There's a growing sentiment around league sources suggesting the NHL may consider allowing teams to utilize compliance buy-outs as a solution to many of the teams struggling with what is expected to be a tight next year as we recover from the effects of COVID-19.
Assuming teams were permitted to utilize 2 compliance buy-outs, Vancouver's obvious first choice would be Loui Eriksson and his $6 M cap hit for the next two years. The next most likely option would arguably be Brandon Sutter with his $4.4 M cap hit for next year. With the emergence of Adam Gaudette this makes perfect sense. However, I would suggest this is the easy solution, but not necessarily the best solution. I realize this will sound crazy and will require ownership to swallow a tough pill, but what if we considered exercising our second compliance buy-out on Tyler Myers? I'm not suggesting he's played poorly, but I'm not sure he's going to be worth $6 M for each of the next 4 years with all the developing talent we have been blessed with. Just looking at next year alone we have emerging talents in Jack Rathbone, Brogan Rafferty, Olli Juolevi and Nikita Tryamkin expressing interest in returning. In such a scenario, we'd undoubtedly be looking to re-up Chris Tanev at likely a reasonable dollar value for 1-3 years. We can debate the merits of where and if Stecher, Benn and Fantenburg fit, but probably not the bigger picture question right now. Its not so much an issue of ownership having to say they've made a mistake in signing Myers but rather, circumstances have changed, we are now blessed with a growing number of talented young players, some of which will be with us for years to come and its now necessary for us to revise our plans.
I know this all sounds crazy but the underlying benefit is these two compliance buy-outs would free up $12 M immediately and then after the completion of the 20/21 season another $12 M would fall off the books as the following salaries and buy-outs come to and end; Sutter ($4.4 M), Pearson ($3.8 M), Baertschi ($3.4 M) and Spooner ($1 M). This would free up a further $12 M in salary within another 15 months, totaling $24 M in that time frame. Sure someone like Tanner Pearson maybe someone we wish to re-up at the end of the 20/21 season, but at least we would now have the option to see how the youngsters have developed by that time such as Cole Lind, Vasily Podkolzin, NIls Hoglander and has Jake Virtanen finally realized his full potential or at least become that reliable, hardnosed, hard-skating, defensibly responsible 3rd line player we've been hoping for.
By exercising these first two compliance buy-outs on Eriksson and Myers, we'd be in the position to re-sign Markstrom ($6.5 M x 4 years), Toffoli ($6 M x 4-5 years), Tanev ($4 M x 2 years), Gaudette ($2.5 M x 2 years), Virtanen ($3.5 M x 3 years). Don't see a place for Josh Leivo any longer unfortunately.
Looking forward to hearing some criticism and feedback