With this morning’s announcement that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore has been placed on waivers for the purposes of being bought out, speculation about his next destination is bound to heat up. TPL has learned through a source close to the Commodore camp that the Red Wings may be interested in the services of the 31 year-old defenseman, who – should he clear waivers – would become an unrestricted free agent tomorrow.
While many may remember Commodore for the infamous picture of him rolling around a pile of money in his underwear and his healthy mane of red hair, the D-man who spent most of last season with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons would bring the much desired right-handed shot the Wings are looking for on the blue line – along with some additional grit – at a reasonable price. Ken Holland has insisted that he wouldn’t spend money “just to spend” this offseason, and with Commodore looking to make a move out of Columbus, a reasonable offer from the front office is hardly out of the question. On the Jackets side of the fence, they would be able to offload a hefty 3.75 million contract for a fraction of that price, which does provide some measure of relief for a team that is paying Rick Nash $7.8 million a year, just assumed Jeff Carter’s $5.27 million a year cap hit, and is probably looking to pay James Wisniewski somewhere around $6 million a year to patrol the blue line.
In terms of the financial ramifications, like Eaves two summers ago, once the player is bought out, the original team (in this case, the Blue Jackets) are on the hook for paying him a percentage of his original contract. He would become a free agent, able to sign with whomever he’d like, but would continue getting paid by the Jackets. Like Eaves, he’d be free to sign for the league minimum with another team (say, Detroit) and all the Red Wings would be on the hook for is the 500k (or whatever they agree to). Commodore may be willing to do that since he’d still be getting a hefty paycheck to NOT play in Columbus, just as Patrick Eaves continues to get paid to NOT play in Boston.
If Mike Commodore – or guys like JP Dumont or Cam Barker or Sheldon Souray or Chris Drury, signs in Detroit – it’ll very likely be for a minimal hit in return for the opportunity to compete immediately for a shot at the Cup.
As always, we’ll continue to update based on any new information we receive.
I couldn’t resist: