GM Lou Lamoriello has decided to use the team’s last compliance buyout on D Anton Volchenkov to open up a lot of cap space going into free agency tomorrow. Anton will become an Unrestricted Free Agent tomorrow at noon.
In the summer of 2010, Anton Volchenkov signed a 6-year, $4.25 million contract that also included a $2 million signing bonus. The Devils will still need to pay Anton for the two years that were not completed and that will be spread out over the next 4 seasons at $1,416,667 for each season. Thanks to the compliance buyout, none of that will be seen on the team’s cap hit.
Anton played in 222 regular season games with New Jersey and totaled 3 goals and 29 assists. In the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals run, Volchenkov played in 24 games and had a goal and an assist.
Volchenkov was more known for his physical play and would put forward some crushing hits. Unfortunately, his defensive play became a sort of a liability. While he is more useful to the team than Bryce Salvador, his extreme cap hit and extra year left made this the right choice.
Anton is still only 32 and shouldn’t have much trouble with finding another team to play for. The circumstances just pointed to the team parting ways with the veteran defender.
With the $4.25 million now taken off of New Jersey’s salary cap, the Devils now have just under $14 million to spend on free agents.
With the deadline to qualify Restricted Free Agents now passing, be sure to check back which minor leaguers were not qualified. Lou previously stated that Eric Gelinas, Jacob Josefson, and Adam Larsson would receive a qualifying offer. They general consensus is Keith Kinkaid will get one too but he would not go into specifics on the others.
Once the exact list is made available, we will pass that off to you. Stay tuned to Pucks and Pitchforks for more NJ Devils Free Agency news.