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Ryan Spooner is headed for a buyout.

Tough times for Ryan Spooner.

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This may be a low point in the career of veteran forward Ryan Spooner.

The 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season was a rough one for Ryan Spooner, seeing him play for a total of 4 different teams between the NHL and the American Hockey League. Spooner began the season as a member of the New York Rangers but appeared in just 16 games for that team before being picked up by the Edmonton Oilers. His time in Edmonton did not see him fare much better with Spooner appeared in just 25 games for the Oilers, splitting time in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors for 7 games. Spooner's season ended with 11 games as a member of the Vancouver Canucks and today's announcement has made it clear that the Canucks do not value his services moving forward.

This is even more damning when you consider the fact that Spooner was only under contract for one more season at a cap hit of $4 million, but clearly the Canucks organization values the cap space more. Additionally this gets even worse for Spooner when you consider the fact that the Rangers were already holding on to $900,000 of that $4 million as they retained 22.5 percent of Spooner's deal in a previous trade. 

The move makes sense for a number of reasons as well, as Spooner as shown a steady decline since earning himself a big money deal. His best season game during the 2015 - 2016 NHL regular season as a member of the Boston Bruins when he had 13 goals and 36 assists for 49 points over 80 games, but every season since then has seen a gradual decline in his production.

Although Spooner may have hit a low point in his NHL career he is still a serviceable depth option and he plays at a valuable position where teams often find themselves needing depth. As a result of this upcoming buyout Spooner will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and I fully expect that he will find himself a home for the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season, although it will also likely included a significant drop in salary.