Another day, another buy out. For the fourth consecutive day since teams across the National Hockey League have been able to officially buy out contracts since last Friday, another contract buyout is taking place.
This time, it is the Detroit Red Wings who have decided to part ways with one player, by placing him on waivers in order to buy out his contract. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has announced that defenseman Xavier Ouellet is being placed on waivers to enable a buyout.
The 24-year-old defenseman struggled to make a place on his own on the Wings' roster last season, playing just 45 games in 2017-18, unable to gain a foothold and passed on the depth chart by Nick Jensen.
According to the information provided by CapFriendly, Ouellet's buyout will cost roughly $166,000 against the salary cap next season and $266,000 the following season. While it is not loads of money saved for Holland and the Red Wings, it does clear a roster spot for the team who is entering a retooling mode. The Wings are hoping to see at least one prospect from a group that includes Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, Libor Sulak and Joe Hicketts push for a spot in Detroit out of training camp before the start of the 2018-19 season.
Buying out Ouellet will leave the Wings with five NHL defensemen under contract: Jensen, Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley. The Wings are also focused on re-signing pending free agent blue liner Mike Green, who is believed to have received a contract offer from Detroit in the past few weeks. The issue appears to be the length of the deal as the Wings would prefer to keep Green at two years, where he’s looking for more security.
The Wings drafted Ouellet in the second round, 48th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry draft. He played 66 games in 2016-17, but couldn’t stand out enough this past season to become a reliable defender on the every day roster.
The Red Wings had big hopes for Ouellet, who took part in 141 games over parts of five seasons, picking up five goals and 18 assists. Because he's under 26, he'll be paid only one-third the remaining value of his deal ($433,333) over the next two years instead of the standard two-thirds.