That Malone is in the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program run jointly by the league and players association might not matter. Though the collective bargaining agreement does not specifically address the issue, it is believed the NHL's position is a player in the program can be bought out because his absence from the team is not hockey related.
Unlikely, since that might discourage a player from coming forward to admit a problem and sign up for rehab. He may calculate that he can "suck it up" and "handle" his problem quietly on his own long enough to finish his contract if it means avoiding a potential buyout and the loss of substantial ca$h
The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. –-Plato
Hell, even when we're NOT indifferent to public affairs, look at what we still get. --Top Shelf