The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association on Tuesday agreed on a change in compliance buyout rules, allowing teams to buy out player contracts prior to Saturday.
In the new Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed to recently by the NHL and the NHLPA, clubs were permitted two “compliance” buyouts to take place during the 2013 and/or 2014 offseasons in order to ease the transition to a lower salary cap.
The new agreement allows teams to use one of those compliance buyouts prior to the start of this season. However, the player’s full salary for the 2012-13 season still would count against the team’s cap.
Players who are bought out will become unrestricted free agents, eligible to sign with any team.
Gomez is owed $10 million over the next two seasons and carries a salary-cap hit of nearly $7.5 million. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin had said the plan was to keep Gomez out of the lineup this season in order to avoid injury and allow the Habs to buy out the final season of Gomez’s deal over the summer.
Redden also has $10 million and two seasons remaining on a six-year, $39 million contract he signed with the Rangers before the 2008-09 season. The 35-year-old has spent the past two seasons playing for the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
Should Gomez and Redden clear waivers, they will become available to sign with any club as early as Thursday at noon.