Potential Buy-Out Candidates: Northeast Division
Komisarek? He still plays hockey?
Here is the second installment of the series where we look at players who are good candidates to be bought-out with one of the two amnesty buy-outs each team is allowed to use during the next two offseasons.
I present to you the potential buy-out candidates for the Northeast Division. Enjoy.
Who Could be Bought-Out: n/a
The Bruins are currently in the Stanley Cup Finals and might be one of the few teams that really aren't considering escaping a bad contract because they don't really have one that stands out as being bad enough to justify a buy-out. If one could buy-out an injured player perhaps Marc Savard's name would be in the discussion but as we all know that is not permitted. The real questions for Boston in the upcoming offseason will be how much to re-sign RFA Tuukka Rask for and whether or not to bring back UFAs Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference, and Nathan Horton.
Who Could be Bought-Out: Ville Leino, Christian Ehrhoff
Ville Leino is a player who is more or less a slam-dunk for an amnesty buy-out. At $4.5 million a year on the cap Leino is the second highest paid forward on the Sabres and has turned out to be an exceptionally bad free agent signing. Ehrhoff's situation is a little more complicated than Leino's. With Tyler Myers looking like he was signed to a big deal prematurely the fact that the Sabres will have Ehrhoff until he is 38 years old is starting to look like it might be a problem. Ehrhoff's cap hit is $4 million a year until 2021 (Myers' is $5.5 million a year) so he could very well be discussed as a buy-out candidate, especially next offseason, but I don't think we'll see it happen. Ehrhoff might not be a fifty point defenseman like he was in Vancouver but he still has a lot of value, the real question is will he still be worth the cap space he takes up in three years or so.
Who Could be Bought-Out: Tomas Kaberle
With Scott Gomez bought-out (take a moment to laugh here... it'll feel good) the attention now could turn to 35 year old Tomas Kaberle. Kaberle has just one year left on his contract but at a cap hit of $4.25 million he is another aging player that is less valuable than the cap space his contract occupies. There is also the matter of that P.K. Subban fella needing a real contract after next season when he will become an RFA (again). I am not sure if we'll see Kaberle get the axe or not but if Montreal wants to avoid another circus with Subban's contract they might want to go ahead and free up some cap space to keep the Norris winner around for awhile.
Who Could be Bought-Out: n/a
At one point Milan Michalek's name was connected to some buy-out talk but his chemistry with Jason Spezza and his improved play might take his name off the table. Michalek has just one year left on his contract at this point anyway so there is no real reason to buy him out especially considering the kind of success the Senators had this past season. The Senators are a team that almost certainly won't have to use their amnesty buy-outs (gosh, that must be nice).
Toronto Maple Leafs
Who Could be Bought-Out: Mike Komisarek, John-Michael Liles
Mike Komisarek is currently buried in the minors of the Leafs organization but he will almost certainly be bought-out. The Leafs have seven players from their roster this past season who are RFAs going into this offseason including Nazem Kadri so it will be interesting to see where the money goes. Liles' contract takes up $3.875 million a year of cap space which is quite a lot considering he was often on the third defensive pair and was hardly Coach Randy Carlyle's favorite blueliner. It is possible that the Leafs will be buying out two blueliners instead of just one this upcoming offseason but Liles will probably be given another year to show that he could be a fit in Toronto. It is worth noting that Lies did sign a contract extension just a season ago but his play this past season was exceptionally lackluster.
So what do you think guys and girls, am I missing someone? Do you think any of these players could potentially be fits for the New York Rangers (at the right price)? Which of these players, if bought out, is most likely to find success in a different situation?
Have at it in the comments. Let's go Rangers.