After signing Tomas Tatar, the Red Wings have to make room to sign Andreas Athanasiou and one more forward:
Detroit has about 933K in cap space after taking into account the Franzen LTIR money.
The math clearly doesn’t add up.
The team, however, does have an option that would solve the cap problem, as well as clear up a roster spot for a younger player: Buyout Jonathan Ericsson.
I can’t take credit for this idea, although I agree that it is a strategy that the team should strongly consider:
I know it's a longshot, but I wonder if the Wings would consider using their 2nd buyout on Ericsson to clear some room this year— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) July 17, 2017
Detroit has a second buyout window because of Tatar’s arbitration case. According to Capfriendly’s CBA FAQ Section:
"There is an exception to this buyout period (CBA Reference: Section 11.18; 12.3) if the arbitration was Club-elected (as opposed to player-elected) and the player did not receive a qualifying offer. In this case, a minimum of two arbitration cases are necessary to trigger the buy-out period outside the regular window."
Because Tatar elected arbitration, the two case minimum does not apply. Also, “two-case-minimum” would be a horrendous cover charge to see a comedian.
For Clubs who have Club or Player elected Salary Arbitration filings pursuant to Article 12, within the forty-eight (48) hour period beginning on the third day following the later of: (i) the Club's receipt of its last salary arbitration award; or (ii) settlement of its last case (provided such award was received or such settlement occurred prior to 7:00 p.m. New York time; awards or settlements that occurred or were received at or after 7:00 p.m. New York time will be deemed to have occurred or received the following business day for purposes of this provision).
So, the buyout window appears to open on Monday and close on Wednesday.
What would an Ericsson buyout look like?
This coming season, the team would save $2.6M. The next two seasons, the team would save nearly $3M. Years 4-6, there would be $1.4M in a cap hit, although if the team makes smart moves between now and then, that shouldn’t be a problem. (I know, I know.)
Out of all the players Detroit could buy out, Ericsson makes the most sense. I’d be very surprised if the team did it, and the team can still most likely wiggle its way under the cap through more LTIR or possibly through a trade.