The Leafs weren’t realistically expecting anyone to claim Jared Cowen yesterday, but waiving Cowen enables any team acquiring him to stash the defenceman in the American Hockey League without exposing him to waivers (reducing his cap hit in the meantime between now and the buyout window). There was said to be mild interest from Montreal and Buffalo once upon a time, but the only way the Leafs are moving Cowen is by taking back a salary makeweight.

The buyout credit for next season is perhaps being a little oversold given it will carry a cap penalty in 2017-18. It no doubt helps the Leafs‘ cause a little bit, but whoever buys out Cowen will spend $750,000 in real dollars for each of the next two seasons in exchange for a $650,000 cap credit in 2016-17 and a $750,000 cap penalty in 2017-18. A team very desperate for cap space and anticipating overage penalties might acquire him for the modest 2016-17 relief, but you’re still paying for it the next year.

The Leafs are making it pretty obvious they want nothing to do with Cowen and are pursuing all avenues to offload him before using the buyout option. It seems unlikely they find a resolution before the buyout window in the summer, but they have informed the player they’re doing everything they can do move him by Monday at 3 p.m.:

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