NHL, union change buyout rules
Teams can exercise an 'accelerated' buyout before Saturday
The NHL and players' association reached an agreement on Tuesday that will allow teams to buy out the contracts of unwanted players.
Teams will be able to exercise an "accelerated buyout" before the start of the regular season on Saturday.
In the recently signed collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA, teams were only allowed 'compliance buyouts' during the 2013 season and 2014 off-season.
The modified deal comes three days after the Montreal Canadiens sent forward Scott Gomez home, along with his high-priced contract.
The bought-out 2012-13 contracts would still count against the team's cap, but players like Gomez and New York Rangers defenceman Wade Redden would become unrestricted free agents once they clear waivers on Thursday, according to reports.
Gomez carries a $7.3-million US cap hit that will count against the Canadiens' salary cap this season.
As per the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement, the cap will drop $10 million in 2013-14, with teams allowed two buyouts to help fit under the cap after this season or next season.
However, with the new modified agreement, a team using a compliance buyout on a player this week will only have one remaining for next summer.