DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have placed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo on unconditional waivers with the intention to buy out the final year of his contract.
This move was confirmed by a league source Tuesday night.
Colaiacovo has one year left on a two-year deal he signed last offseason.
If he clears at noon Thursday, the Wings will use one of their two amnesty buyouts to shed his $2.5 million salary-cap hit next season.
Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer.
They would be able to buy out a player at two-thirds of the remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.
Colaiacovo’s actual salary is $2.85 million next season, which means the Wings will pay him roughly $1.9 million over the next two seasons.
With the buyout of Colaiacovo the Wings are in need of a veteran for Grand Rapids for insurance or they could try and swing a trade for a top four defenseman.
The move could also be to clear space so they can pursue Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.
At the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, Detroit was among several teams to make a pitch to the Canucks for Edler.
The Canucks didn’t deal Edler and on July 1 he had a no-trade clause kick in.
Edler, 27, begins a new six-year deal at a $5 million salary-cap hit a season.
The Wings were in need of a top four defenseman last offseason after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade) this offseason.
Detroit currently has six defensemen under contract for next season.
Brendan Smith is a restricted free agent and will get a deal done bringing the total to seven on the blue line heading to training camp.
The Wings have a number of defensemen coming up through the ranks, including Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullette and Mattias Backman.
Detroit just re-signed restricted free agent Jakub Kindl to a four-year extension worth $9.6 million.
Kindl, 26, had four goals and nine assists in 41 games last season and was a plus-15, second only to Pavel Datsyuk (plus-21) on the team.
Kindl got a considerable raise after making $1.05 million last season. His average salary over the next four seasons is $2.4 million.
Colaiacovo, 30, was not the top-tier defenseman the Wings were looking for last offseason, but was the best option left on free-agent market.
The biggest concern was his health and that surfaced again this year.
Colaiacovo played in just six regular season games after suffering a sprained left shoulder in just the second game of the lockout shortened season.
He wound up playing just six games during the regular season, recording an assist and was a minus-4.
His game seemed to pick up in the playoffs when he replaced Brian Lashoff on the blue line, appearing in nine games. He had an assist and was a plus-3.
He has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.
Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has some offensive ability and is a good puck mover.