Senators waive goodbye

Former Sens goaltender Ray Emery is free to play elsewhere. SUN MEDIA/Sean Kilpatrick

Former Sens goaltender Ray Emery is free to play elsewhere. SUN MEDIA/Sean Kilpatrick

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

The Senators officially said goodbye to goaltender Ray Emery yesterday as they filed the papers to buy him out and said hello to some good news about what his buyout will do to the club's bottom line.

As it turns out, the salary cap hit after the buyout is about $415,000 (all terms US) less over the four-year buyout period than originally believed for Emery, who now becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The popular belief was the Senators would take a $562,000 hit to their cap for each of the next four years after buying Emery out of the remaining two years of his contract yesterday (the buyout calls for one-third of the $6.75 million he had left on his deal -- which is $2.25 million -- spread over the next four years. Hence, the $562,000 figure).

Not so fast.

CONFIRMED BY MURRAY

In truth, his cap hit will be $479,000 for the coming season and will drop to just $230,000 for the 2009-10 season, which would have been the last of his original contract. The hit then escalates to $562,000 for the 2010-11 and 2011-2012 seasons. Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed the figures yesterday.

The savings to the Senators are a result of the difference between his original cap hit, their buyout savings and his actual salary minus the buyout. Sound complicated? It is.

Those simply happy with the knowledge the Senators will be saving more than $400,000 on the salary cap than originally believed can just skip the next few paragraphs.

MATH WARNING

If you want to be antagonized by a math-challenged sportswriter trying to interpret a CBA drafted by minds much brighter than his, read on (for as long as you can last).

Under the terms of his original deal, Emery's cap hit to the Senators was more than $3.1 million a season after signing a three-year deal worth $9.5 million last summer. His actual salary under the original contract was $2.75 million last season, $3.25 million for next and $3.5 million for 2009-10.

To calculate the cap hit in a buyout situation (section 50.5 of the CBA, page 206), the CBA calculates something called "buyout savings" over the term of the original contract, in this case, two more years.

The Senators' "buyout savings" over the next two years are the difference between what the Senators would have paid Emery under the terms of his deal and the buyout figure of $562,000 a season.

The Senators are saving almost $2.7 million next year ($3.25 million minus the $562,000 buyout) and a little less than $2.9 million in the final year of Emery's original deal.

The Senators' cap figure for Emery in each of those years is the difference between his adjusted salary and Emery's original cap hit of more than $3.1 million.

In each of the next two years, the Senators are basically getting a credit for Emery's original salary minus the buyout. That makes next year's cap hit $479,000 and $230,000 the year after.

For the two years beyond the term of Emery's original contract, the cap hit is the actual buyout amount: $562,000.

Got it?

I'm not sure I do.

It's good new for the Senators, though the way things are going, a saving of $415,000 on the salary cap isn't going to get you much of a hockey player.

HEAR AND THERE

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents to retain the right to match a contract offer or compensation should they sign with another team.

Talk is tough guy Brian McGrattan will likely be cut loose by the Senators while F Antoine Vermette and D Andrej Meszaros will get the call.


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