Possible amnesty buyouts - The Pacific Division
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?
Anaheim Ducks - Bryan Allen - D - Two years remaining at $3.5M
Allen was the Ducks' worse possession defenseman with the 3rd highest quality of competition. It's a stretch that he'll be bought out, but Anaheim's worst contracts are with players they can't afford to lose and both were just signed.
Los Angeles Kings - Willie Mitchell - D - One year remaining at $3.5M
Signed after the age of 35, even if Mitchell retired due to his concussion problems, his contract would still count against the cap. The Kings are up against the wall with 4 restricted free agent defensemen, and captain cheapshot (aka Dustin Brown) is a year away from a huge extension.
San Jose Sharks - Martin Havlat - LW - 2 years remaining at $5M
Always an injury risk, Havlat has missed a fair amount of time while with the Sharks, but even worse was his production this year. With a contract extension for Couture coming up next year, they may decide it's time to move on from Havlat.
Dallas Stars - Erik Cole - RW - Two years remaining at $4.5M
This one is kinda funny. Cole declined in a big way last year, especially after he was traded to Dallas. He was one of the team's worst players and generally looked disinterested. Perhaps his talk of retirement during the lockout was serious, or at least serious enough that he stopped giving it his all. Dallas won't likely do it because they have tons of cap space, but it's a possibility.
Phoenix Coyotes - Glendale City Council - 30 years remaining at $16M
Can we move this team yet? No? How about now?
Do any buyout candidates interest the Habs?
Signing Erik Cole again would be pretty funny, but somehow I don't think that's likely. The real prize here is Martin Havlat. Havlat is a more than capable top 6 forward that could play on any of the Habs' top 3 lines, providing a great amount of depth and a player who can score at even strength and on the powerplay. His injury history makes it a risk, but his two way play is pretty good and his offense makes it worth it, especially on an affordable contract. Havlat would be an upgrade on the outgoing Michael Ryder, which instantly makes the Canadiens a better team.