The compliance buyout period started this morning at 12:01 a.m., giving teams one last opportunity to buyout players without the cap hit counting against them.
Each team was given two ‘compliance buyouts’ under the new CBA, to be used either last year or this. It was used as a way to help teams adjust to a shrinking salary cap.
For the Florida Panthers, they still have both of their buyouts available after using a regular on Filip Kuba last offseason.
All though it doesn’t count against the cap, Florida will still have to pay the player for buying them out, so the Panthers may not want to add any more ‘dead weight’ to their books. In addition to the Kuba buyout, the Panthers are retaining part of Kris Versteeg’s salary.
With only two real options to buyout, the Panther may decide against to not use either of them this season.
Tomas Fleischmann had a disappointing 2013-2014 season to say the least. Eight goals in 80-games for a player who is set to make $4.5 million this season just isn’t acceptable.
After signing a four year contract in 2011, ‘Flash’ set a career high in goals, assists and points in his first season as a Panthers. In the two years since he has seen a dip in points, falling all the way to 28-this past season.
That is despite him being a bottom pairing defender that found himself a healthy scratch on some nights.
There was talk of ‘Jovo’ retiring, but it would better for Florida if they bought him out first, as if he retires they will be on the hook for his cap hit this year as well. With only five points in 37-games last season, Jovanovski figures to be no higher than the team’s sixth defensive option – and further back if they bring in players via free agency or trade.
If the Panthers were strapped for cap space, these two would be no brainers. But what plays into both players’ favor is that the team has plenty of cap room so despite the underwhelming performance and numbers they can afford to take a chance on bounce back seasons.
Another case not to buyout both players is their contract length. While as the New York Rangers are more likely to buyout Brad Richards due to him having multiple years remaining, Fleischmann and Jovanovski are both free agents at the end of the year.
Neither are in the long term future plans for the Panthers, but someone like Fleischmann has a lot of value if other players are brought in to reduce his value.
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