Term remaining: 3 years
Cap hit: $5.5 million
Value remaining: $12 million ($9 million SB/$3 million Salary)
Andrew Ladd is the obvious choice here. His contract has been an issue for the Islanders before the ink dried on his signature back in 2016.
In the 2016 free agency signing period, former Islanders GM Garth Snow signed Ladd to a seven-year $38.5 million contract. He was brought in to be a top-six winger and effectively replace the departing Kyle Okposo.
It was clear, rather quickly, that Ladd was no longer a top-six winger in the NHL. Ladd struggled right out of the gate for the Isles. While he started next to John Tavares at the start of the season he was quickly moved off his line, never to return. That year Ladd scored 23 goals and 31 points. Clearly, he was not top-six material.
Turns out he was carrying a back injury through the season. That injury was a sign of things to come. Since joining the Isles in 2016-17, Ladd has played 181 games of a possible 314.
Through those 181 games, he’s scored 39 goals and 72 points. Again, that’s not top-six production. For someone who’s chewing up $5.5 million of the Islanders cap that’s a problem. He’s just not worth the money and the Islanders are still committed to him for another three seasons after this.
With a compliance buyout, the Islanders could clear out a contract that’s chewing up seven percent of their cap in Andrew Ladd. It should also give them a healthy gap to sign their pending three RFA’s next year.
The Isles can’t buyout Ladd’s deal using a standard buyout. The Isles only would save $1 million in total if they used a normal buyout on Ladd. And he has no worth on the trade market. A compliance buyout is the only way they can get out from under his deal.