With the Stanley Cup Final now in the books, the focus around the National Hockey League has already shifted to next season.
With the upcoming NHL Entry Draft - which begins on June 25 - and the opening of free agency on July 1, teams are talking both internally and externally on how they can improve both their on ice product. And that includes their salary cap situation.
To that end, the NHL's two-week contract buy-out window is set to open on Tuesday, and at least three Canadian teams are - according to reports - considering the option.
According to Jim Matheson of The Edmonton Journal, the Oilers could be considering buying out a trio of forwards - captain Ethan Moreau and forwards Patrick O'Sullivan and Robert Nilsson.
O'Sullivan will make $2.95 million next season, while both Moreau and Nilsson are slated to make $2 million each.
Meanwhile, The Ottawa Citizen reported that the Senators are expected to buy out the final year of forward Jonathan Cheechoo's $3.5 million contract.
"I think Jonathan knows that when you're making $3.5 million, you have to be seen to be justifying that salary," Cheechoo's agent Thane Campbell told the newspaper last week.
The Montreal Canadiens will also head down that path with now-departed forward Georges Laraque. The team parted ways with him in January and will buy out the final year of his three-year, $4.5 million contract.
This form of cap relief has been used in past. The most notable example is forward Alexei Yashin, who was bought out by the New York Islanders after the 2006-2007 season with four years remaining on his contract. He still counts against the team's payroll and will remain there until the end of the 2014-15 season.
The amount of buyouts work differently due to the age of the player. Players over 26 years of age can be bought out at two-thirds of the remaining amount, while younger players are bought out at one-third.
In each case, the team gets twice the years remaining to pay the reduced number on the salary cap. For example if a player is bought out for two thirds and had two years left, the team would have a salary cap hit of that money stretched over four years.