Early (early, early) Flames roster projections hint at possible prospect spots

Ari Yanover
July 02 2016 08:00AM

Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Going into free agency, the Flames were missing two obvious elements: right wingers and a backup goalie. Signing Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson addressed both issues.

The problem? There are still holes in the lineup that need filling in. So while it's far too early to do serious lineup projections for this team - some key members have only been around for a day - we can take a look at how things might fill out, and see where there's still opportunity.

This is still a very young team - and it could stay that way.

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The Flames complete goaltending changing of the guard

Ryan Pike
July 01 2016 04:20PM

Last season, the Calgary Flames had some problems – you might have heard. One of their big issues was that they were the worst National Hockey League club in terms of goaltending. Their save percentage was bad – an .898 overall. Their American Hockey League club in Stockton wasn't much better, posting a disappointing .896 save percentage overall.

So it probably wouldn't surprise you to learn that the Flames had planned off-season changes in goal. Last season's goaltenders on NHL contracts included Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Jon Gillies, Kevin Poulin, Joni Ortio and Niklas Backstrom (along with AHLer Kent Simpson). Gillies is the only surviving member of that group, and probably because (a) he was the only individual with a contract for 2016-17 and (b) he missed all of the games after November 6 due to hip surgery. Everybody else has been jettisoned (and when you see the results from last season, it's hard to argue against it).

Indeed, the Flames have very purposefully changed the net-minding guard throughout the organization.

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Why the Troy Brouwer signing looks bad for the Flames

Ari Yanover
July 01 2016 02:00PM

Despite being up tight against the cap, the Flames made a relatively big splash in the free agent market. They didn't sign one of the most expensive contracts of the day - with some of the dollars and term being tossed around, far from it - but signing Troy Brouwer to a four-year, $18 million deal is definitely notable.

Brouwer is big. He's a right winger. He has veteran experience. These all fit Calgary's needs.

That's about where it ends, though.

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Flames sign G Chad Johnson (1 year, $1.7m AAV)

Ryan Pike
July 01 2016 10:45AM

(Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames continue to revamp their goaltending. Per multiple Twitter reports, the club has signed veteran back-up Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million.

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Calgary Flames sign UFA Troy Brouwer: 4 years, $4.5 AAV

Ari Yanover
July 01 2016 10:38AM

Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Flames have jumped into the free agent frenzy, signing Troy Brouwer to a four-year deal worth $18 million.

Brouwer will be 31 years old to start next season, so he'll be 35 by the time his deal ends. He's a 6'3, 213 lb. right winger, filling the Flames' need for both size and, well, right wingers. He's been healthy throughout his career, having played full 82 game seasons five of the last six seasons; his career low is 69. Last season, he scored 18 goals and 39 points.

But that $4.5 million cap hit... how does that fit in?

As of now, Brouwer is the Flames' highest-paid forward.

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