Redden (and Gomez) could resurrect careers with new buyout rule

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One of many reminders: Live Chat Wednesday at noon. Be there.

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Here’s my notebook from camp today:

Two of Glen Sather’s biggest mistakes could be freed from their contracts by Saturday and thus, conceivably, continue their NHL careers.

Defenseman Wade Redden, whom Sather signed to a six-year, $39 million free-agent contract in 2008, and center Scott Gomez, whom Sather signed to a seven-year, $51.5 million deal in 2007, could both be bought out prior to opening night on Saturday according to a new ruling made yesterday.

Gomez was dealt by Sather three summers ago to Montreal in the Herschel Walker-like deal that, in effect, got the Rangers Ryan McDonagh, Brandon Prust and the cap space to sign Marian Gaborik.

Under the CBA that expired in September, teams could hide contracts like Redden’s and Gomez’s in the minors and, while still having to pay them, have the money come off the team’s salary cap. However, in the new CBA such shenanigans won’t be allowed.

Also, the new CBA will allow teams two “compliance buyouts” over the next two summers so teams can get in line with the new, lower salary caps. What immediately happened, especially in these cases, were that the Rangers and Montreal told Redden and Gomez, respectively, to stay home this season so they didn’t risk a hockey-related injury that would prevent either from being bought out next summer.

The NHLPA petitioned the NHL to allow compliance buyouts this season so that players can resume their careers.

So if any player is bought out by Saturday, he becomes an unrestricted free agent immediately – though the team that buys out the player will still pay him 100 percent of his salary and be charged with the cap hit this year. Therefore, is no real advantage to the team, but it does give the player a chance to play hockey again.

The Rangers cannot get Redden’s salary off the books this year no matter what, but they have room for it. Buying him out, now or at the end of the season, will help them get under the cap next season (when the cap drops from $70.2 million to $64.3 million, and when Chris Drury’s $1.67 million buyout hit comes off the payroll too). A team using the buyout by Saturday will have one compliance buyout left, to use after this season or next.

Redden has spent the last two seasons playing for the Rangers’ farm club in Hartford, his salary off their books.

REPLACING BRANDON PRUST:  It’s never easy to replace a guy who can play important minutes, defensive roles, kill penalties … and lead the NHL in fights.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said it will “take a group” to fill the void left by Brandon Prust’s departure to Montreal as a free agent.

“Let’s give him his due,” Tortorella said. “Pruster played a very important role for our team, killing penalties, bouncing around on different lines – there’s a lot of things he did for the hockey team. Not one guy’s going to fill that. I like what I see of the new guys coming in here (Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern, Arron Asham) and I believe we can. We lost a lot of people (Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Ruslan Fedotenko, John Mitchell and Prust) with the (Rick Nash) deal, with people signing. It happens to all clubs and we have to fill those certain needs when they’re gone.”

NOTES: Brad Richards missed his third straight day of training camp with the flu. “We want him here, Tortorella said. “Is it ideal that he misses these days? No. He’s getting better and hopefully will get on the ice quickly and jump right in with us.” … Tortorella, when asked if he would have to scale back the minutes logged by first defense pair Dan Girardi and McDonagh because of the condensed schedule, said, “No, we’re going to play the hell out of them. We are. We’re trying to win every game.”

Photo by Getty Images, above.

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132 Comments

  1. it helps the rangers next year to get under the 64.3 cap, especially when stepan, mcdonaugh and hagelin will get new contracts.

  2. Eventually each NHL team will have three competent hockey players and a horde of $500,000 slugs.

  3. Actually now I can see why the league agreed to the buyout. Teams can use another buyout this summer to get under the $64M cap, even if they do a buyout now. Without having to wait until 2014 to complete 2 buyouts, teams will have an easier time with the transition….assuming they don’t have too much money tied up by 2014.

    Gaborik on the buyout block this summer if he doesn’t excel in the playoffs?

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    They should have made it so the Rangers have to pay their salaries, less whatever they get paid from a new team. Gomez and Redden stand to make more money than they otherwise would.

  5. They’re about $10M under for 2013-14 rigt now … with Redden and Drury off next year. they can also buy out one more guy, say, Stralman (1.7M) or even Biron (1.3M) if they need more space. … and if they want to do something really big, they could buy out Gaborik … which I don’t see happening at all.

  6. Doodie Machetto on

    Clive, no way. At the very least he is traded. No way do you buy out a guy who can go 40-40.

