CBA Explained: Compliance buy-outs

With this pathetic Flyers season dwindling down the topic of compliance buy-outs will be a hot one into and perhaps throughout the summer.The Flyers’ disappointing season combined with continued salary cap issues on a reduced salary cap next year will lead to a lot of conversation about if, or perhaps more accurately, who the Flyers should use the compliance buy-outs on. Currently, Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov are the most popular targets.

I had thought that most people were aware of the details of the compliance buy-outs because it is/was such a highly visible change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA); however I continue to see some misinformation out there among fans. I thought I’d spend a moment to clarify in this week’s CBA Explained.

From the CBA Summary of Terms:

During the Ordinary Course “Buy-Out” periods following the 2012/13 season and 2013/14 season, in addition to any other Ordinary Course “Buy-Outs” a Club may elect to effectuate pursuant to Paragraph 13 of the SPC, Clubs may elect to terminate and “buy-out” the already existing SPCs of up to two (2) additional Players (in the aggregate over the two (2) years) on a Compliance basis (a “Compliance Buy-Out”). Such Compliance Buy-Out(s) would be effectuated on the same terms as are set forth in Paragraph 13 of the SPC, except that the amounts paid under such “buy-out(s)” will not be charged against the Club’s Cap in any of the years in which the payments are made to the Player. Amounts paid under such Compliance Buy-Out(s) will, however, be counted against the Players’ Share during any League Year in which the “buy-out” payments are made. A Player that has been bought out under these Compliance Buy-Out provisions shall be prohibited from re-joining the Club that bought him out (via re-signing, Assignment, Waiver claim or otherwise) for the duration of the 2013/14 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2013) and the 2014/15 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2014).”


I’ve bolded the more important pieces of information, but for those who prefer bullets:

  • A compliance buy-out follows the same terms as a regular buy-out (which I covered in CBA 101) with a few exceptions:
    • Each team can only use two compliance buy-outs
    • They can only occur after the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons (so this summer and next)
    • The buy-out payments do not adversely affect the salary cap in any way.
    • Players that are bought out using the compliance buy-out cannot re-join the team, in any way, for one year.
    • It is also worth noting that injured players cannot be bought out, so Chris Pronger will have to remain on Long-term Injured reserve.

Shortly after the agreement of the CBA the Player’s Association and the NHL agreed on an “accelerated compliance buy-out” for teams to use immediately if they so chose rather than teams asking players to not play at all so they don’t risk injury. Scott Gomez and Wade Redden were bought out using the accelerated compliance buy-out.

  • wheineman

    Can you clarify when a team may use them? Could the Flyers use BOTH buyouts after the 2012-13 season, or are they limited to one each season?

    • Kevin Christmann

      Yes you can use both in the same summer if you’d like. The buyout period begins the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the Cup Finals, and ends on June 30…at least that was the case for normal buyouts. I’m curious if the schedule is slightly tweaked due to the season lasting longer than normal.