The Ducks put defenseman Simon Despres on waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract.
The move was expected for Despres, whose career has been in jeopardy because of a history of concussions.
“Simon Despres is a good hockey player and a good person,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “But, at this point in time, we feel it is in the best interests of both Simon and the organization to part ways. We wish him the very best in the future.”
Despres, 25, had four more years on his contract, at an average annual value of $3.7 million. The buyout will be spread out over eight years, starting at $1.2 million next season, according to capfriendly.com.
Despres, a solid stay-at-home defender, was seen as a steal when the Ducks acquired him from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Ben Lovejoy in March of 2015. He signed a five-year extension that October.
But Despres suffered a concussion on a hit from Tyson Barrie four games into the 2015-16 season and missed 42 games. He took another hit to the head in March of 2016, missed six games and later admitted he played through concussion symptoms in the 2016 playoffs.
Despres said he was healthy at the start of training camp but did not play after the season opener.
In a related development, multiple outlets have reported that the Ducks are working on a contract extension for defenseman Cam Fowler.