I'm not disputing the rule exists at this point (hard to believe thought it may be), only that it's a necessary rule. I think its downside (hampering teams close to the cap all summer) is bigger than its upside (protecting a handful of players who might miss half a season as a result of getting the boot late in the summer).
you have replied twice before I edited in the source
I think the rule is good for teams too. Makes sure they know who is available before signing people.
I bet you are against contracts being guaranteed, aren't you?
Well seeing as how buyouts are a form of a contract being guaranteed (i.e. full payment received without full rendering of services), no. I'm not against it.
I just think the hang-ups you're talking about are relatively minor things during the course of an NHL season (for a GM) and career (for a player). If I were a GM I'd try my best NOT to buyout a guy later in the summer, and I think most GMs would do it the right way in that respect, but if I had to do it to keep my team competitive I would, and I think most players would understand.
Just as they understand getting waived is part of the game, getting traded when they don't want to be traded, etc. To me, most buyouts, even at the end of the summer, would be a win-win-win for the parties involved. The cases where a guy gets washed out or a team gets stuck with a lesser player for the same money (because they didn't know another player would end up being available) are going to be the exception and frankly not that big a deal in the world of professional sports... where guys wash out all the time and teams get stuck with mediocre contracts all the time.