What are your thoughts on the amnesty clause? Do you think it will happen?
Lyle Richardson: It happened at the start of this CBA, and I expect it’ll happen again. The players won’t be the ones pushing for it, but I doubt they’ll do much to try to prevent it. The amnesty buyout option wasn’t used much at the start of this CBA, because there weren’t a lot of teams with players carrying expensive contracts they wanted to be rid of. This time around, a number of teams have players with long term deals (two notable examples are the Rangers’ Wade Redden and the Canadiens’ Scott Gomez) they’d love to shed without incurring any buyout penalties against their cap. I’ll be very surprised if the league doesn’t allow each team a one-player-only buyout amnesty.
Paul Kukla: Buying out one contract and not having it count against the salary cap? Why, to help correct the past signing errors of some of the GMs?
No way, they made the decision to sign the player, now live with it.
Will it happen, I guess if enough GMs and owners want to correct an error from the past, it will, but in my opinion it is the easy way out.
Jesse Spector: I think it is good for both teams and players — is Wade Redden being stuck in Hartford for two years good for anyone? Having an amnesty with a new CBA allows teams to get out from under a bad contract, and allows the players on those contracts to get a fresh start, while still getting paid what they agreed to. There is no reason not to do it.
Tyler Altemose: My personal thought on the amnesty clause is this: I am a Flyers fan, and with all the trade clauses and high-year, high-price contracts on that team’s roster, I want nothing more than a clause that will, at least once, let Paul Holmgren save himself from Paul Holmgren (or Ed Snider for that matter).
Now, do I think it will happen? It’s certainly an issue the GMs and league will favor much more so than the players. Consider it a very least a bargaining chip in negotiations against, say, an issue like the players’ share of revenue. Perhaps if the league were willing to not shrink that number—or perhaps to even let it grow—the players may be more willing to concede on an amnesty clause. If I was forced into a position of absolutes, of having to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’, at this point I’d say yes.