When the NHL and NHLPA came to an agreement on a new CBA, they came to terms on a compliance buyout clause that would allow teams to buy out a total of two contracts like Scott Gomez's and Wade Redden's between 2012-13 and the start of the 2014-15 season.
With that in mind, how should each team use its compliance buyouts?
In the case of Gomez and Redden, the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers used the accelerated buyout clause that was only available prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, but every other team can use their two buyouts over the next two summers.
There is nothing that says a team needs to use these buyouts, because in certain situations it would not make sense because of how the salary cap is constructed for certain teams.
Additional teams with "bad contracts" could be better served using the new clause in the CBA that allows team to retain 50 percent of a cap hit through a trade. (Pro Hockey Talk)
Here is a blueprint for how each team could use its compliance buyouts.
Although each team can use two buyouts, in the case of the Anaheim Ducks it would make sense to only buy out Sheldon Souray's contract that counts $3,666,667 against the cap.
The move would free up additional cap space that would really come in handy this summer when the Ducks attempt to sign free agents and re-sign their own.
Souray is 36 years old, and going forward the team should be able to sign younger defenders to replace him.
Marc Savard is currently counting against the Bruins' salary cap, and buying him and his $4,021,429 cap hit would give the team a ton of flexibility heading into a offseason where free agents like Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference and Tuukka Rask need to be re-signed.
Although Savard is injured, he isn't on injured reserve or LTIR, so technically he should be able to be bought out under the new rules of the compliance buyout.
This technicality could also apply to Chris Pronger.
However, if for some reason he goes back on LTIR, the Bruins could still free up some salary with another buyout candidate.
If the Bruins were going to use their second buyout, the most prudent option would be using it on Chris Kelly.
That would make sense because the team already has other depth forwards like Rich Peverley, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, and it would free up an additional $3.0 million against the cap.
Ville Leino's cap hit of $4.5 million is very cumbersome on the Buffalo Sabres' salary cap, and freeing up that space would be very wise when you consider that the free-agent classes of 2013 and 2014 should be very fruitful.
For the Sabres it would only make sense to use the one buyout on Leino because of their other contracts expiring within the next two years.
The Calgary Flames have a lot of different contracts expiring within the next few years, so buying out the contract of only Jay Bouwmeester would give them flexibility to add an impact player this offseason.
With his cap hit of $6,680,000 off the books, the Flames would have over $22 million to fill eight roster spots, and that would make things a lot easier for GM Jay Feaster.
The Carolina Hurricanes' cap structure has many contracts expiring in either 2013 or 2014, so the best move in terms of a compliance buyout would involve Tuomo Ruutu.
Ruutu is a player who has had bad luck with injury over the past few years, and his cap hit of $4,750,000 for the next three years could cause an up-and-coming team like Carolina to miss out on signing some free agents that would improve the team's makeup.
With the way Chicago has played thus far, changing any part of its roster would seem crazy, but buying out Johnny Oduya would make sense going forward.
The Chicago Blackhawks only have nine players signed for the 2014-15 season, and they only have over $22 million in space to retain a majority of their roster.
Prior to the lockout, the Blackhawks extended Oduya at a cap hit of $3,383,333 when the salary cap was at a comfortable $70.2 million.
With the cap set to drop, that extra space would really help the Hawks take care of their roster needs looking toward the future.
The Colorado Avalanche don't have any bad contracts and have a ton of flexibility over the next few years, with adequate cap space and more than enough resources to take care of their free agents.
Like the Colorado Avalanche, the Columbus Blue Jackets are a team with a ton of cap space and flexibility with their roster over the next few years.
The Blue Jackets are looking to turn their franchise around and they should have the means to do so even without using a compliance buyout.
The Dallas Stars have 14 players signed for next season and six signed for the following season, and they will have $25,663,889 and $39,500,000 in cap space, respectively.
For that reason, it would not make sense to use a buyout because the extra cap space would be on average an additional $3.0 million, an amount that would not make a huge difference.
The Detroit Red Wings have some important decisions to make in the next two years, and having an extra $3 million in space to spend on younger players would make a ton of sense.
Samuelsson is an older player; the Wings need to build for the future and need all the cap space they can get.
At this point the Edmonton Oilers have no reason to use any of their buyouts. The team has a ton of contracts expiring in the next two years, and that will give the team the necessary space to re-sign youngsters and potentially add some new ones along the way.
The Florida Panthers would be wise to add $3,500,000 in cap space by buying out Scottie Upshall this summer.
With many free agents available both in 2013 and 2014, the Panthers can use all the space they can get to remain competitive in a tough Southeast Division.
Additionally, youngsters like Nick Bjugstad are ready to make the jump, so freeing up another roster spot always helps.
The Los Angeles Kings have many free agents coming off the books in the next two years that would give the team some financial flexibility.
Of the players with contracts through the next few years, it would make more sense for the Kings to retain 50 percent of their cap hit instead of buying them out, because of the value they would have in a potential trade.
