Former Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik ($5.5 million cap hit) officially cleared waivers on Sunday, paving the way for a buyout by the Colorado Avalanche.
The news was first reported by CapFriendly.
— CapFriendly Transactions (@CF_Transactions) June 24, 2018
On Friday, the Capitals traded Orpik along with goaltender Philipp Grubuaer to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. After round one of the draft was completed, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic spoke to reporters and said he never had any intention of keeping Orpik on their active roster.
“We gave up a second-round pick, a good pick, but we felt to take him and give them cap relief, we wouldn’t have to pay as much of a premium,” Sakic said. “I talked to him and the plan is to see if we can maybe move him here or buy him out.”
While the Avalanche announced a three-year, $10 million contract with Grubauer on Saturday, they did not end up finding a willing trade partner for the 37-year-old defenseman and instead put Orpik on waivers.
At 12 PM Sunday, Orpik officially cleared.
Colorado can now buy Orpik out, less than 48 hours after acquiring him in a trade.
The Avalanche will eat $2.5 million of cap space in 2018-19 and $1.5 million in 2019-20. According to Mile Hockey Hockey:
For a team that has the financial flexibility that the Avalanche do, this buyout is very easy to swallow. The team isn’t close to the cap so the $2.5m this year and $1.5m will have no impact on how the team fills out the roster.
The Capitals could theoretically bring Orpik, who served as a leader in the locker room back, under a cheaper contract as an unrestricted free agent.
“It’s legal,” MacLellan told reporters. “We’re open to that depending on how much room and salary it would take.”
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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