As originally reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL waiver wire will be full heading into the free agency period that starts on July 1. The full list of players placed on waivers with the intent to buy out their contracts includes Jimmy Hayes from the Boston Bruins, Jussi Jokinen from the Florida Panthers, Mark Stuart from the Winnipeg Jets and finally the Devils are buying out both Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly.
Breakdown of Buyouts
Murphy, acquired by the Flames less than 24 hours prior to this waivers filing, is now scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Flames will be tasked with paying Murphy $100,000 for the 2017-18 season and $137,500 for the 2018-19 season rather than the last remaining year of a $787,500 contract. For the Flames, this is simply a move to clear a roster spot as Murphy was not the central part of the trade in which they acquired Eddie Lack from the Carolina Hurricanes. The 12th overall pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will get a chance to hear offers from all 31 teams come the start of free agency as he looks to get his career on track. In 151 NHL games, Murphy has scored six goals and 37 points. He recorded just two assists in 27 games last season.
Bouma will cost the Flames $666,667 against the cap for the 2017-18 season and $777,667 for the 2018-19 season after previously being on the books for one more season with a cap hit of $2.2 million. The 27-year-old Bouma was originally drafted by the Flames in the third round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He’s played in a total of 304 NHL games, scoring 27 goals and 67 points in a depth role with the team. After a 16-goal, 34-point performance in 78 games in the 2014-15 season, Bouma has only scored a combined five goals and 14 points in his last 105 games over the last two seasons.
Bruins Buying Out Hayes
It’s been a rough few seasons for Jimmy Hayes. After scoring a career-high 19 goals and 35 points with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Hayes was traded to his hometown Boston Bruins in a deal that saw Reilly Smith and Marc Savard be dealt to the Panthers. Hayes quickly signed a three-year contract with the team that came with a cap hit of $2.3 million, one that the Bruins now deemed too expensive to pay for a player who was hardly ever seeing any playing time in their lineup. In his first season in Boston, Hayes scored 13 goals and 29 points in 75 games before scoring just two goals and five points in 58 games last season.
Failing to catch on with the team’s first, second, third or fourth line, it was clear that Hayes’ days were numbered in Boston. Hayes will now count against the Bruins salary cap for the next two seasons with his 2017-18 cap hit dropping from $2.3 million to $566,667 with an additional $866,667 cap hit being tacked on for the 2018-19 season.
Panthers Buyout Jokinen
Jokinen was expected to make $4 million in the final year of his contract with the Panthers next season. After being bought out by the team, the Panthers will be tasked with a $1.33 million cap hit in each of the next two seasons for Jokinen who is coming off of 11 goals and 28 points in 69 games last season with the Panthers. The 34-year-old originally joined the Panthers ahead of the 2014-15 season after spending time with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Drafted in the sixth round by the Stars in 2001, Jokinen has scored 186 goals and 546 points in 891 games and has also contributed 17 goals and 32 points in 54 postseason contests. The Panthers will have a lot of holes to fill on their roster without Jokinen as they currently only have seven NHL forwards under contract for the 2017-18 season.
Devils Buyout Cammalleri and Smith-Pelly
The Devils, similar to the Flames, are buying out two players ahead of free agency, The bigger of the two names being bought out by New Jersey is Cammalleri. who has been on the Devils for the last three seasons. With two years remaining on a five-year, $25 million contract, Cammalleri was expected to make $5 million in each of the next two seasons. After being bought out, he will account for $1,66 million against the Devils salary cap for the next four seasons.
In 840 games, Cammalleri has scored 287 goals and 613 points. Known as a sniper, Cammalleri has scored upwards of 20 goals in six separate seasons including 34 goals and 39 goals in 2006-07 and 2008-09 respectively. with just 24 goals in his last 103 games in the last two seasons, however, it’s clear that Cammalleri has lost a step and is now set to hit free agency as a 35-year-old on July 1.
The Devils are also buying out Smith-Pelly who was set to earn $1.3 million next season. One year into a two-year contract extension, the Devils are clearly moving on from the 25-year-old Smith-Pelly who has scored a total of 33 goals and 77 points in 266 NHL games to date. With 12 goals and 22 points in 71 games with the Devils over the last two seasons, Smith-Pelly will now cost the team $175,000 for the 2017-18 season and $225,000 for the 2018-19 season.
Jets Buyout Mark Stuart
The Jets are buying out the contract of Stuart, one of their veteran defensemen, after spending parts of seven seasons within the organization. Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins and traded to the Atlanta Thrashers at the 2011 trade deadline, Stuart has been with the Jets since their first season in 2011-12. A defensive-defenseman, the 33-year-old Stuart has scored just 26 goals and 93 points in his career through 673 career games. In his last two seasons with the Jets, he scored three goals and seven points in 106 games and was originally touted to earn $2.625 million next season in the final year of his contract. Following the buyout, Stuart will cost the Jets just $1.458 million for the 2017-18 season but will come with an additional $583,333 cap hit for the 2018-19 season.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.