Friday night, the Colorado Avalanche acquired g Philipp Gruabauer from teh Washington Capitals in a trade with the Washington Capitals just before the draft started. The team gave up their own second round pick for the 26-year old goaltender - a luxury since they also own Nashville’s.
Leading into the weekend, many insiders believed the Capitals were asking for a first round pick in exchange for Grubauer, so how were the Avalanche able to snag him for a mid-second?
The price obviously dropped when the Avalanche were willing to absorb veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and his $5.5m contract as part of the deal.
Right away, the team let it be known that they do not intend to keep Orpik for very long. Ideally, Joe Sakic would have been able to flip him - but even if they retain some of the salary, there were no takers for the 37-year old that is nearing retirement.
Now, Orpik has cleared unconditional waivers, setting the team up to buyout his contract in the next few days. This is what the Orpik buyout looks like:
For a team that has the financial flexibility that the Avalanche do, this buyout is very easy to swallow. The team isn’t close to the cap, so the $2.5m this year and $1.5m will have no impact on how the team fills out the roster.
This move is a great example of a team using their cap space and financial flexibility in a creative way to improve the team.