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To Buy Out Or Not

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

The NHL’s buyout period begins one month from today, the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded. It concludes on June 30 at 5 p.m. ET....

Corey Perry, two years at a $8.625 million cap hit

Among the top 15 most expensive players in today’s NHL, none have delivered less bang for the buck than Perry the past few seasons. The winger turns 34 this week and has watched his production drop in each of his past three seasons.

Granted, health issues were a contributing factor to Perry’s career-worst output in 2018-19 — six goals, four assists and a minus-16 rating in 31 games played — but he hasn’t been a 20-goal threat since 2015-16.

Perry holds a full no-movement clause, and Bob Murray’s cap-tight Ducks need to get younger and cheaper.

Justin Abdelkader, four years at a $4.25 million cap hit

It’s easy to look at Abdelkader’s 2018-19 numbers — six goals, 19 points, minus-14 rating — and start dreading another four declining years of overpaying a depth veteran winger whose no-trade clause won’t be modified until 2020-21. Especially if you’re new GM Steve Yzerman, who inherits a couple of troubling long-term loyalty deals handed out by the departing Ken Holland.

Yzerman bought out Matt Carle and Vincent Lecavalier when he served as Tampa’s GM. Because Abdelkader still has four years left on his deal, a buyout would put him on the books for eight years (at a reduced annual hit of between $1.145 million and $2.395 million).

The question here is twofold: How aggressive will Yzerman be in this rebuild? And much cultural worth does he see in keeping an alternate captain like Abdelkader — a leader in the room and in the community — around a core that is getting younger by the autumn.

more on each of the above plus other players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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Had forgotten there was a full NTC, too

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/15/19 at 09:46 AM ET

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Within full article we also see quote “lots of players sigh these long-term deals…”

Yes, and there’s plenty of company regarding GMs who have offered some.

But isn’t that where the responsibility starts?

Not with agents trying to make a good living and players seeing a once in a lifetime chance at financial security after a short playing career that takes a major toll physically?

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/15/19 at 09:57 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I don’t know if there’s really any financial reason to buy out Abs…not for the next couple years at least.  The biggest reason I’d see to buy him out would be to open up a roster spot. 

In which case I think they should do it. 

And holy crap that Corey Perry contract is looking horrible.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/15/19 at 10:33 AM ET

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Abdelkader — a leader in the room

Don’t buy him out because you’ll only look foolish when you see allllllll the other GMs fighting over who gets to sign the guy who has so courageously led the Wings to several playoff misses.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/15/19 at 10:44 AM ET

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I hate the concept of Abby being on the books and affecting the salary cap for EIGHT more seasons. A buyout just doesn’t make much sense.

Now someone like Ericsson makes more sense. It only adds one more year (when the Wings have cap space) AND frees up a defensive spot that can be used for prospect playing time. The same could be considered for Daley. However, it is possible the injury rule might prevent buyout for either of these guys.

Posted by evileye on 05/15/19 at 10:57 AM ET

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Didnt Corey Perry have two years with 50 goals a piece? I mean, at that time the 8 million would have been fine right?

Posted by Pasha1277 on 05/15/19 at 11:07 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I don’t know if there’s really any financial reason to buy out Abs…not for the next couple years at least.  The biggest reason I’d see to buy him out would be to open up a roster spot.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/15/19 at 10:33 AM ET

TK beat me to it regarding the timing of an Abby buyout. Keep him around as a 4th-line grinder who gets every third PK shift with someone faster than he is (yeah, I know, that’s just about everyone).

And if his roster spot ends up blocking the path of a Zadina, Veleno, Hirose or whoever, then buy him out. Or ship him to GR. That would save about a mil on the cap hit and he can mentor young guys for his final two or three years. The only question is would the organ-Y-zation have the balls to do that to someone like Abby. Holland never would, but Stevie might.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/15/19 at 12:00 PM ET

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I hate the concept of Abby being on the books and affecting the salary cap for EIGHT more seasons. A buyout just doesn’t make much sense.

He’s the fourth-highest paid forward on the team and he’s 9th place in points and 11th in goals.

This is exactly the type of contract that’s perfect for a buyout. Sure he’s on the books for eight years, but his cap hit never gets above $2.4M.

Buying him out is entirely worth it just for the roster spot.

Better that he minimally affect the cap for eight years than take up a roster spot AND more cap space for four.

A rebuilding team needs both the cap space and roster spots to actively rebuild.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/15/19 at 12:13 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

As stated, it depends on how aggressive Yzerman plans on being.  If he thinks he can somehow turn this ship around in the next couple of seasons, for sure buy him out.  If its a longer term plan, than let him play out a couple more seasons (or sit in the press box) to lesson the impact of the eventual buyout.

I’m way more concerned about the log jam at defense, and the extreme lack of ability in the current group.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 05/15/19 at 12:32 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I agree with Hootinani on this one on all fronts.  The impact of a buyout will sting much less in a couple of seasons, and by then who knows maybe Abby will be on LTIR for something or other.  He’s still a valuable character guy and capable grinder.  Plus I think it’s ok if we still kind of want to stay low in the standings for another couple of seasons to get better picks. 

The only way a buyout make sense now is to free up cap space very short term if we sign a guy like Panarin or some hotshot defenseman, but I don’t see a move like that playing well into the long game Stevie’s telegraphed.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 05/15/19 at 12:54 PM ET

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The only way a buyout make sense now is to free up cap space very short term if we sign a guy like Panarin or some hotshot defenseman

Why?

The roster spot being available is only good if Yzerman makes a stupid UFA signing that isn’t going to help in the short term?

