Leafs’ Petr Mrazek leads list of top buyout candidates in 2022

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The Stanley Cup Final is underway with two teams duking it out to be the NHL’s top dog. As the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche look to claim Lord Stanley of Preston’s trophy, 30 other teams are hard at work on their offseason plans.

In many cases, teams are looking for cap space and if they can’t do it by way of trade, they’ll get it done with a buyout.

Here are The Daily Goal Horn’s top five candidates for be bought out this summer.

Note: All cap numbers and buyout calculations via CapFriendly.

NHL Buyout Candidates

Petr Mrazek, 30, Goalie (Toronto Maple Leafs)

According to CapFriendly, the Leafs have a little over $7 million in cap space for next season and re-signing Jack Campbell would pretty much eatmost of it up. Speculation has Campbell looking for at least a three-year deal around $5M per season.

A buy out of Mrazek’s deal, which has 2-years remaining at $3.8M AAV left will give them another $2.766M in cap space for next season. It also adds $2.9M for the 2023-24 year. The penalty kicks in for two years after that at -$1.43M against the cap.

Zack Kassian, 31, Forward (Edmonton Oilers)

The Oilers will be looking for money to re-sign Evander Kane, who will be looking at a new deal in the $6M to $7M range. One way to get some of that is with a buyout of Zack Kassian.

Edmonton only has $7.1M in space to work with, so they’ll need more than a Kassian buyout. However, the savings for next season would be $2.5M next season and $1.33M the following. The cap penalty occurs in 2024-25 and runs for two years at -$966K.

Milan Lucic, 34, Forward (Calgary Flames)

NHL buyout candidates
Dec 11, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Milan Lucic (17) waves as he being acknowledged for his 1000 game during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames have big fish to fry this summer and need cap space, despite having $26.9M to play with. That’s because Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Andrew Mangiapane will take up a chunk of that.

Buying out Milan Lucic would give them a nice shot in the arm. With only 1-year remaining on his deal, the penalty is minor. Calgary would get $4.66M added for this season and just a penalty of -$291K in 2023-24.

Nick Foligno, 34, (Boston Bruins)

The future is now for the Boston Bruins it appears. Unless of course Patrice Bergeron opts to NOT retire. However, after firing Bruce Cassidy and rumors of David Quinn being a possible replacement, one thinks they could be heading for a youth movement.

Which brings us to Nick Foligno. No one is going to trade for a 34 year-old with a $3.8M cap hit. If they buy him out they will get $1.86M to add to their paltry $2.3M space. The penalty in 2023-24 is only -$933K.

Patrik Nemeth, 30, Defenseman (New York Rangers)

New York just went on a run to the Eastern Conference Final likely a year before expected. Their Stanley Cup window is now open but they only have $13.5M in cap space. Considering the number free agents they need to sign, the Rangers need cap room soon.

Patrik Nemeth was a scratch in the playoffs after a difficult regular season. He has 2 years remaining at $2.5M on his deal and the Rangers need some of that money back. A buyout would add $1.5M this offseason to work with. It’s even bigger in 2023-24, where the full $2.5M is back on the books. That’s just in time for Alexis Lafreni√®re, K’Andre Miller, and Filip Chytil’s new deals. There’s a -$1M penalty for two seasons after.