Mar 21, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; A general view of hockey pucks before the game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Leafs 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Crash Course In Compliance Buyouts


Compliance buyout, get used to seeing those two words, because that is all you will hear and read about for the immediate future. The official window for teams to use their one, two or neither of their compliance buyouts has opened and will remain open until the Free Agency starts up on July 5.

This can be a confusing time with lots of numbers and scenarios thrown everywhere, a time where those that aren’t too friendly with math, like myself, might cringe. So here is a quick crash course in what exactly comes along with a team buying out a player.

Each team has two compliance buyouts that they can use at the end of either this season or next, these are meant to help teams adjust to the salary cap falling to $64.3 million next season from $70.2 million this year.

When a player is bought out, his salary will no longer count against his former team’s cap hit. Although he will still get a portion of his salary depending on his age over an allotted amount of time. A player under the age of 26 will be eligible to receive 1/3 of his salary and a player over the age of 26 will be eligible to receive 2/3 of his salary. When a team buys out a player they are no longer allowed to negotiate a contract with that player until the next offseason.

So if a team were to buy out a player this offseason, they would not be allowed to re-sign that player until next summer.

Once a player is bought out, a team must put that player on waivers. The player will remain on waivers for 24-hours, a period of time any team can pick up that player and absorbed the current contract, which is unlikely in most cases. Once the player clears waivers, they can have their payday.

After the player has cleared waivers, they are set to become a free agent once the free agency opens on July 5. However, unlike other free agents, the players that are bought out are allowed an interview period, where they can work on a new contract before the Free Agency opens, but cannot sign until then.

There are teams like the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche that have already announced that they will not be participating in this year’s buyout periods. Then, of course there are teams that would simply not make sense to use any of their buyouts this time around.

Here is TSN’s Bob Mckenzie’s take on that.

It has already been confirmed that some big names like Ilya Bryzgalov, Danny Briere, Tomas Kaberle and Vincent Lecavalier will be bought this summer, and there is sure to be more to hit the market before the July 5 deadline.

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