The New Jersey Devils will say goodbye to one of their longest-tenured players.
General manager Lou Lamoriello announced that defenseman Colin White and recently acquired right-winger Trent Hunter will be placed on waivers. The organization will buy out both players if no team picks them up.
New Jersey earned a 48-hour buyout window after re-signing Zach Parise to a one-year, $6 million contract Friday. That began today and will end tomorrow.
Cutting both White and Hunter will open up more cap space for the Devils. Hunter has two years remaining on his contract, carrying a $2 million annual cap hit. White has one year and $3 million left on his deal. If the players are bought out, the Devils will pay two-thirds of the total contract for twice the years. White would be paid $1 million over the next two years, and Hunter would receive $666,667 for the next four years.
For Lamoriello, the decision to buyout White wasn't easy.
"He's been a pure Devil," Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "It's unfortunate, but there comes a point when young players have to get a chance. With long-term contracts in this league, this is not unusual, but it is unfortunate."
White finished his Devils career with 20 goals and 105 assists in 743 regular season games. Originally a second-round pick, 46th overall, in 1996, he battled through a serious eye injury suffered during training camp in 2007 and missed the first 20 games of that season. Last year, White battled lower body problems near the end of the season.
Lamoriello offered several reasons for the decision. He couldn't deny that it was a budget decision, but also cited the rise of several young prospects and the return of Bryce Salvador as other reasons. Salvador, who missed all of last season after sustaining a concussion, is working out but has yet to participate in any contact drills.
This move has been in the works since the end of last season.
"Colin and I sat down at the end of the season and after the discussion we decided just to go and get a bit of a change," Lamoriello told Gulitti.
The Devils' general manager believes the move will help White.
"This will be good for Colin," Lamoriello said to Gulitti. "Now, as an unrestricted free agent, he can pick where he wants to go."