The Winnipeg Jets placed defenseman Mark Stuart on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract, the team announced Friday.
Stuart, 33, was entering the final year of a four-year contract that was slated to pay him $2.625 million. His release will free up approximately $1.2 million in salary-cap space for the Jets this season.
"Mark Stuart has been a tremendous leader for the Winnipeg Jets organization on and off the ice for the past six years," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement. "We are forever grateful for his mentorship to our young players and the ambassador he has been in the community. This was a difficult decision to make and we wish Mark and his family all the best in the future."
Stuart was with the franchise when it relocated from Atlanta to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season. In seven seasons with the franchise, he recorded 53 points (13 goals, 40 assists) in 390 games. He had two goals and two assists in a reduced role over 42 games with the Jets last season.
The native of Rochester, Minn., was chosen in the first round (21st overall) of the 2003 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins.