025-26: $1,500,000
- 2026-27: $1,500,000
- 2027-28: $1,500,000
- 2028-29: $1,500,000
All salary cap information courtesy of CapGeek.com unless otherwise noted.
All buyout figures based on a buyout date of June 15, 2013.
Click here to see how the buyout of a specific player would impact your favorite team.