Rostislav Olesz (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Well, so much for speculation in some circles that the Chicago Blackhawks would use a compliance buyout on Marian Hossa.
Instead, word came out Thursday that GM Stan Bowman has decided that the team will buy out the contracts of forward Rostislav Olesz, who was acquired in the trade that sent defenseman Brian Campbell to the Florida Panthers, and defenseman Steve Montador.
Here's what Bowman had to say to reporters at a United Center press conference Thursday:
"We're going to proceed using those (buyouts) on Montador and Olesz. The first step is to place them on waivers, which we were going to be doing and then following that if they go unclaimed, then we're going to proceed with the buyout."
Both players spent the 2013 season with the Rockford IceHogs in order to save cap room for the Hawks, but with the salary cap shrinking by over $6 million in 2013-14, the Hawks needed to trim some fat. Montador has two years left on a contract that carries a $2.75 million cap hit, and Olesz has one year left on a deal that carries a $3.125 million hit.
Compliance buyouts were introduced by the NHL in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement as a way for teams to cope with the shrinking salary cap, as well as giving them the ability to get out from underneath albatross contracts that they had signed in previous seasons. Other notable players to receive the buyouts so far are Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent LeCavalier and Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
If those players clear waivers, they will be unrestricted free agents once the teams officially buy them out.