Possible amnesty buyouts - The Southeast Division

USA TODAY Sports

This summer with the cap crunch, we have the added complication of amnesty buyouts. What can that mean? Well there are a lot of names that could be on the free agents list. Would any interest Montreal?

Washington Capitals - Jeff Schultz - D - One year remaining at $2.75M

Schultz hasn't been his usual self for awhile, and the Capitals may want to shed just a bit of cap space if they're going to retain Mike Ribeiro. There's a possibility that another player could be subject to a buyout, but I think Schultz is the most likely.

Winnipeg Jets - Ondrej Pavelec - G - Four years remaining at $3.9M

We all know this isn't going to happen, but if the Jets ever hope to have any success in this league, it should happen. Pavelec is likely the league's worst starting goalie when he isn't drunkenly crashing into things in his car.

Carolina Hurricanes - Joni Pitkanen - D - One year remaining at $4.5M

Carolina is surprisingly close to the cap for a team that doesn't make much money, and doesn't win much either. The oft-injured Pitkanen is still a top four defenseman, but with just 52 games played of the last 130, his time may be up in Carolina.

Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier - C - Seven years remaining at $7.727M

Possibly the worst contract in the league, if the Lightning can muster up enough capital, they'll definitely let go of the former face of the franchise. While still a productive offensive player, Lecavalier is a shade of his former self and provides nothing on the defensive side of the puck.

Florida Panthers - Ed Jovanovski - D - Two years remaining at $4.125M

It was a terrible contract when it was signed, it's terrible now. A myriad of injuries have turned the once dominant defenseman into a horrible shell of himself. Florida needs to move on and spend their limited cash more wisely.

Do any buyout candidates interest the Habs?

No RDS, the guy the Canadiens should target is not Lecavalier. I'm sure he can help another team to an extent, but the Canadiens do not need a center at all. The name the Habs should pursue here would be Joni Pitkanen. Like all players who would be bought out, there are downsides, Pitkanen's being injuries. At 29, Pitkanen is still a very solid defenseman though. He has both offensive and defensive value, which would make him an extremely good fit on the Canadiens' second pairing with Gorges, and he would push Bouillon both of the powerplay and out of the lineup. Putting Emelin and Diaz down to the third pairing would create perhaps the best top 6 in the league.


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