January 15, 2013
Change of plans, teams can start using their compliance buyouts now.
The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to allow teams to use one of their two compliance buyouts before the season starts on Saturday according to Sportsnet.ca.
Here is the catch though. If a team opts to buyout one of its players, that bought out player's cap hit will still count towards the team for the entire season.
Compliance buyouts are a product of the new Collective Bargaining agreement. The original rule was that teams could use them starting in the 2013-14 season and the buyout of a player's salary will not affect the team's cap.
Compliance buyouts still will not go towards a team's salary cap, should it choose to wait until the 2013-14 season.
The NHL has granted teams permission to use one buyout early after the Montreal Canadiens told forward Scott Gomez to sit out the season and the New York Rangers planned to bench defenseman Wade Redden.
Both players have large contracts that they failed to live up to, and both teams wanted to make sure they don't get injured so that they could buy the players out in the summer.
The early buyouts will help these two players, and any other player that gets bought out before the start of the season, find new teams to play on for this season, rather than having to sit and wait for next year.
For the Flyers, popular belief has been that should goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov have another bad year this season, then he would be bought out.
Right now, there are probably some that think the Flyers should just use one of their buyouts on him now. But there is a problem with that.
First of all, the Flyers still believe in Bryzgalov.
Flyers chairman Ed Snider spoke with the media earlier today, and when asked about Bryzgalov, Snider made clear that he is in support of the Russian goaltender.
"I think we're in good shape in goal," Snider said. "We have a lot of faith in Bryzgalov, and I think he will do a real good job for us."
Bryzgalov had an inconsistent first year in Philadelphia, but Snider said he is not concerned and believes Bryzgalov's struggles last year were due to an adjustment to a different style of play than the one he was used to in Phoenix.
"I think he is a damn good goalie," Snider said.
Second, even if the Flyers did want to buyout Bryzgalov, it wouldn't make any sense to do it now.
Bryzgalov's cap hit is $5,666,667, and that would go against the Flyers if they buy him out now. If they wait until after this season, none of his contract buyout would go against the salary cap.
Plus, there is the added problem of having to find a starting goaltender only a few days before the start of the season.
Although backup Michael Leighton did help the Flyers in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, remember that he did only start in 26 regular season games that year and shared a lot of games with Brian Boucher.
The same goes for the recently re-acquired Boucher, and he is not even at Flyers training camp. Instead, Boucher has been sent to the Phantoms.
The bottom line is that the Flyers will probably not use one of their compliance buyouts on Bryzgalov, or anyone else for that matter, before the season starts.
The Flyers will likely not even consider a buyout until after this season, but if Bryzgalov has a good year, then all this speculation will be for naught.
(Image from SmelltheGlove.ca)
(Video from Flyers.NHL.com)