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.
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.
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.
Chad Johnson to CAL. One year deal— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2016
Chad Johnson to CGY on one year deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2016
Johnson signed for $1.7 in CAL for the season.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2016
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.
July 01 2016 10:00AM
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
July 1 is a fun time to be a hockey fan. For one thing, a lot of hockey fans are Canadians. Happy Canada Day, Flames Nation! Here's to pancakes and beer and moose and whatever else that's quintessentially Canada you want to celebrate. (Also, Calgary Stampeders home opener tonight!)
But one of the best parts about it? It's the official start of the new season in the NHL. The 2015-16 season is dead, and the 2016-17 has come to take its place. Up first: starting right now, as of 10 a.m. MT, all unrestricted free agents are available to be signed by anyone.
Steven Stamkos contributed to the insanity that was June 29 by deciding to stay put, so Stammergeddon went out with a whimper. And the Flames don't have a ton of cap space with which to work - not once they re-sign Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, which will be any day now, maybe - so we likely won't get to partake in too much emotional investment while big names choose their new destinations.
But it's still a fun day to sit down, relax, and watch some TSN or some baseball. Let's hang out here while we do so.