Why Buy Out Vinny Prospal?

GM Brian Lawton, who has made a bevy of questionable moves since taking over the GM duties last summer made one of his most perplexing moves yesterday.  The team informed Vinny Prospal that he would be placed on waivers or be bought out of his contract.

With Lawton telling the world that the Lightning were willing to buy out the deal, I think the leverage is gone and the chance for a waiver claim are about -25%.   He has 3 years and about 10 million dollars left on his contract, so he is signed for a very reasonable rate for a 50 point a season player.  He is also one of the Lightning’s best grinders and best board men on the team.   If we buy Vinny out, we will pay him 1.167 million a  year over the next 6 seasons, which will all count against our cap.

My main question is why not try and trade him?  The excuse from Lawton was after evaluating our team (meaning looking at the bank account)…

“After fully evaluating our roster and our position in the salary cap world, we arrived at the decision to buy out Vaclav Prospal from his contract,” Lawton told Erlendsson. “We appreciate Vinny’s service to the Lightning, but in the best interest of the team, we believe a difficult decision needed to be made in this case and we are going to move ahead without him. We wish Vinny all the best.”

I thought the Lightning were having money issues, so if so, why lock up 1.16 mil a year for 6 years against our cap for a player who could have easily been traded.

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