NHL free agency: Arron Asham, Darroll Powe, Eric Belanger placed on waivers

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NHL teams continue to trim down their rosters in anticipation of free agency beginning on Thursday.

Arron Asham, Darroll Powe and Eric Belanger have been placed on waivers, according to multiple reports on Thursday afternoon. All three players will be bought out of the remaining term on their contracts.

Asham and Powe were given regular buyouts by the New York Rangers. Asham had one-year remaining on a two-year $2 million contract, while Powe had one-year remaining on a three-year, $3.2 million contract that carried an annual average value just over $1 million.

Belanger was placed on unconditional waivers with the intention of receiving a compliance buyout by the Edmonton Oilers. The 35-year-old forward had one-year remaining on a three-year contract that carried an annual average value of $1.75 million against the salary cap.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are permitted two compliance buyouts that remove a player's salary from their salary cap allotment without penalty. This option was created due to the declining nature of the salary cap for the 2013-14 season, as well as a way to adjust to new contractual rules in the collective bargaining agreement that eliminated front- or back-loaded contracts.

This is Edmonton's first use of a compliance buyout. Belanger will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.

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