NHL insider insists an insane buyout is coming soon.
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NHL insider insists an insane buyout is coming soon.

NHL insider Frank Seravalli has predicted a crazy scenario where a player may be bought out just 1 year into his contract.

Jonathan Larivee

The use of buyouts has become relatively common place in the National Hockey League and as a result it is rare to find yourself surprised by rumors of a potential buyout, rare but certainly not impossible as today's story is about to prove.

Last month Los Angeles Kings general manager Rob Blake was insistent on the fact that he would not consider the possibility of a buyout for Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois. The announcement from Blake came as no surprise given the fact that Blake committed so much to acquiring the player, including former Kings forwards Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and a 2024 second-round pick in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets.

It make sense that Blake wouldn't want to use a buyout either considering that he orchestrated the sign and trade that landed Dubois the lucrative 8 year contract he now has, one that carries an average annual value and salary cap hit of $8.5 million per season.

Unfortunately for both Blake and Dubois however, Dubois showed this season that Blake may have made a huge mistake in his overzealousness to acquire Dubois from the Jets. Dubois put up just 16 goals and 24 assists for a total of 40 points in the regular season, and never looked like the kind of impact player the Kings were likely expecting to get at that price tag.

Things are so bad in fact that recently NHL insider Frank Seravalli revealed his belief that the buyout will come to pass despite Blake's comments to the contrary.

From the insider:

Yes, we heard GM Rob Blake say at locker cleanout day that the Kings were not planning on buying out Dubois. But this makes too much sense.

Not only does the insider believe the buyout is still a real possibility, he also suggests that it is likely to happen in the next 10 days if it does happen at all. That's because until June 24th Pierre-Luc Dubois is 25 years of age and according to the current collective bargaining agreement the Kings would only be on the hook for 1/3rd of his contract. If the buyout were to happen any time after Dubois turns 26 years old, the Kings would be on the hook for 2/3rds of his contract.

The Kings are obviously on the hit for Dubois' full cap hit of $8.5 million while he remains under contract, a contract that would last through the 2030-31 NHL season, but here is how that cap hit would break down should the Kings use their buyout window now before Dubois turns 26.


There is one major complication however for the Kings and general manager Rod Blake, this year's late running Stanley Cup Final. The buyout window only opens on either June 15th or 48 hours following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever comes later. That means that in a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers rally all the way back to force a Game 7, scheduled to take place on June 24th should it be necessary, the buyout window won't open in time for the Kings to buyout Dubois' contract before he turns 26.

Barring that could we truly see a player bought out of his contract just 1 year after signing the 8-year deal? One NHL insider certainly seems confident that it will.