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.