In his season-ending press conference, Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion discussed several topics including the future of head coach Guy Boucher—which will be determined after the draft lottery—the decision to keep their 2018 draft pick, and the option of buyouts to help their cap situation this summer.
On buyouts, Dorion admitted that they had discussed the possibility with several players during their exit interviews. While he wouldn’t reveal exactly who those players were, one has to assume that Bobby Ryan and Marian Gaborik were among them. The pair are under contract for more than $12MM combined for the next three seasons (with Ryan extended even a year past that) but haven’t been able to live up to their previous career success.
Ryan, 31, scored just 33 points this season and played just 62 games while dealing with several injuries. His 11 goals was the lowest of his career in a full-length season, and his play doesn’t seem like it will ever return to the 30-goal man of his youth. If a buyout were used however, it would be quite a financial commitment by the Senators.
Since signing bonuses are paid out regardless of a buyout, Ryan would be in line to collect more than $22.6MM of the remaining $30MM on his contract. Paying out that much for someone to not play for your team is something that the richer teams in the league can do, but Ottawa has never been one to hand out money.