With the National Hockey League's 2015-2016 campaign officially wrapped up we now move on to what is expected to be a hectic offseason, and the first big date on the calendar is the buyout window that opens on Wednesday.
Each team has the right to 3 buyouts over the course of the current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA, and with such a limited use general managers have to carefully consider each buyout. For teams who do make the decision to use one of their compliance buyout here is how they will work under the current CBA as per GeneralFanager.
A buyout is paid over twice the number of years remaining on the player's contract, at a rate of one-third of the total salary remaining for players under 26, and at a rate of two-thirds of the total salary remaining for players 26 and older.
The buyout provides the team with cap relief, and in the cases of players who can still contribute but have albatross contracts it often means another opportunity to play for a contender, and this year there are several players who fit that mold.
Forwards like Nashville's Eric Nystrom, Vancouver's Alex Burrows, and Philadelphia's R.J. Umburger have all been rumored to be potential buyout targets, and it's not hard to imagine one of them contributing at a discounted salary. They are hardly the only legitimate candidates for such a move however, Chicago's Bryan Bickell and Minnesota's Thomas Vaneky have both been much maligned by their respective fan bases over recent years for their impact on the cap and lack of impact on the ice, and after an early playoff exit for both squads this could be the year they pull the trigger.
There's no shortage of candidates on the blue line either, and Columbus' Fedor Tyutin, Toronto's Jared Cowen, and Calgary's Dennis Wideman have all been rumored as potential targets for a buyout this summer.