Unlike a couple of players we’ve previously looked at as potential buyout candidates, Nashville’s J.P. Dumont does not have a public spat with management or grossly inflated salary hanging over his head. With one-year at $4 million and a no-trade clause in tow, Dumont’s inclusion in buyout conversations appears to simply be a case of a player no longer having a place in his team’s plans.
Dumont’s 2010-11 season was a fairly forgettable one that saw the offensively inclined forward slip down the Predators’ depth chart to the point of being a heathy scratch down the stretch and in the playoffs. With just ten goals and 19-points in 70 games, Dumont posted his lowest offensive totals since the 1999-00 season when he registered 18-points in 47 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. Having seen his role as offensive catalyst slip away, Barry Trotz and the Predators weren’t left with many options as far involving Dumont in their plans. A quick glance at his advanced stats can tell you that Dumont accomplished very little even though he skated mostly against middling talent and was often placed in offensive situations.
A lack of cap space is not an issue for the Predators, but they are a team that works on a budget and it’s expected that they’ll break the bank for Shea Weber this summer. The trouble with Dumont is that his mid-range salary is difficult to justify given the performance that can reasonably be expected from him. According to CapGeek, a buyout for Dumont would save the Predators over $2.6 million next season, thus allowing David Poile to appropriate those funds towards Weber or perhaps Joel Ward if it is their intention to re-sign him. The Predators also have a number of RFAs in addition to Weber that should figure into their long-term plans like Matt Halischuk, Nick Spaling, and Sergei Kostitsyn.
Dirk Hoag at OnTheForecheck believes Dumont still has something to give offensively, but the 33-year old just doesn’t fit the team’s style of play anymore. He may be able to enjoy a renaissance of sorts in the right situation, if those playmaking skills haven’t totally eroded.
With the buyout season upon us, Dumont is definitely someone that you can keep an eye on as teams look to clear some space and cut some weight.