As the NHL and NHLPA finalize the new CBA it seems a virtual certainty that an amnesty buyout - the ability to buyout a player's contract with no cap penalty - will be part of it. In fact, it is likely that each team will have two at their disposal for the next two summers. So while teams are going to have to wait until the offseason to utilize their amnesty buyout(s), it's worth taking a look at what the Rangers will be thinking once June or July rolls around.
I shouldn't even have to discuss Wade Redden, as he is as obvious a choice as there is in the entire NHL. With still a year remaining on Redden's contract at $6.5 million after this shortened season, it would be absolutely confounding were Sather to not buyout Redden's final year. The Rangers didn't even bother inviting him to the NHL training camp last August and opted to play defensemen such as Jeff Woywitka, Stu Bickel, and Brendan Bell ahead of him.
Which leaves us with amnesty buyout number two. Kevin previously covered the speculated idea of using it on Marian Gaborik. Gaborik would still have a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $7.5 Million. I agree with Kevin that this is an absurd concept. Gaborik is coming off of shoulder surgery but all infromation indicates that he has made a full recovery. This previous season he scored 41 goals; good for third in the NHL. I don't know what more you could expect from him, so Gaborik would have to show us a dramatic and shocking decline in ability these coming months for management to even consider him as a buyout option, I would think.
So what other options are there? To be honest there are not a whole lot to choose from, which is somewhat of a revalation for the Glen Sather era. If there is one player who sticks out as a potential casualty it is Mike Rupp. Rupp is a veteran, a Stanley Cup Winner, and by all accounts a good teammate. That being said, last season was not a personal success by any means. With 22 goals combined the previous two seasons with the Penguins, Mike Rupp was viewed by the Rangers as a guy who could add not only physicality but also some scoring from the bottom-six. Four goals and one assist is not what the Rangers had in mind. Aside from the underwhelming scoring, Rupp was plagued by a knee injury most of the season which limited his physicality. Rupp will be 33 at the end of the season and so his body breaking down completely has to be a concern. The Rangers have him signed for the 2013-2014 season at $1.5 Million, and if he has another underwhelming, injury riddled spell this time around then his future with the team is in jeopardy.
In an ironic twist of fate that only Rangers fans could understand and appreciate, after close to a decade of absolutely brutal contracts being handed out to players - Gomez, Drury, Brashear, Kasparaitis, Holik, and Rissmiller to name some - the NHL finally decided to institute amnesty buyouts at a time when the New York Rangers least needed them. Sure, Redden is an easy decision, but he only has a year remaining on his agonizing contract. And nobody else sticks out as a clear casualty. But this is a good thing. It's a sign of an improved roster and a less erratic, knee-jerk version of Glen Sather. Let's hope everyone does his job these next two seasons and the second amnesty buyout falls into the abyss unused.
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Oh, ok. Then, yeah. I didn't realize under the new CBA that his contract counts towards the cap even though he's in Hartford.
His contract will count against the cap next year, plus they really don't have anyone else to use it on. They have use both in the next two years or else they'll lose them.
Question. Could we trade redden to a team that had three contracts that they want to buy out? Take two guys for redden. Buy them out while the other team buys out redden and their remaining player. This could lead to Sather being owed a favor down the road.
@climbdenali12 That's definitely a creative way to look at this. Got to think a couple of GMs would look at that scenario.
@KevinDeLury @climbdenali12 Larry Brooks pointed out in an article this morning in the NYPost that there is nothing in the CBA that would stop a large market team (such as NYR) from trading for a player with a large contract on a bad team at the deadline, playing them down the stretch and into the playoffs then buying them out in the summer.
Forget about doing favors for other owners, what if the Rangers have an injury down the stretch and need a center. They could trade next to nothing to Tampa Bay for Lecavalier and ride him into the playoffs, with the reward to Tampa being that the Rangers would buy him out instead of the Lightning.
The only risk is you can't buy out an injured player, so you'd have to be careful trading with the intent to buy-out.
Bottom line, a team like the Rangers with money to burn and a desire for the cup could use the summer buyouts as a way to bolster their roster in the short-term.
I know I am going to get bitched at for this but what about Nash?
And then maybe renegotiate a new deal? IDK.....
@Beckfan5 I'd want a FIRM promise from Nash that he would resign. That could get real dangerous. But if it worked then hellz ya!!!
@Beckfan5 Assuming you can't buy a guy out and then negotiate a new contract.
They will probably hold onto the second one for as long as they can until another Redden comes along
I'm glad to read a little more about this. I'm curious ...
Can't wait for the I's to be dotted and T's to be crossed.
Please let us not need to use it on Kovalev. He didn't pan out the second time around. Let's not go back for thirds.
@queensbee On the off chance that Kovalev is signed, I would be incredibly surprised if it weren't for only one year and thus not necessary.