Yesterday the New York Rangers announced their intention to buy-out the remaining three years of 33 year-old defenseman Dan Girardi’s 6 year, $33 million contract. The news, while rumored and speculated for weeks, was still a shock to many fans given the dollars involved.
With Girardi’s deal off the books, general manager Jeff Gorton can now use his $5.5 million annual salary to chase a free agent replacement like Kevin Shattenkirk, right? Not so fast. Due to the machinations of the NHL’s buyout process, a players contract is paid out over the course of six years, with fluctuations in the annual price and cap hit.
The savings in year one of the buyout is just shy of $3 million, then dips to just $2 million in years two and three before levelling out to $4 million for years four, five and six.
So, for all the Rangers fans who are singing in the streets about Kevin Shattenkirk’s imminent arrival in NYC, compose yourself. While there’s still a chance for Gorton to work some magic and bring in the high-price free agent, nothing is certain yet.