Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Buyout Window Opens On Friday

09/21/2020 at 12:41pm EDT

from Luke Fox of Sportnet,

While owners were not in favour of easing their executives’ jobs with a round of compliance buyouts — those get-out-of-jail-free cards handed out after the 2013 lockout — the traditional buyout window is right around the corner.

GMs are permitted to buy out contracts of their untradables beginning Sept. 25 — with ownership’s blessing, of course. That first buyout window shuts on Oct. 8.

Here is a breakdown of 14 players who might be considered for a buyout, and the pros and cons of pulling the trigger on arguably the most uncomfortable tool at a GM’s disposal.

Justin Abdelkader, three years at a $4.25-million cap hit

Because the rebuilding Red Wings are in no rush to spend to the cap and assemble an immediate contender, and because they’ll also have a bunch of expensive contracts coming off the books this summer (Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley), they can still absorb overpaid veterans like Abdelkader and Frans Nielsen (two more years at a $5.25-million hit) with ease.

Here’s the question: Does Steve Yzerman still want a 36-year-old Abdelkader taking up cap space in 2023? Or is it worth keeping some good pros around to groom the next wave?

It’s easy to look at Abdelkader’s 2019-20 numbers — zero goals, three assists, minus-14 rating — and start dreading another three declining years of overpaying a depth winger.

There could be sentiment at play here, with Abdelkader being a loyal, career-long Wing and a respected leader.

But remember this: Yzerman once bought out local hero Vincent Lecavalier when he served as Tampa’s GM.

A more modest but effective move might be buying out veteran Darren Helm, who is due $3.85 million for one more year.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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