Karl Alzner’s time with the Canadiens has come to an end as the team announced on Wednesday that after he cleared unconditional waivers, they bought out the remainder of his contract, making him a free agent.
The veteran had two years left on his deal with a $4.625 million AAV. However, based on the structure of the contract which featured signing bonuses and front-loading, the cost of this move is hardly uniform. This is what was left on the deal:
2020-21: $1.5M base salary, $1.5M signing bonus
2021-22: $3.5M base salary, no signing bonus
The total salary eligible to be bought out is $5M at a rate of two-thirds divided by two times the remaining term of the deal. Two-thirds of $5M is $3.33M while doubling the term left means it’s paid over four years. That makes the buyout cost $833,333.
That means the buyout breaks out as follows (cap hits in bold)
2020-21: $4.625,000 – ($1,500,000 salary – $833,333) = $3,958,333
2021-22: $4,625,000 – ($3,500,000 salary – $833,333) = $1,958,333
While the move doesn’t come as much surprise considering that he has spent most of the last two years in Laval, it actually will cost more on the cap for 2020-21 than it would have if they kept him and sent him to the Rocket. The difference is nearly $400,000 which isn’t huge but at a time where money is tight, it’s not entirely insignificant. However, it saves them a few hundred thousand off of the 2021-22 cap by doing this now instead of next offseason while also opening up a valuable contract spot.
It’s safe to put this signing down as a disastrous one for Marc Bergevin. Originally signed to play alongside Jeff Petry, Alzner was only able to hold his spot in Montreal’s lineup for that first season which is hardly what they were expecting when they signed him. Now, they’ll be paying him for four years not to play for them. Overall, his Canadiens career lasted 95 regular season games at an actual dollar cost of nearly $21.5 million. It’s a signing that will go down for the ages but for all of the wrong reasons.