Eric Lindros is not yet an unrestricted free agent, but he may become
one next Monday.
NHL sources tell TSN that the New York Rangers are about to place
Lindros on waivers, for the purpose of terminating his contract.
Lindros' name would appear on the waiver wire Wednesday, and if he
cleared, he would then become an unrestricted free agent.
The waiver fee for Lindros, a former NHL MVP, would be $125.
Erroneous reports Tuesday suggested that the Rangers had declined to
pick up an option on Lindros, making him an immediate free agent. In
fact, Lindros recently exercised a player option on his contract for
next season, guaranteeing him a base salary of $3.3 million.
If Lindros were to play 75 games next season, bonuses would bring
that amount up to $9.3 million.
If a team picks Lindros off waivers, it would be responsible for the
salary of $3.3 million, plus the bonuses, making a claim unlikely.
The more likely scenario would see Lindros clear waivers, and then be
bought out by New York for 2/3 of his salary ($2.2 million). Lindros
would then become an unrestricted free agent.
NHL management sources tell TSN that Rangers G.M. Glen Sather has
been trying to trade Lindros for the last several weeks, with no
success. The New York Post reported in its Tuesday edition that
Sather had been talking with with Lindros' father Carl about
restructuring the contract, but that those talks had also been
The deadline for initiating buyout proceedings at 2/3 of a player's
salary is July 1.
Also on Tuesday, the traded the rights to unrestricted free agent
centre Mark Messier to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.
Messier made $3.9 million last season in New York, and scored 18
goals and 22 assists.
Messier is still expected to play in New York next season. The
transaction will simply give the Sharks a compensatory pick, while
the Rangers get future considerations - likely a draft pick.