Food for Thought: Buying Out Kotalik

January 19, 2010, by

When Glen Sather signed Ales Kotalik over the summer to a three year deal at $3 million per season, I cringed. I was really hoping for one more year of Nik Zherdev, I think his presence this year would have really helped the Rangers. Alas, we were stuck with Kotalik, and now we have $3 million sitting in the Prucha Box.

Just for fun, I ran the numbers for buying out Kotalik at the end of the season, and the numbers themselves aren’t too terrible. Due to the structure of Kotalik’s contract ($3 million a year), the buyout numbers don’t vary from year to year the way they would with a buyout of Michal Rozsival. If Glen Sather decides to buy out Kotalik at the end of this season, the resulting cap hit will be just $1 million for the next four seasons. The Rangers would save $2 million in cap room for the next two seasons, and then have an extra $1 million cap hit for the following two seasons.

If Kotalik can’t find a way to claw his way into the lineup on a consistent basis, what’s the point of having his $3 million on the books? I’d rather it just be $1 million. But hey, I’m biased, I never liked Kotalik.

Categories : Business of Hockey


  1. Bettman's Nightmare says:

    Me neither; even his surface stats don’t lie, in that he’s bad defensively and an inconsistent scorer. Given the recent scratches, I think the Rangers are leaning this way already.

  2. Dave says:

    A lot of people saw the 20 goals a season and jumped on it. I actually watched him play for his tenure in Buffalo (I went to school in Binghamton, Sabres games were always on). He never impressed me.

    • Bettman's Nightmare says:

      What I didn’t realize is that he’s so bad at taking penalties versus drawing them. Tied for the worst ratio among forwards in the league (with Ethan Moreau).

  3. Jordan says:

    I originally liked the Kotalik signing because I thought he would help the PP, but clearly that was just misguided hope.

    I agree, buy him out. His remaining cap hit is a sunk cost. No reason tying up the remaining $2 million in bench fodder when it can go somewhere else that would be more productive, because at this point anyone is.

    Furthermore, agreed regarding Zherdev and I’m glad you said it, Dave. I never really wanted him to go, but at the time of his departure, he was asking too much for where the team was in the offseason.

  4. Jordan says:

    Just read via Gross that Kotalik and Brashear scratched again.

    What a waste.

  5. Matt says:

    love your salary cap stuff, by far the best place to come to breakdown the nhl salary cap.

  6. kathy says:

    Hey -agree about Kotalik…thought it was bad in the summer and that’s how it worked out.Said it before…i think the whole Brooks thing on Z begging to come back was complete bs…no once else had reported it and if you go back to his articles and the one where z had this big conspiracy theory planned all along to get out of Ny…really???? What’s most concerning is that between kotalik and brashear we have what $4.8 million a year has healthy scratches

  7. tomb says:

    Further proof of the ineptitude of glen Sather. Every “brilliant” managerial decision he has made on his own has been a colossal failure.

    The damage he does to this franchise every year is maddening. How every hockey fan in New York isn’t screaming for his head boggles the mind.

    The guy is clueless. Bring on Messier.

    • Dave says:

      Well, I don’t think he’s been that bad. His trades have been pretty damn good actually. Kotalik got market value too, it’s just he wasn’t the player the Rangers needed.

      Don’t bring on Messier. Guy has zero business experience.

  8. Scott says:

    Zherdev would have been fun to watch with gaborik. on a different note, what are your thoughts on the rags chances of trading for kchuk?

    • Dave says:

      They play the same position, so they wouldn’t have been on the same line.

      I highly doubt (and hope they don’t) that they will trade for Kovalchuk.