Rumor has it that within the CBA meetings, a possible agreement is a two player buyout so that teams can get closer to the lowered cap. So, an obvious question must be raised….Who should the Caps buy out?
While taking a look at capgeek, we can see all of the contracts for the Capitals. The key in this buyout is to get rid of as much money as possible, while cutting as little money as possible. The players and their contracts that stand out to me is Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer, Jeff Schultz, Tom Poti, and Mike Green.
So, who should the Caps look to get rid of? Let’s see the pros and cons for each.
First Joel Ward. The hero in one series, and the goat in another. We were SO CLOSE. I don’t hold anything against Ward, penalties happen. Ward is a solid third or fourth line player. He compliments Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera well, and worked well last year with Knuble and Aucoin. But, the problem is, he is set to be the 5th highest paid forward this year. 5th highest forward? What? He should not be the 5th highest paid forward on any team. While it was a good signing, McPhee may have relied too heavily on his playoff performance in his last year at Nashville where he went on a tear goal-wise, luring him with too much money. He has three years, including this locked out season, on his contract, so it does make sense to buy out his contract.
The next player in question is Troy Brouwer, currently the 6th highest paid forward, followed by a pay increase next year that will look to make him $3,666,667 till 2015-2016. While I believe Troy Brouwer has the potential to be a consistent 20 goal a season scorer, he is being paid a lot. He would have been relied on to play in the top two lines (personally, I think he could be a Knuble type player, playing alongside Ovie and Backstrom like the good old days when we scored 5 goals a game) this year. He is a tough player that consistently leads his teams in checks, and can play on the power play or penalty kill if needed.
Jeff Schultz is probably the most frustrating player on the Capitals right now. He has so much potential. He is big, but not all that physical. He is a mediocre puck handler, and consistently turns the puck over at the most inopportune times. He has two years left on his contract, and while that is not probably not enough years to be a solid choice for buying out a player, he is still extremely frustrating to have on the ice, and even started to get healthy-scratched. May be a good move to cut ties with Schultz.
Tom Poti is probably not going to get bought out, but can you see where I’m coming from? Tom Poti was probably the best defenseman we had in the 2008-2010 era of Caps hockey, but he has been injured far to much in the past two seasons. He only has this year left on his contract, so it really wouldn’t make sense to buy him out for this season, but is it really worth it if he is such a injury prone player?
Speaking of injury prone. Our next contestant is Mike Green. Now, before I continue, I’m a huge fan of Mike Green. When he is out on the ice, he adds a whole new level of offense. He is the quarterback of the team on the power play, and has shown improvement defensively in the past season. He is currently the highest paid defenseman on the team, making 6,083,333 a year until 2014-2015. That is a lot of dough for a guy who has been known to take a puck or two to the head a season, and can easily re-injure his groin. He is a fantastic player when healthy, but too much of a risk to be the third highest player on the team.
So…..drum roll please…..the players I think McPhee has to consider buying out is……. Joel Ward and Jeff Schultz, with a serious consideration for Mike Green. I don’t want to see Joel Ward go, but he is simply being paid too much for his amount of production. We simply need to move on from Jeff Schultz, but if it is a money thing (which obviously it is) McPhee is going to have a tough decision overlooking Mike Green for Schultz. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading. Thoughts?