In addition to Janne Kuokkanen and Oskar Lindblom, who were announced earlier today, two more players are on waivers today for the purpose of a buyout. The Ottawa Senators will buy out Michael Del Zotto, while the San Jose Sharks will be buying out Rudolfs Balcers, according to Chris Johnston of TSN.
For Del Zotto and the Senators, a buyout will result in a $500K cap penalty in 2022-23 and a $750K penalty in 2023-24, but saves the team some money and cap space for the upcoming season. It never really did work out for the veteran defensemen there, and after clearing waivers he ended up playing most of the 2021-22 season in the minor leagues.
He’ll now be a free agent, able to try and secure an NHL deal somewhere else, while still earning a $750K paycheck from the Senators for each of the next two years. Not a bad deal for the 32-year-old, who could be looking at his ninth NHL team, should he sign with someone other than the Senators, New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, or Columbus Blue Jackets.
Balcers meanwhile will be almost completely wiped off the books for San Jose, as his age means they are only on the hook for one-third of his remaining $1.85MM salary. For 2022-23, the Sharks will face a penalty of just $8,334 and in 2023-24, just $308,334. Those are certainly worthwhile prices to pay to clear his contract off the books as they look to other players for bottom-six contributions.