Here’s the deal, according to the Kings…
Before Cloutier was placed on waivers, he was examined by Dr. Ronald Kvitne, a highly respected orthopedic surgeon, who determined that Cloutier was healthy enough to play. Cloutier sought a second opinion, and that doctor also deemed him healthy enough to play.
So the Kings went ahead, put Cloutier on waivers and bought out his contract.
Now, Cloutier wants to seek a third opinion. If that doctor says Cloutier is unable to play, the buyout might be nullified and Cloutier might get his $3.1 million, but the Kings would be able to get salary-cap relief through a long-term injury situation. But first, we’ll have to see what this third doctor says. What a mess.
In unrelated news, Barry Melrose will be announced as Tampa Bay’s new coach tomorrow. That leaves the Kings as the only NHL team without a coach at the moment.