This is my first blog on Hockeybuzz and with the off-season approaching we should look into how the Amnesty Clause being rumoured to be apart of the new CBA. Reports have indicated that teams and owners are looking to incorporating an amnesty clause to buy out one-contract per team without it affecting that teams salary cap for the next season. In this 2 part blog are one name per team that each could look into buying out if they look at the statistics of the player and what they have brought forward to their team.
ANAHEIM - C Andrew Cogliano, 24, ($2.39M til 2014)
The Ducks are actually managed very well under the cap and Bob Murray needs more praise for his abilities to manage and put forth a tough team that would still be playing meaningful games if it weren't for their terrible start. On a well-managed team your hard pressed to find a bad contract but for a player who has 25 PTS in 80 games (April 4th), Cogliano is almost on a $100,000/PT ratio. His move from Edmonton was supposed to help be a fresh start but has been anything but. You could argue his faceoff abilities and defensive play are where his worth shows but hes -3, averaging 14min TOI and ranked 340th overall in FO% 42%.
BOSTON - C Marc Savard, 35, ($4.01M til 2017)
Savard when healthy has been a great player often held in conversations for the Canadian Olympic and World Championship teams. Since the lockout, Savard has amassed 402 PTS in 386 GP. Savard was thought to be a key building block for the Bruins cup hopes but his concussions have rendered his career all but over. Savard will most likely ride out the rest of this contract until 2017 or be placed on LTIR but however you dice it, economically $4M/season doing nothing is well, doing nothing. If any player on this list deserves to not be on this list it is Savard but he is here due to the content of this article.
BUFFALO - C Ville Leino, 28, ($4.50M til 2017)
Tomas Vanek $7.1M, Jason Pominville $5.3M and Christian Ehrhoff $4.0M for 10 years. You could easily pick any of these contracts but the difference is performance. Vanek was signed to an offer sheet from Edmonton but atleast hes got 26G and 59PTS this season. Pominville can be said to be the heart of the team and hes got 72PTS this season including 5 GWG. And Ehrhoff leads the blueliners with 32PTS and 23:03 TOI. Leino on the other hand was expected to be a 50-point player and has 24PTS. Leino has seen his ice time slip to 15:58 TOI (Team 7th) and has 2 more goals than 4th-liner Patrick Kaleta (5). Rookie Marcus Foligno has half Leino's points in just 13 games.
CALGARY - D Jay Bouwmeester, 28, ($6.68M til 2014)
It's usually a good thing when your name is mentioned in the same sentence as; Shea Weber, Brian campbell, Drew Doughty and Zdeno Chara. Not if your Jay Bouwmeester. Historically speaking, the former 3rd overall pick in 2002, 6'4 and once compared to Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey skating wise. Not making this up. After coming out of Medicine Hat he was considered a great player on a bad team. When playing for Florida who never made the playoffs with Bouwmeester as their top defender he was thought to be a great player on a bad team and when Calgary loaded up their defense in the 2009 offseason and bolstered Regehr, Phaneuf, Bouwmeester and Giordano they thought he would finally reach his potential. In his first season of this contract he posted the most points he would so far while under this contract with 29, well below the 46-point career high he had in Florida in 2006. In 3 seasons he has not scored more than 4 goals in a season and has been a combined -28. Somehow along the way the Flames thought highly enough of him to be comfortable moving Phaneuf (the once franchise cornerstone and future captain) to Toronto. To make this situation even more comical Bouwmeester averages 25:58 TOI, yes he plays more than Chara.
CAROLINA - C Eric Staal, 27 ($8.25M til 2016)
Staal's a great player and this is taking nothing away from him. But you know your accounting is wonky when your best player is a 70-80 point player and he makes more than a guy who scorers 60 goals a season in Stamkos ($7.5M). With Carolina being a small market the contract is more political than substantive. Yes, Staal is a great player and a gold medal winner. Yes, Staal is the captain and best player to play in Carolina since the move from Hartford. Yes, Carolina needed to throw money at Staal to show the team will pay its stars and to attract players to North Carolina. It's just too much money for a team that has no money.
