If the Boston Bruins plan on buying out defenseman Mike Reilly, they better do it soon!
The NHL Buyout window closes Friday at 5 p.m. ET., with unrestricted free agency beginning at noon on Saturday.
The window had been scheduled to open on either June 15 or 48 hours after a Stanley Cup champion was crowned. That occurred on June 13 as former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 Tuesday to claim their first Stanley Cup.
Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was asked about using the buyout option this past Tuesday.
“Yeah, we have to make a decision on that; we haven’t made a concrete one,” Sweeney replied. Again, part of that exercise was that until yesterday we didn’t know if we were going to make any trades. So, now we have to regroup and figure out where we’re at. We like the group of defense we have because it looks awfully familiar from what we just accomplished; granted we were short of what we wanted to do… So, are we good enough? That’s the question.”
The Boston Bruins gained $6 million in salary cap space when they traded winger Taylor Hall and the free agent signing rights to Nick Foligno to the Chicago Blackhawks for two blue-line prospects. Per PuckPedia, they now have $10.9M in projected cap space with 14 players on the roster (6F/7D/1G). According to the PuckPedia Buyout Calculator, the total buyout cost for Mike Reilly would be $2.6 million. With one year left on the contract, the buyout would be applied over two years with a $1.3 million AAV.
After signing a three-year, $9 million contract ($3M AAV), on July 27, 2021, things have gone rapidly downhill for Reilly with the Bruins. A buyout candidate at this time last year, the 29-year-old, 6-foot-1, 196-pound rearguard was kept by the Boston Bruins but waived twice (once before the season and then during), and a constant on the NHL trade market. Unfortunately for Reilly and the Bruins, general manager Don Sweeney was never able to find a taker and Reilly was buried in the AHL, playing 36 games for the Providence Bruins after just ten with the Boston Bruins.
It’s no surprise that numerous NHL sources have told Boston Hockey Now that Sweeney is still feverishly trying to move Reilly, and other salaries on the NHL trade market as he tries to construct a cap-compliant 2023-24 NHL roster, but so far, no takers on Reilly. Should the Bruins decide to take the buyout route with Reilly, here’s how it works per PuckPedia:
For players that are 26 or older, a buyout is 2/3 of the remaining salary owed on the contract.
For players that are under 26, a buyout is 1/3 of the remaining salary owed on the contract.
All buyouts are spread out over twice the remaining years of the contract.
Players receive signing bonuses regardless of the buyout. That means that when calculating the buyout amount and cap hit, signing bonuses are excluded.
The actual annual cap hit of the buyout is calculated year by year as follows:
• Add together the Original Cap Hit and the Contract Signing Bonus for that year
• Subtract the Contract Total Salary for that year (base salary + signing bonus).
• Finally, add the Annual Buyout Cost as calculated above (2/3 of remaining contract divided by twice the remaining years of the contract).