On Sunday, the Habs placed right winger P-A Parenteau on waivers for the purposes of buying out the final year of his contract. Teams will have until noon EST on Monday to claim him which isn’t likely to happen.
Parenteau joined the Canadiens last offseason in a trade for Daniel Briere and a 5th round pick (used to select Matthew Bradley on Saturday and may wind up being the most valuable part of that trade when all is said and done). It was hoped that a change of scenery might help Parenteau bounce back from a lower-than-expected 33 point season (in 55 games) in 2013-14.
Unfortunately for Montreal, that didn’t happen. Instead, the 32 year old struggled even more, posting just eight goals and fourteen assists in 56 regular season games. He did help in the shootout though, picking up a team and league high four game winning goals in that area. Parenteau was also largely quiet in the postseason, tallying just a goal and an assist in eight games.
The cost to buy a contract out in most instances is 2/3 of the remaining money owing spread out over two times the remaining term on the deal. In this case, Parenteau was owed $4 million for 2015-16, the final year of his contract and since his deal paid the same amount each season, the calculation is quite simple. The team owes him $2.666,667, spread out over the next two seasons, resulting in a $1,333,333 cap hit for 2015-16 and 2016-17. This will save the Canadiens roughly $2.67 million on the cap for next season although it will cost them $1.333,333 on 2016-17’s cap that wouldn’t have been there had they not bought him out.
With the ability to retain up to 50% of salary in trades, presumably GM Marc Bergevin had no success going that route with Parenteau, making this the final option. However, Parenteau still technically could be traded while on unconditional waivers (something that isn’t the case with regular waivers) up until noon Monday.
This will give Montreal a bit more money to play with this offseason as they now sit about $7.5 million under the cap with Alex Galchenyuk the only notable RFA remaining. However, they will now have to fill Parenteau’s spot and given the lack of right wing depth on the team, they may look outside of the organization instead of trying to fill the spot with someone like Sven Andrighetto or Christian Thomas.
One player who they targeted to fill that spot was Chicago’s Kris Versteeg. On Friday, there were rumblings that he vetoed a deal to the Canadiens. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted on Sunday that the Habs were reportedly set to send a fifth rounder (likely the one used to select Bradley) for Versteeg but the deal obviously failed to materialize.
Assuming he clears waivers Monday, Parenteau will become an unrestricted free agent but must wait until July 1st to sign with a new team.