The Kings positioned themselves to clear more salary cap space in anticipation of the upcoming free-agency period by putting veteran defenseman Matt Greene on buyout waivers Thursday.
NHL free agency opens Friday, and the Kings were among several teams to use the buyout waiver mechanism. The move regarding Greene and the others was first reported by Bob McKenzie of the Canadian cable network TSN.
But it doesn’t mean Greene has necessarily played his last game with the Kings.
“It’s an option but it doesn’t mean we’re going to go that route [of a buyout],” Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told The Times. “You’ve got a limited period so you see what is potentially out there. It gives you a little more flexibility if you want to go that route.
“It’s a mechanism to look at all of your options.”
With the Kings up against the salary cap, any area where they could pick up some savings is important. With Greene, the Kings would free up $1.66 million in space each of the next two years if they did buy him out, according to the website generalfanager.com.
Greene, 33, was part of the Kings’ two Stanley Cup championship teams in 2012 and 2014, a key voice in the dressing room as the alternate captain. Injuries limited him to three games this past season, and he underwent shoulder surgery in December.