Other Buyout Candidates & What’s Next
The reports out there suggest that all 31 teams could be given two Compliance Buyouts to use in 2020-21.
If that’s the case, here are some other potential Buyout Candidates for the Vegas Golden Knights:
Okay, let’s preface this by stating clearly that we do NOT think nor want the Golden Knights to buyout Marc-Andre Fleury.
We don’t think it will happen but, for the sake of argument, let’s just throw it out there for a moment.
If the salary cap for 2020-21 was frozen and remained at $81.5 million, the Knights would be okay although they wouldn’t have much room under the cap to fill any holes on the roster.
Currently projected to have around $11 million in cap space, the Golden Knights would be able to re-sign the free agents they wanted to out of the eight that are set to hit the open market in the summer.
However, should the Knights want to dramatically bolster the roster by acquiring a puck-moving defenseman, then they could look to buyout Fleury and erase his $7,000,000 cap hit.
More likely than Marc-Andre Fleury, but not as likely as Paul Stastny, the Golden Knights could look to use a Compliance Buyout on Reilly Smith.
Carrying an Average Annual Value of $5,000,000 through 2021-22, Smith is a jack of all trades for the Golden Knights in that he is a top-six forward while logging time on both the power play and the penalty kill.
He’s a huge threat on the PK when it comes to shorthanded goals, four shorthanded points this year (two goals, two assists), while the wing averages 17:55 minutes of total ice time per night.
However, with an abundance of riches in the top six plus the likes of Peyton Krebs, Jack Dugan and Pavel Dorofeyev waiting in the wings, the Golden Knights could look to use one of their two Compliance Buyouts on Smith in order to create some cap space and fill out the rest of the roster.
Again, this is unlikely but crazier things have happened and, after all, who could have predicted that we would be without sports due to a virus?
As already mentioned, nothing will be implemented until a decision has been made on the 2019-20 regular season.
It appears as though the NHL is keeping everything on the table for now, and a final decision isn’t likely anytime soon.
However, should the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs fall victim to COVID-19, then the NHL will have some major decisions on their hands.
The loss of the postseason would hit every team incredibly hard from a financial point of view, impacting the salary cap for 2020-21 and perhaps beyond.
So, although everything is still up in the air right now, don’t be surprised if Compliance Buyouts make a dramatic comeback next year.