NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey Devils announced Friday they are buying out the contracts for forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, freeing up extra salary-cap space on the eve of free agency’s first day.
Both players were placed on unconditional waivers.
Cammalleri, 35, spent the past three seasons with the Devils, his point total declining each year. Last season, he skated in 61 games, registering 10 goals and 21 assists (31 points). He had two years left on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5 million.
New Jersey acquired Smith-Pelly in a February 2016 trade with Montreal. This past season, Smith-Pelly, 25, played in 53 games and had four goals and five assists (nine points). He had one year left on his his deal and was set to count $1.3 million against the cap.
The moves create an estimated $4.5 million in available cap space. The rebuilding Devils will enter free agency with the most cap room in the NHL — $27.68 million, according to Spotrac.com and CapFriendly.com. That means New Jersey has the cash to be serious contenders for the top free agent prize, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
Last season, the Devils went 28-40-14 (70 points), the worst record in the Eastern Conference. They landed the first pick in last week’s NHL Entry Draft, which they used on Swiss center Nico Hischier.