  7. Better question who picks up Redden and Gomez?

    Watch both will end up across town as an Islander or a Devil. Redden will play for the Russian that doesn’t want to play for the Islanders, and Gomez will skate for Parise’s VOID in the line up.

    It could happen…..

  8. could be anybody, Doodie. but if they think Rupp is valuable, probably could get a backup goalie to play 15 games for less than half of what Biron makes. And if they get another legit D-man it could be Stralman. I’m just throwing out names.

  9. Gaborik is good enough that you could probably find a willing trading partner. But with shrinking cap space over the next 2 years, how much does that limit options? In the new CBA, how much salary can a team assume when trading away players?

    I don’t think the Rangers need more space for next year. I don’t think they would waste it to buyout a low salary. They’ll likely defer to 2014.

    I like Gaborik, don’t get me wrong. But if you have a great regular season player with a large cap hit who doesn’t perform in the playoffs, I imagine you might look at replacing that player. I guess it would also depend on what the free agent market brings.

  10. Doodie Machetto on

    Question for the boneheads:

    Not counting divisional games or the game with the Bruins, which home game do you think will have some fights?

  11. Did the NHL just make up this rule today? Sounds about right for them. #garageleague

    I could see the Senators game getting nasty after last year’s seven-game series.

  12. Montreal – Prust visits Garden.

    Agree on Ottawa…but since we play in Ottawa first, they might settle things there.

  13. Gaborik didnt perform in the playoffs? Try playing with a broken shoulder and still being top 3 in production on the team where the opposing team’s focus is entirely on you. It makes absolutely 0, none, nada, zilch sense to buyout Gaborik because 1) you just got Nash for the reason to not have 1 offensive threat but 2. 2) You dont buyout one of the best offensive players in the game and one of the fastest players in the game. 3) If you want to get rid of Gaborik in a trade you better be getting something like Getzlaf back. Why trade for the sake of trading?

  14. I can see it now … here comes the excuses when this dogs-breakfast-of-a-team doesn’t make the playoffs:

    “Oh, but we didn’t have Redden manning the blueline”

    “It’s because we were missing Drury’s leadership”

    “Avery quit on the team and the void in the locker room was too great to overcome”

    Bush-league is as amateur-hour does.

  15. Bruins are streaming their scrimmage tonight on their website if anyone wants to advanced scouting.

    I might watch a few minutes……. I can hardly wait for the weekend.

  16. Torts hired a pedestrian to walk slowly in a crosswalk in front of Rup to piss him off and get him ready for Saturday night fever.

  17. That $3m thing only seems to have surfaced today (and it’s not in the MOU), Carp. So I’m guessing that only applies for the accelerated Redden/Gomez provision.

  18. Honestly this accelerated buyout business should have been part of the CBA. Shows how rushed they were.

  19. The comments by Tort on THE PRUST were genuine. There is no way you can replace THE PRUST with one single player…Tort is right….It has to be a team effort….

    “Nasher has a had a good camp…I think he is going to be really good for us.” Tort

  20. I would definitely take Gomez back for a cheap price. To play on 4th line, why not?? Prust on the Habs will be exactly what he was on the Flames, a nonfactor. Torts and the Rangers made him a player. Definitely the right move not to sign him for what he signed up north. He will be missed on the PK, and that is the area that may dip a bit for us this year, but i dont want to overvalue him either. Good guy with a lot of heart but we have a lot of those to go around.

  21. As much as the Gomez decline amuses me, I really can’t see that he’s so done that he’d end up as a cheap fill-in. Would still expect him to catch on somewhere in a bigger role.

  22. They’d have to wait a year before being able to re-acquire Redden. No doubt Slats will have $40m lined up especially for that moment.

  23. Agree with Lev, they aren’t buying Gaborik out. Makes no sense.

    Clive, 2 compliance buy outs could’ve been used by teams after this season without waiting until next year, so really no benefits to the teams. On $64.3M cap- since when did this number become such a squeeze? That’s exactly what they had last season. The Rangers are fine without buying anyone out. None of the guys the need to resign will require an outrageous contract, most are not arbitration eligible. And depending on how fast the NHL recovers, the number will surely go higher, so long as it is no more than 50% of HRR.

  24. I thought I read that it was 1 buyout in 2013 and 1 in 2014. Not the case?

    The quickest way for revenue to grow is for teams to raise ticket prices. I hope that doesn’t happen.

