Back when the buyout window opened up, Toronto D Jared Cowen was the first to go through (and clear) the waiver process, paving the way for the final year of his contract to be bought out. However, the first window ended last night and the Maple Leafs have not bought Cowen out.
The issue, according to TSN, appears to be Cowen’s medical status. He missed the bulk of last season due to a hip injury and TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggests that the NHLPA is now involved in a potential grievance process. That would suggest that Cowen may not be fully recovered from his hip concerns and players cannot be bought out unless they’re healthy. Neither the Leafs nor Cowen’s representatives are commenting on the process.
For the time being at least, Cowen’s $3.1MM cap hit in 2016-17 comes back onto the books for the Maple Leafs instead of the $650K cap credit they were pegged to receive. Should it be ruled that Cowen is still injured long-term, the potential to place him on LTIR next season would exist for the Maple Leafs.
Cowen played in just 37 games last year, all with Ottawa who dealt Cowen to Toronto as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade, collecting four assists. In his six year career, all with the Sens, he has 15 goals and 31 assists in 249 games.