Last summer when Capfriendly went into offseason mode, we took a look at some of the potential buyout options that users of the website were most interested in. Capfriendly has a little window showing players who are bought out most frequently by armchair GMs, and many of the names are the exact ones you would expect fans to be trying to dump. Mainly it seems to be the Canadian fan bases that like looking at removing some anchor contracts from their NHL squads. Seven of the top eight players whose buyout page was most frequently are from one of Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton. We’ll take a look at each of those four teams, and a couple others, with some realistic buyout options.
Kris Russell – Edmonton Oilers
Current Cap Hit: $4,000,000 (Expires in 2021)
Buyout Cost: $1,111,111 (Expires in 2024)
Edmonton owns the top two players on the armchair GM buyout list, but neither is Russell. The two players in question are Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera. Both are on large contracts, with multiple years left, and there won’t be much argument when you say they are overpaid. However, due to the large cap hit and term, the buyout numbers on either are intimidating.
Edmonton needs to make changes, and it won’t be with the returning GM Peter Chiarelli or head-coach Todd McLellan. As a result, we will likely see more shakeups at the player level (for better or worse). This is where the Kris Russell buyout comes in. Chiarelli needs to save his bacon, and the only way to do that at this point is to admit past mistakes. One of them is the $4 million owed to Russell each of the next few years. If it could be bumped down to the $1.11 million for the buyout cap hit, then the flexibility would be there for another big offseason move to address some actual areas of need.
Alexandre Burrows – Ottawa Senators
Current Cap Hit: $2,500,000 (Expires in 2019)
Buyout Cost: $833,333 (Expires in 2020)
Ottawa has three players that armchair GMs view as needing to be bought out. Marian Gaborik, Bobby Ryan, and Burrows. Gabrorik’s cap hit isn’t awful, and when he is healthy, it seems like Ottawa can stomach his play, so a buyout there likely doesn’t make sense. Ryan’s contract on the other hand, is just so bad that the buyout is atrocious. That one just isn’t going to happen.
Burrows seems to be a fit, for a few reasons. He is 37 years old, and the Senators are in need of a reset, in which he would stick out like a sore thumb. Additionally, buying out Burrows would not be nearly as painful as the other two above. It makes further sen