Flames Extend Matt Stajan

Kent Wilson
March 01 2010 10:40AM

Calgary Flames v Ottawa Senators

 

According to TSN, Matt Stajan has re-signed with the Calgary Flames to the tune of four years at $3.5M/season. There were some concerns that Dion Phaneuf was traded away for expiring contracts (Stajan, White, Mayers) but with this signing, Sutter has ensured the club will retain the two main pieces of deal from a Calgary perspective (Hagman and Stajan).

The contract is probably "fair" at best given Stajan's age and production. The 26 year old has once topped 50 points in the NHL, although he's never pierced the 20 goal mark. His underlying stats are fairly strong this year, despite playing on the Toronto Maple Leafs and he has yet to hit his ceiling in terms of developement. He's a pass-first center who is not overly big or physical and will probably top out at a "second line" pivot.

Stajan's contract is perhaps in line with his market value, but it's also unlikely to be "high value" unless he takes a real step forward in Calgary. His offensive results in 6 seasons have been just okay and there's no indications he'll turn into a "Bourque-like" forward who can drive results against any level of competition. In short, Calgary didn't overpay but there's no bargain here either.

With this signing, the Flames have essentially replaced Phaneuf's cap dollars with Hagman and Stajan going forward. The recent re-signing of Bourqe as well as the acquisition of Kotalik and the potential re-upping of Higgins, Calgary has their forward ranks pretty well solidified heading into the off-season. The club now has approximately $50 million in cap space tied up for next season with the likes of White, Boyd, Nystrom, Higgins, Conroy and Aaron Johnson needing to be re-signed or replaced.

Ironically, Darryl Sutter has gone in almost the exact opposite direction relative to the course he set this past offseason. The Flames began the year with a few big contracts up front and lots of money in the defense. It was suggested by myself and others that the Flames would be advised to re-invest some cap dollars in the forward corps given that disparity and the fact that forwards tend to drive possession in the NHL, but it took half a season of disappointing results and a 9 game losing streak to convince Sutter it seems.

It remains to be seen, however, if he's re-invested the dollars in the right players.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 R O
March 01 2010, 11:05AM
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In a word: overpay.

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#2 Bucknuck
March 01 2010, 11:15AM
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Hockey players traditionally peak their production between the ages of 25-30, so the best years should probably be coming with this player.

Not a terrible signing, but I think it is a bit of an overpay.

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#3 Arik
March 01 2010, 11:37AM
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I don't mind the deal in and of itself, but I hate what it means for the club long term. We have too many good (but not great)players making $3M or more. It's fine for a second line, but not a second, third, and d-pairing.

As usual, I expound more at my place.

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#5 therealdeal
March 01 2010, 02:40PM
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Don't really like it, I think the cap space is worth more than Stajan.

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#6 RossCreekNation
March 01 2010, 02:51PM
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Here's something to think about...

I wonder if this extension means Daymond Langkow's days here could be numbered. Perhaps the Flames, in an effort to get a younger core, targeted a younger version of Langkow with the intent of replacing him. Prior to the big trade with the Leafs, I had been looking around to see if I could find a younger version of Daymond, and Stajan was one of the names I considered. As Kent mentions, he has good underlying numbers and likely tops out as a real good 2nd line center. Sounds kinda like Lanks, no?

Langkow will be 34 to start next season and making $4.5M. Perhaps replacing him with a 26 year old with similar attributes (even if he's not yet as well rounded) is a decent idea.

Is 26yr old Matt Stajan @ $3.5M >> 34yr old Daymond Langkow @ $4.5M ??

Just throwing it out there... could the Flames move Langkow this off-season? With two years left on his deal, and essentially two 2nd line centers, are the Flames still in pursuit of a legitimate 1st line center? Guess we'll see.

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#8 RossCreekNation
March 01 2010, 02:56PM
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Also, I felt Stajan would get around 3.25. Not far off I guess, but I would like to have seen it around 3.

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#10 RossCreekNation
March 01 2010, 03:04PM
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@Kent Wilson

I'd agree Langkow is better right now. But if you had to pick one of those two moving forward...?

And if "downgrading" from Langkow to Stajan also means adding an additional $1M (savings from Stajan over Lanks) to spend on a legit #1C (whomever that may be), then perhaps its worth it. Maybe I'm grasping...

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#12 R O
March 01 2010, 07:51PM
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Let's get real here, Langkow is pure quality. He's been outscoring quality for a while, Stajan can't hold his jock. If the choice is 2 years of Langkow vs. 4 years of Stajan then then you take the former with a bullet. It's hard to win championships in this league, screw the future.

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