Explaining why the Senators have a buy-out option this week

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 ·


During the course of every NHL calendar year there are two buyout periods. The first comes in the two weeks leading up to July 1st, and the second is reserved for teams that have players that have filed for arbitration. However, if the arbitration is team elected, that team must file against two players to have the option of buying out a contract.

Here is the exact language from the CBA with the pertinent parts in bold and my comments in italics:

11.18 Ordinary Course Buy-Outs Outside the Regular Period.Clubs shall have the right to exercise Ordinary Course Buy-Outs outside the regular period for Ordinary
Course Buy-Outs in accordance with Paragraph 13(c)(ii) of the SPC. Each Club shall be
limited to no more than three (3) such buyouts over the term of this Agreement pursuant
to Paragraph 13(c)(ii) of the SPC. However, in the event that a Club has only one salary
arbitration hearing pursuant to Section 12.3(a)
in a given League Year, such Club shall
not be entitled to exercise such a buyout outside the regular period for Ordinary Course
Buy-Outs. No Club shall exercise an Ordinary Course Buy-out outside the regular period
for any Player earning less than $1 million.

The phrase pursuant to section to 12.3(a) is the key here as it deals only with club-elected arbitration. The only arbitration case the Sens had was for Kaspars Daugavins, who was the party that filed, not the club. Therefore, the Sens are allowed to buy-out a contract if they so choose later this week.

As far as the timing for a possible buy-out? First, the club must put the player on waivers for the purpose of buying him out. If he's claimed, great. If not, you buy out the contract. The buy-out period really starts ticking the day an arbitrator rules on a contract, or the day the two sides that were headed for arbitration settle on a new contract. The club must wait three days before waiving the player. In the Sens case, since Daugavins signed yesterday, the earliest would be Thursday. Starting Thursday the Sens would have 48 business hours complete the process of waiving and buying out a player. See below for the exact language:


Section 13(ii) of Standard Player's Contract:
For Clubs who have Club or Player elected Salary Arbitration filings
pursuant to Article 12, within the forty-eight (48) hour period beginning on the third day
following the later of: (i) the Club's receipt of its last salary arbitration award; or (ii) settlement
of its last case
(provided such award was received or such settlement occurred after 7:00 p.m.
New York time; awards or settlements that occurred or were received after 7:00 p.m. New York
time will be deemed to have occurred or received the following business day for purposes of this
provision).

All this means is that the Sens have the option to buy-out a player. The obvious follow-up question is, should they?  You can argue both sides.   

Pro buy-out

(i)-According to http://capgeek.com, once Stephane Da Costa is re-signed there will be 48 contracts counting against the Sens reserve list. The limit is 50. When you factor in the fact a teenaged Mika Zibanejad will also count by being in Ottawa or Binghamton, that brings the number to a very too close for comfort 49. Being that close can really limit in season flexibility (note-signed junior aged players don't count towards 50 limit unless they're pro in North America).

(ii)-The Daugavins signing gives the Sens 13 forwards on one way contracts. That doesn't include players like Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Stone, Noesen, Hoffman etc...who are all still on entry level deals. They're could be just too many forwards in the mix right now for a team that is still "building a foundation", as head coach Paul Maclean likes to say.

(iii)-Money. For example. Does Bobby Butler really fit in? He is set to make 1.2 million dollars in the upcoming final season of his deal. Since he's under 26, he can be bought out for 1/3 of that which would equate to a savings of $800,000 in cold hard cash for owner Eugene Melnyk.

Con buy-out

(i)-Despite already having 13 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies on one way contracts (I include Cowen in that as he is obviously on the team), as it stands today according to http://capgeek.com, the Sens are still about three million dollars under the salary floor. However, the floor could certainly go down once the new CBA is hammered out. Whenever the hell that day comes..... 

We'll see if the Sens exercise their buy-out option later this week.

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Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.
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