Although public perception isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on ….if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor…there isn’t much doubt out there that between now and the end of  June the Canadiens are going to make a move on Scott Gomez contract.  What form that will take is the open question.

There is that miniscule possiblity that he can be traded to a team with a salary cap floor problem.  There was an Ottawa based rumour, that nobody except conspiracy enthusiasts considers credible, that the Islanders expressed interest at the trade deadline and Gomez exercised his right of refusal. His current contract states he can list three teams to which he will not accept a trade.

The more realistic options are – a buyout or, shipment to the minors.  This is a choice between long or short-term pain.  Demotion means two years at full salary in Hamilton but no hit on the salary cap.  A buyout means four years at two thirds of the remaining ten million dollars of his contract a complicated formula that takes into consideration  the front loaded part of Gomez’ contract.  So complicated that I had to go to Capgeek.com for the real figures  Here’s the way they calculate it.  .

SEASON

SALARY

     CAP HIT

     BUYOUT

     SAVINGS

      BUYOUT CAP HIT

2012-13

$5,500,000

$7,357,143

$1,666,667

$3,833,333

$3,523,810

2013-14

$4,500,000

$7,357,143

$1,666,667

$2,833,333

$4,523,810

2014-15

$0

$0

$1,666,667

-$1,666,667

$1,666,667

2015-16

$0

$0

$1,666,667

-$1,666,667

$1,666,667

 

In real dollars, Gomez in the minors would cost ten million dollars over two years and his entire 7.35 million dollar cap hit is gone..  The buyout would cost the Canadiens 6.66 million spread over four years and there would be continuing cap hit penalties.

In the end the Canadiens pay out 3.5 million dollars more if they send Gomez to the minors than they would in a buyout.

Seems to me 3.5 million to erase a big headache is cheap but, easy for me to say.  Geoff Molson may think 3.5 million is a little more than chump change.