Here we are with the final installment of the "Buy-Out Candidates" series. Our attention now turns to the Pacific Division where we find very few strong buy-out candidates but plenty of interesting storylines related to buy-outs. Each team is allowed two amnesty buy-outs to use over the next two offseasons to escape albatross contracts.
If you missed any of the previous discussions of buy-out candidates from the other divisions here is where you can find them!
Without further delay let's jump right into it guys and dolls. I present to you the potential buy-out candidates from the Pacific Division.
Note: (For the most part) I am ignoring the implications of whether or not a team can "afford" to buy out a player or not for the sake of debate and discussion about what players are good buy-out candidates.
Who Could be Bought-Out: Bryan Allen
I don't anticipate the Ducks making any buy-out moves despite needing to be very careful with where they put their money after signing captain Ryan Getzlaf and former MVP Corey Perry to monster deals during the season but it could happen. A name that could be discussed is Bryan Allen, 32, scored just 6 points in his first year with the Ducks and is under contract for two more years at a cap hit of $3.5 million a year. To be fair to Allen he has never been productive offensively but he was sixth in Duck blueliners in ice time which isn't a good thing for a guy getting paid $3.5 million a year. If Sheldon Souray's play regresses this upcoming season I wouldn't be surprised if the Ducks look into buying him out of the last year of his contract but he was productive in Anaheim and showed that he still has plenty of value and one hell of a shot from the point. Both Allen and Souray were discussed as possible buy-out candidates by Anaheim Calling, SB Nation's Anaheim Ducks hockey blog.
Who Could be Bought-Out: n/a
With Dustin Penner coming off the books this offseason the Kings have plenty of cap space to work to with to make sure they can bring back the players they want to bring back and still make some moves in free agency. There should be some concern about the length of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards' contracts but other than that the money and cap space is being handled well in Los Angeles. I predict that the Kings will be one of the teams that don't utilize their amnesty buy-outs.
Who Could be Bought-Out: Martin Havlat
Martin Havlat, 32, can't stay healthy and when he is in the lineup he just doesn't seem to be the player that he used to be. Havlat takes up $5 million of cap space over the next two years and is a very strong candidate for being bought out of his contract by the Sharks. The Sharks are a team that isn't getting any younger and definitely has a clock on their designs to win a Stanley Cup when one considers the advancing age of players like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dan Boyle. Escaping Havlat's contract will open up some much-needed cap space for the Sharks to make some moves in the free agency market.
However, it looks like Martin Havlat might be too injured to be bought-out which would put the Sharks in a very tricky situation.
Who Could be Bought-Out: n/a
All the Coyotes have to worry about this offseason is re-signing UFA goaltender Mike Smith and figuring out if they can or will stay in Arizona. Having almost no money to work with has made the Coyotes very cautious and frugal about where they put their money and what kinds of contracts they hand out. They are one of the few times that is guaranteed to not use their amnesty buy-outs.
Who Could be Bought-Out: Erik Cole
It isn't going to happen but Erik Cole is a guy who should at the very least be discussed as a buy-out candidate. Cole, 34, takes up $4.5 million of cap space a year for the next two years. After coming over from the Habs in exchange for Michael Ryder, Cole managed to score just 6 goals and 1 assist in 28 games with the Stars. Dallas can't really afford to have a player be paid what Cole is being paid and not have him produce but they also can't really afford to buy him out of his contract. Hopefully new coaching in Dallas can find a way to get the most out of Cole and turn back the clock to the days when Cole regularly eclipsed twenty goals a season.
Well that does it for the series guys and gals! I really hope you enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to write. So what do you guys think, am I forgetting someone from the Pacific Division? Are any of these guys potential fits or fixes for the New York Rangers? Was this article as boring as I thought it was? Which of these potential buy-out candidates has the best chance for success wearing another team's jersey?
Would you guys be interested in a piece discussing which of the buy-out candidates I think are the best fits for the Rangers (at the right price)? Let me know in the comments!
Let's go Rangers.