  25. so Gomez and Redden, and other bought out players, can get TWO salaries playing hockey? FREAKING AWESOME! NHL is the _bestest_!

  26. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    JR – “the perpetuation of another season will soon begin”

    My Brutha from anutha, know what I’m sayin?

  27. Here’s a question, would if you were Rangers GM in 2014, would you buyout Richards at age 34? He would have about 6 years left at $6.5M cap hit.

  28. It will be interesting to see what they do with Gaborik after his contract is up. If the team lives up to its/our expectations the next 2 years and we remain competitive Gaborik may just want to stick around.

  29. Gregm-section403 on

    It’s good to have Torts pressors back. His comments are entertaining by themselves.

  30. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    Cccp – werd on cally. What exactly has he done lately? He hasn’t scored a goal in over 6 months… Unacceptable!!!

  31. Bobby Holik walked straight into another $12m deal after his amnesty buyout from the Rangers.

    Not that getting money thrown at you for nothing by Sather and Don Waddell is a difficult or rare achievement.

  32. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    Bobby Holik had the largest cranium of any player I ever saw play. A tremendous noodle!!

  33. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    LW – Holik’s skull makes Stonehenge look like a Lincoln log. Nice photo btw.

  34. There’s no way the Rangers buyout anyone next season with their one other allowed buyout! Those that say Gaborik take a deep breath and ask yourself why you would buyout and ‘let go’ a 40 goal talent in his final year of a contract? He would be traded waaaaay before that and I doubt that will happen.? It won’t be Nash or Richards. Lundqvist too would be playing under his final year under contract (scary thought), can’t be him. What about the letter men Callahan and Staal? …nope! That leaves Dan Girardi… the motor of the team and leader of the defense. No more buyouts.

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  35. Can someone explain why the rangers would even entertain the thought of buying out Redden? There is no advantage, and in fact, he might just help a rival team.

    The only way I would buy him out is if he agreed to pay a percentage of the money back to the team (say 1/4 as the rangers would essentially get if they waited until next summer). If he wants to play that badly, he would do it. Otherwise, have fun sitting at home.

  36. Wow… the Rangers have so many decisions to make starting next year. The emphasis I’m sure will be to lock up at least a few of the long list of current Rangers that will be playing on the last year of their contracts in 2013-2014.

    Only Nash, Richards and Staal will be signed. With the cap number coming way down, it’s truly going to be a nail-biting time for us fans. Going to be very interesting.

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  37. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the second buyout will be used on a player who’s not even Rangers property right now.

    If I’m wrong, blame Rod.

  38. I think the players aren’t allowed to ‘give back’ in these situations in regards to their owed remaining salary? Could be wrong, but even still, if you’re Redden, play or don’t play… but why would you give back one cent? This provision just speeds up the process for the organization and cuts the player loose to give them a chance to redeem their careers elsewhere.

    Either way the Rangers take the cap hit now and still pay him what he was owed going forward.

    Just want to be done talking about Redden as a Rangers barnacle.

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  39. Jon

    Only really to give a positive image to players and agents that the Rangers won’t screw players over more than they have to, I guess. Plus it frees up another contract space for the organisation, if they really need it.

  40. William, Stepan, McDonagh and Hagelin will all be re-signed after the coming season, most of those who will be UFAs after that will be unwanted anyway, and Kreider and Del Zotto will be RFAs. So it won’t be that bleak. If they let a lot of the others go they should have plenty of money to sign UFAs Callahan and Girardi and others to fill holes. The big ticket decisions will be Gaborik and Lundqvist, obviously. … and Haley.

  41. Redden’s original demotion didn’t seem to be handled as acrimoniously as it could have been (compare with the Oilers not wanting Sheldon Souray anywhere near their AHL team), so might just be a case of both sides being on good enough terms for the Rangers to do him a favour.

  42. Lance Armstrong the Dope Fraud on

    The Rangers organisation cannot really paint their image in a different light. The Rangers screw players.

  43. Fun facts from 1994-1995 season, the last 48 games season…

    Only Leetch, Kovalev and Kocur played in all 48 games for the Rangers.

    Messier in 46 games went 14-39-53
    Leetch went 9-32-41 (love this line, great follow-up to Con Smythe), 6-8-14 in 10 playoff games

    The only two real newcomers that season were Nedved and Verbeek.

    Team went 22-23-3 and just made the playoffs as the 8th seed. I think they had a good chance to repeat, but just couldn’t get the same magical moments.