CHICAGO - RW Michael Frolik, 24, ($2.33M til 2014)
At 6'1 198 the 10th overall pick in 2006 was brought in for his speed and hands to bolster the 2nd line in Chicago. What has he done in Chicago? Last season 9 PTS in 28 games, this season 14 PTS in 61 games. Frolik is -11 and another surprising stat is he has 207 shots in the 89 games he has played in Chicago and has 8 goals to show for it. The worst part, he still has 2 years remaining on his contract.
COLORADO - Paul Stastny, 26, ($6.60M til 2014)
First has anyone else noticed the Avalanche only have five regular skaters signed for next season (Stastny, Landeskog, Kobasew, Hejda and O'Byrne). Didn't count rookies Barrie and Elliott. But what a fall from grace for Stastny. After Sakic retired Stastny was believed to be the next big star and future cornerstone of the franchise. As the rebuild has matured Stastny finds himself as a No.2 center battling for his job. Remember Duchene and O'Reilly were drafted as natural centers and with O'Reilly being moved to the wing for the time being it buys Stastny some time to get his game going. But $6.6M for your No.2 center is too much even for the Avs who could be a cup contender in a year or two which is just when Stastny's contract runs up. Either way if he wants to be apart of the long-term solution in Colorado he will need to put up better totals than the
20G-30/35A, he has been averaging the last 2 seasons. He has the ability to do more with three 70-point seasons to his name.
COLUMBUS - G Steve Mason, 23 ($2.90M til 2013)
When your drafted to become the franchise cornerstone and are titled the modern-day Grand Fuhr you have expectations. When you respond to those expectations by winning the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in 2009, people really get on the bandwagon. Responding with 3.17GAA and a .898 SV% in the following 3 seasons puts him in company with another hotshot prospect who never panned out, Jim Carrey (Washington's 1996 calder trophy winner). Some fans are counting down the days until Mason is either moved or is contract is not extended at the end of next season. Either way Malcolm Subban and Andrei Vasilevski are available and highly touted netminders in the upcoming draft. Both could unseat Mason if drafted by the Blue Jackets. His $2.9M cap hit is friendly but the Jackets are essentially donating it to charity with having Mason tend goal with his current play.
DALLAS - D Alex Goligoski, 26, ($4.60M til 2016)
When you have great contracts in place like Loui Eriksson ($4.25M) and one of the best value deals per player in the league in Stephane Robidas ($3.30M), you have to ask yourself what were they thinking when they signed Alex Goligoski to that new $18.4M/4YR deal starting next season. One, the guy has never played more than 69 games in a season. Two, he is considered a highly one dimensional offensive defender. Dallas isn't a very offensive team so his numbers do suffer a bit but Goligoski has yet to shake off the label as a turnover machine, a title he got before he was moved from Pittsburgh in 2011.
DETROIT - D Jonathan Ericsson, 28, ($3.25M til 2014)
Ericsson's coming out party was the 2008 playoffs, but most would argue he really arrived in the 2009 playoffs. Remember his game 7 blast past Marc-Andre Fleury on the PP to get the Red Wings back in it? Since then Ericsson's kind of lost his way. His minutes make him the No. 6, but Jakub Kindl's puck-moving ability may bump Ericsson down the depth chart even more so when it matters. Ericsson could find himself in the press box for Game 1 of the playoffs if Quincey returns from injury. Ericsson has a big 6'4 221 frame and has come along way as the 291st selection in the 2002 draft. He could find himself expendable and gives me the impression of Dan McGillis. McGillis was labeled as a hitting machine but in reality was just a terrible immobile defender Edmonton was trying to rid themselves of. Prior to the 1998 deadline, the Oilers moved him to Philadelphia by padding McGillis' physical stats, maybe Detroit could do the same? Bottom line, he plays 16:50/game and they've tried him with Lidstrom and Kronwall and in the end hes a No.6 whos getting $3.25M.
