TORONTO ON - DECEMBER 28: Brett Lebda #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs chases after a loose puck in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 28 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto,Ontario. The Hurricanes defeated the Leafs 4-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos gave the following update on Twitter this morning:
There had been a lot of speculation that the Preds might buy out Lebda rather than hold on to him, after acquiring him in trade from Toronto for Cody Franson and Matt Lombardi. But what confuses me is how the Predators can actually buy him out, given Section 11.18 of the CBA (emphasis mine):
11.18 Ordinary Course Buy-Outs Outside the Regular Period. Clubs shall have the right to exercise Ordinary Course Buy-Outs outside the regular period for Ordinary Course Buy-Outs in accordance with Paragraph 13(c)(ii) of the SPC. Each Club shall be limited to no more than three (3) such buyouts over the term of this Agreement pursuant to Paragraph 13(c)(ii) of the SPC. However, in the event that a Club has only one salary arbitration hearing pursuant to Section 12.3(a) in a given League Year, such Club shall not be entitled to exercise such a buyout outside the regular period for Ordinary Course Buy-Outs. No Club shall exercise an Ordinary Course Buy-out outside the regular period for any Player earning less than $1 million.
The "regular period" referred to is the window from June 15 through June 30 when players (such as J.P. Dumont this year) can be bought out of their contract. Since the Preds only had one salary arbitration hearing that falls under Section 12.3(a)*** this summer (you may have heard of it recently), it would appear that they're not allowed a buyout at this point in time.
So what gives?
***Section 12.3(a) refers to club-elected arbitration, so the Sergei Kostitsyn matter doesn't apply.