Can Jones be bought out?
In the NHL, anyone can be bought out. However, with NHL buyouts the length of the contract doubles. The upside to this is that the cap hit may become less depending on the contract and time of the buyout.
In the case of Martin Jones, the next opportunity to buy him out will be June 15th of this year. If this were to happen Jones’ contract would double into eight years, instead of the remaining four years.
However, his initial cap hit drops from $5.75 million to $2.875 million in the first year (2020-2021), $1.875 million in the second year (2021-2022), $2.375 million in the third year (2022-2023), and $2.875 million in the fourth year (2023-2024).
This means the Sharks will be saving $2.875 million, $3.875 million, $3.375 million, and $2.875 million in cap space, respectively. However, after these four years, the Sharks will continue to hold on to a $1.625 million cap hit for the remaining four years of Jones’ buyout.
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With having a cap hit for Jones over those four years, San Jose will be losing that much in cap hit as his original contract was supposed to expire at this point.
However, this still does not add up to Jones’ initial remaining cap hit of $23 million. The Sharks would ultimately save $6.5 million in cap hit in the long run if they decided to buy out the struggling goalie this offseason.
The longer the Sharks wait to buy out Jones, the less and less their savings will be. This makes sense as less cap hit is left on the contract, but why continue to have $5.75 million cap hit for a goalie that’s had a sub-.900 SV% and near 3.00 GAA over the last two seasons?
The likelihood of the Sharks buying out Martin Jones is low, but with the cap hit from the buyout of defenseman Paul Martin coming off the books this offseason, it isn’t a terrible thing to do.
Buying out Jones is definitely the easier option between trading the goalie and buying him out. However, with Jones’ contract, I can’t see either happening.
But moving on from Martin Jones is more plausible than most probably think.