Newcoming Carolina Hurricanes Defender Brady Skjei is another option
Next up is Brady Skjei. I know what you’re thinking. 7 games are not enough to evaluate a player’s skill level. However, historically Skjei has struggled and with him making 5,250,000 for the next 5 years. There’s more to be said about Skjei too.
He’s widely considered a bad contract (mainly by Ranger fans, go figure). But to be honest, that’s not why I’d consider him for a compliance buyout. It’s more because of where he plays. Skjei is one of 5 D men under contract for next season, with two youngsters battling for the final spot. But with Skjei gone, no one is left out, and the team may be better for that.
Skjei is also majorly an offensive defender. Carolina has 2 other offensive D men on the roster, as well as one winning all sorts of awards for his offensive capabilities down in Charlotte. That kind of player isn’t needed so much anymore. When the Canes start next season healthy, their D core will be the deepest and best in the NHL. Freeing up that roster spot may be important.
Skjei isn’t someone that needs to be on a roster for that roster to be solidified as a Stanley Cup contender. Skjei also has been known to have severe lapses in his own zone in the times you need him to be at his absolute best. He was known in New York for cracking under pressure despite being good for the majority of the time.
This isn’t to say that Skjei doesn’t have a place on this team under different circumstances, but when you are the number 5 defender on the deepest D core in hockey and you make more than five million dollars a year, it’s the perfect combination for a compliance buyout. It’s nothing against Skjei, it’s just a perfect storm of everything else around him.
Obviously, it’s not a good look to use a compliance buyout on someone you just used a 1st round draft pick to acquire from a division rival, but should management get the chance, it may begin to feel like it’s necessary. Skjei isn’t someone who’s going to aid this defensive core more than some of the others on it.