That’s ridiculous.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/15/19 at 01:10 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

If a Roster spot is needed,I would do the buyout route.  The only thing I can think of at UFA time are trades for picks, maybe.
There must be other high $$ buyouts or trades?  Helm, etc.  LTIR, Kronner?

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 05/15/19 at 01:25 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

I don’t see any reason to buy out Abby. Play him on the 4th line until you need his spot for a kid, then waive him and let him play it out in GR. If you buy him out, his cap hit actually goes UP , topping out at $2.4mil in years 3 and 4, followed by 4 years of $1.1mil where he’d have been off the books if you hadn’t bought him out—and at about the time you’d hope we’re looking for deep playoff runs. If he clears waivers (he will) and plays in GR you save about $1mi per for 4 years (and a roster spot).

Numbers from https://www.capfriendly.com/buyout-calculator/justin-abdelkader#results

Posted by Steeb on 05/15/19 at 01:50 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 05/15/19 at 01:50 PM ET

Totally agree. I was just going to post the same thing.

Earlier in the season i was all for the BO, but I was convinced by many that wasn’t the way too go. Waive his ass if doesn’t pick up his game by the first quarter of the season and he can see if he can find his game in GR.

Great post Steve.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/15/19 at 01:57 PM ET

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Agreed Steve.  His cap his is not large and in a playoff series, I think he’d be useful even if we do get better and he’s on the fourth line.  Having one or two of those guys on the team aren’t a big deal… Problem is we have so many.  I’m hopeful Yzerman will at least attempt to move Helm or Glendenning…. as unlikley as that might be.  The buyout will hurt when it counts and we need cap space, right now we do not.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/15/19 at 02:00 PM ET

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Play him on the 4th line until you need his spot for a kid, then waive him and let him play it out in GR.

Waiving him would result in a larger cap hit in Detroit than buying him out.

Problem is we have so many.

Which is why waiving him makes sense.

The buyout will hurt when it counts and we need cap space, right now we do not.

Buying him out and giving that roster spot to a prospect would be less of a cap hit than keeping him.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/15/19 at 03:05 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Waiving him would result in a larger cap hit in Detroit than buying him out.

Yea, should have made that clearer. If we buy him out his cap hit goes up *as the years go along* (not sure why that would be, but that’s what CF says).

Year       Cap hit
2019-20 $1,145,833
2020-21 $1,895,833
2021-22 $2,395,833
2022-23 $2,395,833

Followed by 4 more years at $1,145,833

Posted by Steeb on 05/15/19 at 03:10 PM ET

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If the team is still going to be bad and the extra cap space isn’t absolutely, critically needed I would much rather bury Abdelkader in the minors than buy him out. That would clear a roster spot and save about $1 million off the cap hit, which is probably more than the potential ELC replacement would cost anyway.

At some point you might actually need to buy him out if the extra ~$1 million in cap space becomes relevant, but every year you can put it off drops the annual penalty and chops a year off the term.

For visualization purposes, here’s the cap damage breakdown for buyout now vs. buyout next year vs. buyout in 2021:

2020: $1.15m | $3.18m | $3.18m
2021: $1.90m | $1.81m | $3.18m
2022: $2.40m | $2.31m | $2.25m
2023: $2.40m | $2.31m | $2.25m
2024: $1.15m | $1.06m | $1.00m
2025: $1.15m | $1.06m | $1.00m
2026: $1.15m | $1.06m
2027: $1.15m

Again, I would vastly prefer to pay the extra cost up front (when the team is still bad and doesn’t actually need the cap space), wait as long as possible to buy out, and then save more when the team is actually likely to be good.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 05/15/19 at 03:25 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

but I was convinced by many that wasn’t the way too go.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/15/19 at 01:57 PM ET

Your Welcome

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/15/19 at 03:33 PM ET

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I wonder if anybody would be interested in trading for him with 50% salary retention thrown in. NMC doesn’t mean much if a player knows that the alternative isn’t playing at all or getting demoted.

Posted by RyanVM on 05/15/19 at 04:56 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Some interesting details about Justin’s contract I found in an article just now

When Abdelkader signed his often-criticized seven-year deal, it came with a full NTC for the first four years and a modified NTC during the last three. Now in year three, he has full say in any trade proposal. But when the modified NTC kicks in, things change completely. Per CapFriendly:

If Detroit misses playoffs or Abdelkader is not among the Top 9 (forwards) in TOI, he can be traded to any team – clause resets in each of the last 3 years.

So they could trade him to any team that would take him, likely only if they held some salary.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/15/19 at 05:50 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 05/15/19 at 05:50 PM ET

This is a fantastic find on that clause. And a fantastic clause negotiated by none other than KEN HOLLAND, ladies and gents.

No buy out. Trade him when you can, retain 50%.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/15/19 at 06:18 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

So they could trade him to any team that would take him, likely only if they held some salary.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/15/19 at 05:50 PM ET

Not until after next season. The way I read it, it’s a full NTC until July 1, 2020, and I don’t imagine he’ll be a top 9 in TOI on the team, so that would negate it as of then. But not til then.

 

Posted by Steeb on 05/15/19 at 08:07 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

From CapFriendly:

CLAUSE DETAILS: NTC in 2016-17 to 2019-20; Modified NTC in 2020-21 to 2022-23 (If Detroit misses playoffs or Abdelkader is not among the Top 9 F in TOI, he can be traded to any team - clause resets in each of the last 3 years)

Posted by Steeb on 05/15/19 at 08:12 PM ET

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Get creative- trade him for a shorter term bad contract, waive him, do something out of the box.  We just aren’t used to creativity or aggressiveness

Posted by SevensForTed on 05/15/19 at 09:20 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

The only thing i care about is Blash giving Abby top line minutes. I hope that idea has finally been quashed.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/16/19 at 12:58 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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