The first shoe has dropped in anticipation of free agency.
The Columbus Blue Jackets decided to buy out the two remaining years of forward Scott Hartnell's contract. He will now be an unrestricted free agent.
At 35-years old, Hartnell scored 13 goals and helped with 24 assists for a total of 37 points. Those numbers are the lowest they have been in a non-injury ravaged season since his third year in the league.
According to Cap Friendly, this move will give the Blue Jackets an additional 3.25 million to work with this offseason. That gives them just above 12 million in cap space as free agency begins.
#BlueJackets buying out Scott Hartnell saves the club $3.25M on their cap this season, giving them roughly $12.887M in projected cap space.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 29, 2017
Additionally, this will cost the Blue Jackets 1.25 million in actual money for the next four seasons.