Canadiens waive seldom-used defenceman Karl Alzner for purpose of buyout

The Montreal Canadiens have placed defenceman Karl Alzner on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the remainder of his contract.

Alzner, 32, had two seasons remaining on a five-year deal with an average annual value of $4.625 million US that he signed as a free agent with Montreal in 2017.

He had one goal and 13 points in 95 games with Montreal.

After playing 82 games in his first season with the club in 2017-18, he spent the bulk of the next two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket.

A junior star with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, Alzner was selected fifth overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2007 NHL draft.

The native of Burnaby, B.C., has 20 goals and 110 assists over 686 career NHL games with Washington and Montreal.

Red Wings’ Abdelkader set to be free agent

Also Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings waived forward Justin Abdelkader with three years remaining on his contract at a salary cap hit of $4.25 million. His buyout will span six years for Detroit.

Once they clear, Abdelkader and Alzner will join New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Arizona Coyotes winger Michael Grabner and Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan as players bought out this off-season. They immediately become free agents.

Pittsburgh Penguins blue-liner Jack Johnson cleared unconditional waivers Tuesday, allowing the team to buy out the remainder of his contract. Johnson’s buyout will also last six years since he had three years left on his contract.

The free agent market opens Friday at 12 p.m. ET. The salary cap remains flat at $81.5 million for at least the 2020-21 and ’21-22 seasons.

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