Amnesty buy-out options

There have been persistent rumors about the possibility that the next CBA could allow each team a one-time “amnesty buyout”, which would allow the team to buyout one player without that cost being reflected in the salary cap.  For some teams, who would end up on the wrong end of this type of buyout is obvious (*cough* Rick DiPietro *cough*), but for others teams, the question is a little more difficult.

I am going to discuss the merits of using this hypothetical buyout on any Ranger who makes over 3.5 million per year for at least two more seasons.  Just because a player is listed does not mean I think the Rangers should consider buying them out, only that they meet the threshold.  All cap info is via Cap Geek.

Brad Richards (6.6m cap hit through 2020) – Would the Rangers consider using this buyout so soon into Richard’s shiny new contract?  Probably not, but there is some merit to it.  The length is one factor, obviously the free agent market drove the years up on Richard’s deal, probably to a term the Rangers are not crazy about.  Richards has shown to be valuable in many aspects of the game, including leadership roles, mentoring young players and being a positive influence in the room but his production on the ice does not justify his salary.  Since that is clear within the first year of the deal, would the Rangers consider getting out from under a potential albatross?  Again, I don’t think so, and I think there are better options for the amnesty buyout.  But it does give you pause.

Brandon Dubinsky (4.2m cap hit through 2015)-  Dubinsky is one of the few current Rangers whose production is not anywhere near where it needs to be to justify his contract.  However, Dubi is young, and still has some upside.  His value on the trade market is much higher than the benefit of using the buyout on him.  Next…

Ryan Callahan (4.275m cap hit through 2014) – If anything, The Captain’s 4.2 million dollar cap hit is becoming a bargain.  He’s not going anywhere. Next…

Marc Staal (3.975m cap hit through 2015)- Now this might sound like a complete no brainer at first glance, and I agree.  But, what if the Rangers’ brass are not sold that the concussion that sidelined Staal for the better part of a year isn’t completely behind him?  Staal is being paid like a top pair defenseman, and if the medical staff think it’s possible that he could miss significant time going forward, would you think about it?  Me either.  Next…

Henrik Lundqvist (6.875m cap hit through 2014) – Ha! Yeah right.  If anything The King is due for a raise. Next…

Marian Gaborik (7.5m cap hit through 2014) – There are some factions of Ranger fandom who believe that Gaborik is a bad fit under Tort’s system and is paid too much for his “me first” production.  There is no in house replacement for Gaborik’s production and while he hasn’t been a bargain necessarily, he’s not wildly overpaid.  I would be blown away to see him even discussed as a viable option.  Next…

Wade Redden (6.5m cap hit through 2014)- Ding! We have a winner.  Redden has been great down on the farm for the progression of the young d-men with the Whale, but his cap hit comes back in the summer and begins to squeeze pursuit of free agents.  I’m sure he would love another crack at the NHL with another organization at a lesser salary.  As good of a mentor as he has been, it doesn’t justify clogging up the summer cap for him.

The Rangers have the benefit of not being weighed down by too many unproductive contracts.  If the amnesty buyout does come to fruition, there aren’t many people who would be sad to see Wade Redden’s contract go.

Do you guys agree with my assessments?  Can you make a case for one of the other candidates?  It might not ever become an issue, but it is a fun exercise to look at until the final call is made on this provision.

4 thoughts on “Amnesty buy-out options

  • Feb 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    If this buyout comes to fruition, Redden is the only answer. That summer cap hit can be quite crippling for a team that often spends a lot time close to the cap ceiling.

  • Feb 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm


    Right now he is eating 3.7 mil in cap. And next year 1.6

    If you amnesty him, then next season you would clear 4 million.

    With Redden he would be sent down anyway. So the regular season cap would not be affected. Drury would.

    • Feb 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Wrong only one more year on Drury and it would only clear around 1.6 not 4 We will lose plenty just by losing WW and Feds.

  • Feb 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Would this be an incentive to pull the trigger on getting Nash? The biggest complaint about him is his cap hit and length on contract. This buyout proposal would give the Rangers a huge option on how to control their cap situation. It wouldn’t necessarily have to mean buying out Nash, but any bad contract that is eating up cap space.

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