The first buyout window opened on June 15th and will close on June 30th, just before the free agency frenzy begins, and several National Hockey League fans are on edge to see what their favourite will end up doing with hefty contracts in the bank.
After the frenzy of the Vegas Golden Knights expansion last year, this summer there is no expansion draft, so general managers across the league can’t look to offload bad contracts to a brand new team with endless amounts of cap room. There are several teams that were expected to jump on the opportunity to buy out some contract, however, Montreal Canadiens fans will be upset to hear today's breaking news concerning the Habs.
Canadiens insider Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports has revealed on Wednesday that no players on the Habs roster will be bought out this summer.
No player will be the victim of a poor season in Montreal, be it blue liner Karl Alzner, defenseman David Schlemko or forward Andrew Shaw. Shocking!
Alzner was believed to be the most likely candidate to see his contract bought out by the Canadiens, who signed him just last summer as an unrestricted free agent.
However, this would have been a long and expensive one for the Canadiens and general manager Marc Bergevin. Alzner signed a hefty s 5-year, $23-plus-million deal, and the Canadiens have sufficient cap room to absorb his salary and the ones of Shea Weber and Carey Price for the next eight years... If the Canadiens had chosen to go the buyout route, they would have dropped the cap hit down to an average of $1.6 million for the next eight seasons from the $4.6 million he’s owed in each of the next four.
The NHL is expected to increase the salary cap space to around $80 million. As of now, according to the information provided by CapFriendly, Bergevin is already operating well under the $75 million ceiling and can manage to take on the next season without buying out a contract from an underwhelming player this summer.
The Canadiens have been clear that they don't want to give up on Alzner, and like what he brings to the dressing room as one of the team's leaders. As for Shaw, close to the NHL Trade deadline, Bergevin was adamant about not trading the feisty winger, so it may be less of a surprise here to see the Habs GM giving him another chance after an injury-riddled season.
How surprised are you that no one will be bought out in Montreal after all the rumors on Alzner, Shaw and Schlemko?