Like the Los Angeles Kings, the Minnesota Wild have a number of contracts coming off the books in the next two years that would make a buyout impractical to use.
Minnesota will have 16 players signed through next season and only eight for the following year, so using a buyout would only create another hole to fill.
Rene Bourque's production has declined over the past few seasons, and adding an extra $3,333,333 in cap space would give the Canadiens flexibility to re-sign players and make some major improvements to their roster during the free-agency period in 2013 and 2014.
This would be the team's only remaining buyout after using one on Scott Gomez before the start of the 2012-13 season.
The Nashville Predators' signing of Paul Gaustad when the salary cap was higher than $64.3 million made some sense, but with the cap set at that number for the next two seasons, $3,250,000 a season is too much.
The Predators need as much cap space as they can get to add some top-end talent on offense, so cutting Gaustad would be a solid financial move.
The New Jersey Devils would be wise to buy out Anton Volchenkov and his $4,250,000 cap hit because it would free up some significant space to make some solid additions to their roster.
The team could stand to make some significant improvements going forward, and cutting that salary from the cap would be very beneficial.
Rick DiPietro is constantly injured and is a player who takes up a good chunk of the New York Islanders' salary cap. His cap hit of $4.5 million is excessive considering the amount of games he has played in over the past few years, so getting rid of his cap hit would be an amazing move.
The New York Rangers have a number of free agents to re-sign in 2013 and 2014, and they don't have many options in terms of saving money against the cap.
This summer they have a total of $11,145,833 in space, and the following year they will have over $45 million to re-sign a ton of key free agents.
However, getting rid of Mike Rupp and his $1,500,000 would really help the team in re-signing key RFAs like Ryan McDonagh, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan.
The Ottawa Senators will not have the need to use a buyout during this summer because of the number of players set to come off the roster, and because they have more free agents to sign in 2014.
With all the cap space currently available, it wouldn't make sense to buy out players only to have to replace them at a potentially higher cost through free agency.
Two close friends who could be bought out by the Flyers.
This summer, the Philadelphia Flyers should buy out Chris Pronger because it appears he will never play again.
The buyout will free up $4,935,714 in additional space and would be a solid move in terms of cap management.
The team could use a second buyout on Ilya Bryzgalov in 2014, because he deserves some more time to prove himself in Philadelphia.
Currently the Phoenix Coyotes have only 10 people on the roster for the 2013-14 season, and only five for the 2014-15 season.
For that reason, it would not make sense to create any more holes to fill through trade or free agency.
Paul Martin makes $5.0 million a year, and he isn't the same defender he was with the New Jersey Devils.
Although Martin has played well thus far, going forward the Penguins would be better served buying him out.
The Penguins could really use that $5.0 million to add a younger and more competent player who would help in the future. potentially someone like Corey Perry this summer.
Additionally, with the glut of defensive prospects in the minors, Martin would eventually be pushed down the depth chart.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic is one of the highest-paid defenders on the San Jose Sharks, and with other free agents set to hit the market in 2014, the Sharks could easily replace him.
The Sharks would not have to use this buyout but he would be the best option of all players on the roster.
Vlasic is a solid defender, but his high salary of $4.2 million a year is too steep considering that upgrades could be made going forward.
Over the next few years, the St.Louis Blues will have numerous RFAs and UFAs to re-sign, so using a buyout wouldn't make sense when they will have over $33 million and $44 million respectively at their disposal the next two summers.
Reigning GM of the Year Doug Armstrong will have the funds available to keep this team together, and the Blues should be a powerhouse over the next few years.
Although the Tampa Bay Lightning have contracts like Vincent Lecavalier's that count a lot toward the salary cap, it would make more sense to use the 50 percent cap retention clause of the new CBA in a trade instead of buying out any contracts.
Some could fetch a nice return in trade if the team needed some serious cap relief, so for the time being the team will probably not use its buyouts.
The Toronto Maple Leads would be wise to buy out Mike Komisarek's contract worth $4,500,000 against the cap, because that space could come in handy this summer.
This summer the team will likely try to land a No. 1 center like Ryan Getzlaf through free agency, or a No. 1 goalie like Roberto Luongo through a trade.
The Vancouver Canucks have a nice roster full of talented players, but with Ryan Kesler's history with injuries now appearing to become an issue, buying out his contract worth $5.0 million could become an efficient financial move.
Kesler is a talented two-way center, but it isn't worth carrying his contract of $5.0 million if he isn't going to be the same player he was in the past.
If they were to use this buyout, it would not be this summer but before the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Washington Capitals added Joel Ward to the roster last summer, but $3.0 million a year is too much for a player whose production is in decline.
Ward's buyout would be a move to add flexibility to the Caps' cap, and it would give the team more options when it comes to upgrading during free agency.
For the summer of 2013 the Winnipeg Jets don't have to make any moves, but in 2014 they could consider using their buyout on Tobias Enstrom.
His numbers are declining with age, he makes $3,750,000 a year and the team could potentially add another player of better quality with the extra cap space gained through a buyout.