The Canadiens will correct another one of former general manager Pierre Gauthier’s mistakes and clear up $4.25 million in salary-cap space by using their second – and final – compliance buyout on defenceman Tomas Kaberle.
The move, which won’t become official until 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded, was expected, but there was a delay while current general maanger Marc Bergevin put out some feelers to see if there was a team willing to trade for the final year on Kaberle’s contract.
The Canadiens acquired Kaberle on Dec. 9, 2011 in a trade that sent Jaroslav Spacek to Carolina. Gauthier panicked at the time when he learned Andrei Markov wasn’t ready to return from knee surgery. The Hurricanes, who had signed Kaberle to a three-year, $12.75-million free-agent deal, were only too happy to rid themselves of the contract because the defenceman wasn’t in shape.
Kaberle was in better shape this season, but played in only 10 games because the Canadiens were planning to buy him out and didn’t want to run the risk of an injury. The buyout will cost the Canadiens $3 million, but it won’t count against the salary cap.
The Canadiens used their first compliance buyout on Scott Gomez before the start of the 2013 season.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)