Benoit Pouliot was left exposed by the Edmonton Oilers in the recent NHL Expansion Draft. Pouliot was passed over though, and the Vegas Golden Knights instead took Griffin Reinhart. On Thursday, it was revealed that they have placed him on waivers for the purposes of a buy out. The Oilers made the announcement on their official twitter account.
The #Oilers have placed forward Benoit Pouliot on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract buyout.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) June 29, 2017
Benoit Pouliot to be Bought Out by Edmonton Oilers
How the Buy-Out will Affect Edmonton
Now 30 years old, Pouliot was signed by Edmonton in 2014. He originally signed a five-year, $20 million deal. He has two seasons left on that deal which the team will buy out, once he clears waivers tomorros. The buy-out will cost the team a $1.3 million cap hit for the next four seasons. The Oilers can use the extra space with Leon Draisaitl needing a new contract this summer, and with a reported mega-deal for Connor McDavid reported to be signed, and to start in the 2018-19 season.
The Oilers have plenty of space for Draisaitl this summer, but things could get a bit more dicey next year. McDavid is only one of 11 free agents the Oilers could have next year. Other notable players entering the final year of their contract include Patrick Maroon, Anton Slepyshev, and the newly acquired Ryan Strome.
Pouliot with the Oilers
Geting rid of Pouliot helps out Edmonton quite a lot. In his first two years of his contract with Edmonton, Pouliot got some of his highest career points. He was an upper 30 point player, and a good top six forward for the team. This was until last season, when he registered a mere 14 points, despite the fact that he played more games than he had in the 2014-15 or 2015-16 season. He was one of the weaker links on a team whose bottom six could’ve done better. At a $4 million cap hit, Pouliot just was not worth it. Knowing no team would be willing to trade for him, the Oilers went the best route and bought him out.