EDMONTON - C Shawn Horcoff, 33, ($5.50M til 2015)
The backstory on this contract is in 2006 Horcoff had a breakout year as did everyone in Edmonton including the guy that sells pop to fans in the stands on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 2007 season saw the Oilers falter back into the basement and as everyones stats flatlined, so did Horcoffs but his was blamed mainly on his lingering shoulder and hip injuries. A healthy Horcoff came out of the gates on fire with 50 PTS in 53 GP in 2008 only to be shut down by the same injuries. It was during this time that management felt Horcoff was a No.1 center with two-way abilities and worth the premium $5M going rate. What Kevin Lowe failed to see during this time, as he was the genius who gave Penner $4.25M and Vanek $7.12M offer-sheets, players need to prominently show their worth before handing them long-term big money deals. Horcoff's essential tool-kit includes PK and face-offs. Horcoff is one of the Oilers better PK'ers and is having a decent 49 FO%, not great but decent for a No.3 center. As the rebuild matures, the top-6 will fill-out to include (according to plan) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. Horcoff will fall to the No.3 center but Anton Lander is long-term projected to be the No.3 and could surpass Horcoff sooner rather than later. So essentially $5.5M is being delegated to a bottom 6 forward when the Oilers will be "contending". Not great cap management, but neither was the Khabibulin or Barker signing.
FLORIDA - LW Wojtek Wolski, 26, ($3.80M FA this Summer)
Talk about a player with no direction in his career. Wolski has been with 4 NHL teams in the past 3 seasons (Colorado, Phoenix, NY Rangers and Florida). In between he had a 7-game stop in Connecticut playing in the AHL this season. It would be different if Wolski was going through some serious career injuries but in reality Wolski has been scratched more often than hes dressed this season. Wolski may seriously have to consider signing in the KHL this off-season as no one seems interested in his "would rather not play in tough areas to score" label. Getting called-up and getting hot in the playoffs may save his job and maybe even his career.
LOS ANGELES - LW Simon Gagne, 32, ($3.50M til 2013)
Gagne's concussion history has allowed him just 34 games this season in which he has scored just 7 goals, a far cry from the 47 he had in 2006, or the 41 he had in 2007 or the 34 he had in 2009. Gagne has not been healthy since the 2009 Philadelphia cup run where he had 74 points in the regular season but was limited to just 6 games in the playoffs. This season is pretty much a wash for Gagne and next season with Carter and Richards following him over from Philadelphia he has everything in place and no reason to not be successful unless that is, he is still suffering from post-concussion syndrome. Well see next season.
MINNESOTA - LW Dany Heatley, 33, ($7.50M til 2014)
The once two-time 50 goal scorer, the once four-time 40 goal scorer and two-time 100-point scorer. If anyone has fallen hard it is Heatley who's conditioning and commitment have taken a huge step back to where it's amazing he hasn't been fined. From showing up to camp overweight and from demanding a trade because you don't want to play on the 2nd PP unit, its clear that MTV Cribs special showing off Heatley's "crib" and "gym" was one giant joke. He's supposed to anchor the Wild's offense and i guess if you lead your team with 51 PTS then that is anchoring. But his once deadly shot is a laughable 9.9%, a far cry from the 18.3% he had in 2008 and his career average of 14.7%.
MONTREAL - C Scott Gomez, 32, ($7.35M til 2014)
Its not over yet, theres still 2 more seasons left. Gomez has 21 goals in 196 contests has hasn't had a playoff goal since 2010. Did you know he won the Calder Trophy and in 2000 and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2000, 2003). There's not much to say especially when fans make a website dedicated to your inability to score goals. ([url]http://didgomezscore.com/). From the website: "Only 47 days, 7 hours, 33 minutes and 20 seconds since Gomez' last goal...". 31,993 people like this on facebook but im pretty sure none of them are apart of Canadiens management.