Teams across the National Hockey League have been able to officially buy out contracts since last Friday, and finally, one team has made the move. While many believe that San Jose Sharks' Paul Martin might be the victim here; think again.
The Edmonton Oilers have just announced that placed defenceman Eric Gryba on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.
The 30-year-old veteran blue liner had one year remaining on a two-year, $1.8 million contract.
His buyout will save the Oilers $600,000 next season but add $300,000 to their cap in the 2019-20 season, according to the information provided by Cap Friendly.com.
Following the whooping seven-year, $49 million contract offered to forward Evander Kane in May, the Sharks were expected to be the team to make the first buyout move of the summer as they are looking to save some coins to make more moves in the offseason. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic recently reported there is a “strong possibility” the Sharks plan on easing their salary cap by buying out Martin next week when the window opens on June 15th. With a buyout, instead of taking Martin’s entire $4.85M cap hit this year, the team would instead take a $2.02M cap hit this year and a $1.42M cap hit in 2019-20.It would save the Sharks approximately $2.8M in cap space for the 2018-19 campaign.
Martin has been with the Sharks for the past three seasons, however, the last year was a difficult one for the veteran rearguard. Heonly suited up in 14 games this past year due to poor play and injury issues, and ended up in the American Hockey League with the San Jose Barracuda for 18 games after being waived by the club in January.
As for the Oilers, they will be saving some money by buying out Gryba with their first move of the offseason. As noted by Oilers insider Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson, "with the buyout of Eric Gryba at $300,000 Oilers will have $1.6 million in dead money on their cap adding in Benoit Pouliot's $1.3 million."
There are also talks of the Oilers attempting to re-sign defenseman Darnell Nurse and could benefit from today's move to make a better pitch for the young blue liner.
Gryba only took part in 21 games with the Oilers in their disappointing season, recording just two assists.