The most recent (and hopefully final) offer between the NHL & NHLPA outlines a drop in the team salary cap down to $60M for 2013-14, from $70.2M in 2012. To combat this drastic hit to rosters, the league is proposing the availability of at least one (maybe two) Amnesty Buyouts per team prior to the 2013 season.
Understanding the Amnesty Waivers Process
An Amnesty Buyout allows a team to "waive" a player without any of their remaining owed money counting against the salary cap. The money is still paid to the player. The player will be placed on waivers, allowing other teams to submit an offer sheet based on the remaining years of the contract and the price they wish to bid. Once an offer sheet is accepted, the team losing the player will only need to pay the difference of the original amount minus the accepted offer.
Scenario: Player Likely to Be Picked Up
Let's assume the Washington Capitals choose to amnesty D, Mike Green. Green holds a cap hit of $6.08 milion through 2014. The Toronto Maple Leafs bid of 2 years, $8 million is accepted, leaving a balance of $4.16M left for Washington to pay in cash (no cap hit). Toronto now has Mike Green on their roster at $4 million against their 2013 cap, and $4 million against their 2014 cap.
Scenario: Player Not Likely to Be Picked Up
The Islanders have G, Rick DiPietro on their roster at $4.5M base salary through 2020, or $36,000,000 still owed. By using an amnesty buyout on him, and assuming that his services are useless with another franchise, the Islanders will still pay DiPeitro the $36 million at $4.5 million per year, but it will no longer count against their salary cap. This is a huge victory for New York going forward.
|Team||2013-14 Cap||Notable 2013 FA||Amnesty Candidates||Dead Yrs/Money|
|Anaheim||$28.8M||Getzlaf, Perry, Koivu|
|Boston||$41.1M||Rask, Horton||Marc Savard||4yr x $4M|
|Buffalo||$49.6M||Hodgson||Ville Leino||4yr x $4.5M|
|Calgary||$47.8M||Iginla||Matt Stajan||1 yr x $3.5M|
|Carolina||$36.6M||Tuomo Ruutu||3yr x $4.75M|
|Chicago||$57.2M||Marion Hossa||8yr x $5.275M|
|Colorado||$47.8M||Hejduk||David Jones||3yr x $4M|
|Columbus||$42.9M||James Wisniewski||4yr x $5.5M|
|Dallas||$23.9M||Benn, Roy, Morrow|
|Detroit||$45.1M||Howard||Johan Franzen||7yr x $3.95M|
|Edmonton||$36.4M||Gagner||Shawn Horcoff||2yr x $5.5M|
|Florida||$41.9M||Theodore, Weiss||Brian Campbell||3yr x $7.14M|
|Los Angeles||$48.7M||Gagne, Penner|
|Minnesota||$51.1M||Backstrom||Danny Heatley||1yr x $7.5M|
|Montreal||$55.6M||Subban||Scott Gomez||1yr x $7.35M|
|New Jersey||$32.3M||Elias, Zajac, Henrique|
|NY Islanders||$31.5M||Bailey, Visnovsky||Rick DiPietro||8yr x $4.5M|
|NY Rangers||$51.8M||Wade Redden||1yr x $6.5M|
|Philadelphia||$53.5M||Timonen||Chris Pronger||4yr x $4.92M|
|Pittsburgh||$52.5M||Paul Martin||2yr x $5M|
|San Jose||$50.0M||Clowe||Patrick Marleau||1yr x $6.9M|
|Tampa Bay||$53.1M||Ryan Malone||2yr x $4.5M|
|Vancouver||$50.6M||Keith Ballard||2yr x $4.2M|
|Washington||$44.8M||Mike Green||2yr x $6.08M|