In a move that frees up some much needed cap space in the final hours before free agency, the Toronto Maple Leafs have bought out the contract of Tim Gleason. It’s a regular buyout that will count towards the Salary Cap for four more years.
Is This A Good Move?
Definitely. To put it bluntly, Tim Gleason was not particularly good for either team he played for this season. The Hurricanes got next to no offensive production out of him, and the Leafs got slightly more but a still insignificant amount. On the other side of the ice, Gleason “looked” defensively sound, in the sense that he hit people every so often and blocked shots, but was poor at preventing shots from actually happening (CF% rel of -2.3 in Carolina, -5.2 in Toronto). Not getting any younger and with multiple consecutive seasons of disappointment to his credit, he was by far the most expendable player on the roster.
Gleason was due for a cap hit of $4 million a year for the next four years. Instead, the structure of his buyout has him counting for $833,333 next year, $1.833M in 2015/16, and $1.333M in the two years following. This saves the Leafs $3.1 million in the immediate.
Realistically, this shouldn’t have been a move the Leafs had to make. Both compliance buyouts they made were kind of sketchy; Mikhail Grabovski for his ability to play hockey, and Mike Komisarek for his only having a year remaining. Realistically, John-Michael Liles should have been bought out instead of one of the two (knowing management’s plans, Komisarek). That way, the trade to acquire Gleason would not have been necessary to begin with.
Alas, it is what it is. The Leafs get a little richer for now. They also get a bit of addition by subtraction. Besides, having a buyout penalty on the books is Leafs tradition at this point! Somebody had to replace Colby Armstrong and Darcy Tucker, after all.