These are the 5 most likely NHL buyout candidates

Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images /
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Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images /

1. Braydon Coburn – Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have some salary cap issues. They have to re-sign some RFAs, including J.T. Miller, Cedric Paquette, and Slater Koekkoek. With just over $12 million of cap space (assuming the salary cap ceiling is $80 million), that’s not that much.

Defenseman Braydon Coburn might become a salary cap casualty. It’s more plausible for the Lightning to trade him to someone with a lot of cap space like the Arizona Coyotes or Carolina Hurricanes. But buying him out is definitely an option. It would save the Lightning $2.466667 million next season, though it would cost them $1.233333 million in 2019-20. By the way, Nikita Kucherov will be due for a huge extension after next season.

It’s not likely we’ll see Coburn bought out during the first buyout period. What will likely happen is the Lightning will try to get their RFAs signed and see how much money they have left over for upgrades. If they need more money, they’ll probably buyout Coburn. Especially since Ryan Callahan’s recent injury means they can’t buy him out.

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Coburn has been passed on the depth chart by various defensemen. Only Mikhail Sergachev played fewer minutes per game in 2017-18 among Lightning defensemen. Coburn wouldn’t be out of work for that long if he’s bought out, but it’s something Tampa Bay should explore.