Patrik Berglund's tenure with the Buffalo Sabres was a short one, but it was also a very costly one...for the player, that is.
On Wednesday, the Sabres placed Berglund on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. The move comes days after the 30-year-old forward was suspended indefinitely after failing to report to the team because he was unhappy with his diminished role.
If Berglund's contract, which carries an annual cap hit of $3.85 million until 2022, is indeed voided, he will walk away from $12,579,032 in remaining salary.
The veteran was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Ryan O'Reilly to the St. Louis Blues this summer. Berglund was reportedly not thrilled with his involvement in that deal, and he may have been able to avoid being included had he filed some paperwork on time.
The day before the trade, Berglund's full no-trade protection on his contract expired and became a modified no-trade clause, which would have allowed him to submit a list of teams to which he would not accept a trade. However, Berglund didn't immediately submit his list to the club, and the Blues jumped on the opportunity to include him in their package to Buffalo.
In 23 games for the Sabres, Berglund recorded just two goals and two assists, putting him on pace for a career-worst season following a solid 10-year tenure in St. Louis. Prior to being waived, Berglund had missed the club's last five games, including two last week with an undisclosed "illness." Prior to those contests, Berglund had been a healthy scratch.
The Swedish forward was suspended by the team on Saturday after it was revealed that he failed to show up for the Sabres' flight to Washington for a road game. The team said it was surprised by his absence.
The two sides have reportedly spent the past few days trying to work out a resolution. Rather that trade him or find a way to make things work, the Sabres ultimately decided to void his contract and move on, a decision that will save them nearly $4 million on the cap for the next three-plus seasons.
Meanwhile, Berglund will have a chance to pick his next destination and start fresh with a new contract elsewhere, though it's likely that this falling out will cost him a good chunk of change.