Now that he Memo of Understanding has been agreed to and both sides have signed off on the new collective bargaining agreement, NHL training camps officially opened up on Sunday. As players reported for their media days and first practices, two names with hefty contracts were told to stay home.
New York Rangers defenseman Wade Redden, who's been exiled to Hartford of the AHL since 2010, was given permission to speak with other teams about a potential trade, according to the New York Post's Larry Brooks. If that fails, Redden would join Gomez as a compliance buyout this summer.
Neither Rangers GM Glen Sather nor Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin want to risk potential injury to either player. Teams cannot buy out injured players. Including this season, both have two years left on their contracts, with Redden having $11.2 million owed to him, while $14,714,286 remains coming to Gomez. Both players will get paid their full contracts for this season while they sit and wait for the summer arrive. Their salaries will still count against the Rangers' and Canadiens' caps.
Because both are over the age of 26, they will receive two-thirds of the value of their final contract year if/when they are bought out during the June buyout period.
In other NHL player castoff news, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli met with the media on Sunday morning and said that Tim Thomas will still sit out this season, but wants to return next year. Thomas will be suspended by the Bruins as a formality, but his $5 million will still count against their cap.
Teams were allowed to begin signing and trading players starting at midnight ET. The biggest name RFAs still unsigned are P.K. Subban of the Canadiens and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars. Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be in camp with the team after agreeing to a 2-year deal in the neighborhood of $5.1 million, according to Brooks.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy