SUN Hockey Pool

It's that time of year again: Buyout season in the NHL

Brad Richards sits on the ice after Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings scores the game-winning...

Brad Richards sits on the ice after Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings scores the game-winning goal to give the Kings a 5-4 victory during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Staples Center on June 7, 2014. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images/AFP)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

In late June, it doesn’t matter if an NHLer makes the walk of shame to the golf course or rides in a Stanley Cup parade.

If compliance-buyout eligible, you can be chopped loose, albeit with a cushion of cash to break the fall.

Now that the Cup has been awarded and the countdown to July 1 free agency begun, the two-week buyout phase has commenced, at least for teams who still have one or two cards to play with. Clubs such as the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Canadiens used up both theirs at the first opportunity last summer.

Compliance buyouts, while often an admission of klutzy contracts on the team’s part, have no cap penalty, unlike standard buyouts, and protect teams from a hefty cap benefit recapture penalty should a player who signed long-term decide to retire. Buyouts will be paid to the player in actual dollars, for a portion of remaining salary for twice the remaining length of the contract.


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