NHLers McKee, Schaefer and McLean placed on waivers Staff

6/29/2009 4:57:03 PM

Three veteran NHLers have been placed on unconditional waivers, for the purposes of buying out their contracts.

The St. Louis Blues intend to buy out the final year of defenceman Jay McKee's deal, as McKee was slated to earn $4 million next season. 

McKee, 31, had eight points and a plus-11 rating in 69 games for the Blues in 2008-2009.  The renowned shot blocker has had trouble staying healthy, playing more than 70 games just once in the last six seasons.

''It's not something I expected, especially after my most productive season in St. Louis,'' McKee told THE CANADIAN PRESS. ''I understand they had a decision to make and I was one of them.''

Boston has waived winger Peter Schaefer, who spent all of last season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, scoring 26 points and putting up a plus-5 rating in 47 games.  The soon-to-be 32-year-old was scheduled to make $2.1-million in 2009-2010.

Thirty-year-old Brett McLean has also been put on waivers by the Florida Panthers.  Set to make $1.7-million next season, McLean's production dipped to a career-low 19 points and minus-12 rating in 80 games last season.

Contract buyouts come at two-thirds the cost to the club, with the team gaining the ability to spread out the cost of the buyout over twice the amount of time remaining on the contract (eg. with one year left on the contract for each of these players, the cost against the team's cap is spread out over the next two seasons).