We have our first buyout of the offseason, as the Edmonton Oilers have placed Eric Gryba on waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract. Gryba has just one year remaining on his deal worth $900K, meaning the Oilers will incur a cap charge of just $300K for each of the next two seasons. This move does bring a bit of confusion though, as playing in the minor leagues would take Gryba’s cap hit completely off the books as anything under $1.025MM is buried.
This move does save the Oilers $300K in real cash and opens up a contract spot, but is likely more of a favor to a player to allow him to pursue other opportunities. The team sent Gryba to the minor leagues last season where he spent much of the year, and it did not appear he was in their plans for this season. The 30-year old defenseman has 279 NHL games under his belt and could be an option for another team as a depth defenseman who can provide some physicality and penalty killing. There’s not a lot of upside to his game though, and it will be hard to find a full-time opportunity anywhere in the league.
The Oilers now have just over $1.6MM in cap charges from buyouts on the roster, following the expulsion of Benoit Pouliot last season. Though that’s not a debilitating amount, Edmonton is a team that needs every dollar it can get as they deal with the mega contracts for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Though this move does have some benefits, the team must be careful with their remaining cap space.