Most likely buyout candidates for each Eastern Conference team
Kirk Irwin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Silly season is right around the corner.

With teams on the brink of the annual tradition of overpaying in free agency, so too approaches the buyout window, in which some teams will look to rid themselves of past contract blunders.

Here's a look at each team's most likely candidate to be bought out over the next month.

Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes: Scott Darling

Age 2017-18 SV% Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
29 .888 $4.150M (2020-21) $716 667

Darling made it quite clear this season he isn't cut out to be a No. 1. Under Tom Dundon, the team will be looking to make a splash, and that includes a new goalie tandem.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Brandon Dubinsky

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
32 16 $5.85M (2020-21) $1.95M

This season, Dubinsky saw a 25-point drop, a consequence of scoring half the goals he did in 2017. He was also reported to be dealing with a personal issue that could be career-ending; a buyout might be best for all parties.

New Jersey Devils: Travis Zajac

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
33 26 $5.75M (2020-21) $1.25M

Zajac is currently the longest-serving Devils player, but his production has taken a drastic hit and $5.75 million is a lot of money to put up for fewer than 15 goals a season.

New York Islanders: Casey Cizikas

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
27 17 $3.35M (2020-21) $1.1M

Andrew Ladd would make sense here, but he gets a lot of his money in signing bonuses, which doesn't make a buyout very feasible. As for Cizikas, who hasn't hit double-digit goals his entire career, buying him out saves nearly $2.5 million.

New York Rangers: Marc Staal

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
31 8 $5.7M (2020-21) $2 055 556

Staal is not the No. 2 defenseman he once was. With just eight points this year, his offensive numbers aren't there. The Rangers are already vowing to make changes to their core, and he could be the next to go.

Philadelphia Flyers: Andrew MacDonald

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
31 21 $5M (2019-20) $1.375M

The near-$4 million in cap space the Flyers would open up in buying out MacDonald is a better asset off the ice than he has been on it. The Flyers have ample defensive prospects in their system more deserving of a spot in the lineup.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Carl Hagelin

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
29 31 $4M (2018-19) $1.556M

Once part of the infamous HBK line, Hagelin has never been as successful again as he was during the Penguins' 2016 playoff run. With 30 goals over the last three years and a $4-million cap hit, the Penguins could better use that money.

Washington Capitals: Brooks Orpik

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
37 10 $5.5M (2018-19) $2.5M

In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, Orpik scored his first goal in 220 games, that about says it all. Given his high cap hit and the fact the Capitals will be looking to lock up John Carlson at season's end, a buyout could be in the cards.

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins: Adam McQuaid

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
31 34 $2.75M (2018-19) $1 416 667

McQuaid has served as a healthy scratch this year, playing just 38 games (mostly due to injury) while averaging the least amount of ice time among Bruins defensemen who have played at least 15 games.

Buffalo Sabres: Zach Bogosian

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
27 1 $5 142 857 (2019-20) $1 142 857

Bogosian has no business making over $5 million per season. The Sabres need a drastic upgrade to their defense corps, so what better way than by losing Bogosian and adding projected No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin?

Detroit Red Wings: Darren Helm

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
31 31 $3.85M (2020-21) $1 405 556

The Red Wings have a number of names that could appear on this list, but Helm is probably the one least likely to rebound in his production. The club could also afford to get a little younger.

Florida Panthers: Jamie McGinn

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
29 29 $3 333 333 (2018-19) $1M

The Panthers' forward contingent is still chock-full of young talent and with more in the system likely to challenge for roster spots, the team is going to need to make room. The extra $2.33 million doesn't hurt.

Montreal Canadiens: Karl Alzner

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
29 12 $4.625M (2021-22) -$72 917

Alzner's deal has been flawed since it was signed. He's a bottom-pairing defenseman being paid way out of that pay range. Buying him out will help the Canadiens better address their defense corps.

Ottawa Senators: Marian Gaborik

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
36 21 $4.875M (2020-21) $1 502 778

Whether due to injury or a drop in play, Gaborik's production has not been there for the past four seasons. Of course, saving over $3 million is just the kind of move Eugene Melnyk wants his team to make.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Dan Girardi

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
34 18 $3M (2018-19) $1 166 667

The Lightning need to shed some salary with four pending RFAs, and Girardi would see the team shed salary without losing an overly valuable asset.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Matt Martin

Age 2017-18 Points Cap Hit (through) 18-19 Buyout Cap Hit
29 12 $2.5M (2019-20) $2M

The fact is that Martin isn't getting playing time and is taking up $2.5 million in salary. Though buying him out won't save the Maple Leafs a ton of cash, at this point, it's better for both parties to take different directions.

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Most likely buyout candidates for each Eastern Conference team
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