    Jagr led the league with… are you sitting down?… 32-38-70.
    Lindros believe it or not was right there with 29-41-70.

    Wonder how today’s players will compare… I think any of Malkin, Crosby or Stamkos put up those numbers if healthy throughout?

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  44. Yeah, I would really only be waiting patiently to see how they handle Lundqvist, Callahan, Girardi, and Gaborik and in that order.

    I’m sure some of those early signings next year will be the McDonagh and Stepan-type RFA’s… but I would hope they can get an early extension on at least two of those four I first mentioned?

    Any way how they decide to go about their business, it’s going to be fascinating to see how they manage to dole them all up under less of an economic umbrella?

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  45. LW3H, should be a fun year this year… so much talent, with all teams feeling they have a great shot this year to do what the Devils did last time.

    Malkin had 109 points last year and missed 7 games… so he can definitely pull this off… I think the other two could also especially if the defenses take a while to catch back up and some of these point-getters come out of the gates hot.

    Hope some of our Rangers will be in this discussion come end of April!!

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  46. leetchhalloffame on

    Redden, Blowmez, Holik – any more proof that Slats should have been fired years ago? If not for Gord Clark we’d be the Islanders.

  47. E3 pimp's angel on

    Bobby Holik and Sean Avery – Two great 16’s. Pat Hickey, Rod Seiling, and Mark Pavolich are 3 others….any more?

  48. It was cut short early, but Lafontaine wore it for most of a season at almost a point per game… That should count maybe?

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  49. The new CBA tells us the new split is 50/50. Next year’s salary cap is set at $64.3M regardless what they generate this year. From what I read the league is still projecting to generate around $2B this year. Is it out of question that in 2013-2014 season the league repeats what they did last full season and generates $3.3B? Because if they do, the cap will remain at $64.3B for 2014-2015 season…Can they generate more? I don’t think it’s out of reach at all…

  50. LOL @ marcel dionne…he always reminded me of an ugly early DC comics Hawkman with that helmet that barely fit his cranium.

  51. Thanks, Carp. I heard Thomas wanted to defer his salary so he could be guaranteed a job next year as the Bruins #1. Like taking a sabbatical and pausing his contract. He’s nuts. I assume Rask will play himself into a nice contract as their starter.

  52. E3 pimp's angel on

    Latona/William – yes – marcel was not quite the player he was when a King & Paddy’s head injuries derailed a great career – but add them to our list

  53. The Bruins have another goalie who I think could start for a lot of teams in Anton Khudobin although he hasn’t really had a chance yet. No way Thomas ever plays another game for them.

    I could definitely see the Flyers going after him although they also have a good young swedish kid who probably should be coming to NA next season. Could also see the Devils going after him if Marty hangs it up after this season…

  54. I guess there might be something to be said about building goodwill and all that, but I don’t buy it…anyway, only a few more days and we can stop talking about contracts and start talking about some REAL hockey :D

  55. As for great Ranger #16s, trivia question, who was the last Ranger to wear #16 before Sean Avery???

    And easily the best #16 of all time was Daniel Goneau…

  56. Paul in sunrise on

    Current NYR dmen who spent time with redden said he was a great influence. Rangers do right by redden. It’s cup karma.

  57. Yo, vibz! are you planing on joining my league anytime soon? Friday is the draft. If you won’t join by Thursday i am gonna have to invite someone else. Last warning! :)

  58. Matty"Nash Rules"Boy on

    Carpy, thanks for the eloquently written article way above. Hard to fathom Sather made so many mi$take$ and still kept his job.

    More difficult to fathom is that his failures can earn two salaries???? Speak of rewarding under performers?? These wastes could potentially earn $10M a year.

  59. Joey Kocur played in every game of the 94-95 season and accumulated a total of one goal and two assists. What was he there for? (joke) Looks like Torts has not put on any muscle or grown an inch as Sather told him to do during the off season. And he seems kinder (so far) to the players and Press. How is he going to pummel Peter DeBoer? Hagelin?

  60. Maybe now these guys wont be earning $6-7m a year they can assume their rightful roles on teams as 3rd pair D and 3rd line center earning $1-2m a year. Good luck to them, they were always serviceable guys who could never contribute to the level that Slats rewarded them for.

    Slats has one of the worst free agent signing records coupled with a great record on trades. Thankfully for the next few years all he has to worry about is retaining what we already have and keeping us under the cap.

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