Spring cleaning for generals managers has begun. Though this year the annual buyout window presents itself under far distinct circumstances.
The Vegas Golden Knights draft their expansion roster in less than a week and protected lists for the event are due in 24 hours, meaning the time is now for teams to achieve optimal roster organization.
Anchors, come the weekend, could sink a contender. It’s why we should see several players sent packing.
Ducks cutting ties with Despres
The Anaheim Ducks have waived defenseman Simon Despres for the purposes of a buyout, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.
Despres was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Ben Lovejoy at the 2014-15 trade deadline. He earned a five-year, $18-million contract from Anaheim for his showing down the stretch and into the postseason that spring, but has been limited to 33 games in the two seasons since signing his lucrative deal (including just one this past season) due to persistent concussion issues.
Despres had for more seasons at $3.7 million remaining on his contract. Though he will remain on Anaheim’s payroll through the 2024-25 season, the decision to shed Despres will make it easier for general manager Bob Murray to extend Cam Fowler.
Avalanche buy out Beauchemin
Because Beauchemin signed his deal beyond 35, his buyout will not offer any relief on the salary cap, but does free up a protected spot. The Avalanche had just one to work with prior with Beauchemin and Erik Johnson holding no-movement protection. They will now be able to shield Johnson, Tyson Barrie, and likely Nikita Zadorov, the emerging young defenseman acquired in the Ryan O’Reilly deal.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Avalanche never asked Beauchemin to waive his no trade, indicating that they wanted to move on for reasons beyond potentially losing Zadorov.
Rangers finally move on from Girardi
The New York Rangers got a head start Wednesday, announcing that they are severing ties with defenseman Dan Girardi.
New York will receive a little less than $3 million in savings this season and almost $2 million for the following two years with the buyout. However, they will forfeit $1.11 million for three seasons beyond his initial term to free up the money.
Girardi released a statement through the Rangers shortly after the announcement:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 14, 2017
New York has long been linked to pending unrestricted free agent Kevin Shattenkirk, who will command a salary that will eclipse what Girardi was earning in his time with the Blueshirts.
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