Waiting for Gaudreau: The biggest contracts in Calgary Flames history

Ryan Pike
September 08 2016 08:00AM

We're now into World Cup of Hockey season, meaning we may be waiting for a while for news relating to Johnny Gaudreau's contract extension. With this lull, it's probably a good time to take a look at some of the richest deals in club history – particularly given Sean Monahan's recent long-term, big-money extension.

Here's a brief snapshot of the most expensive deals in Flames history. Where do you think Gaudreau's deal, whenever it occurs, will fall within these lists?

Active contracts are bolded.

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5 X-factors for the Flames this season

Ari Yanover
September 07 2016 02:00PM

The 2016-17 season looks to be one of transition for the Calgary Flames. No, they aren't ready to contend - not yet. At the same time, they need to move up from the bottom of the barrel. High draft picks are only fun in June; for the other 11 months of the year, they're a miserable reminder of just how much your team of choice has failed.

The goal this year should be to be on the playoff bubble. Preferably inside the playoffs - and it's possible - but at least being just on the outside looking in would be a sign of improvement. It wouldn't carry the baggage of hopelessness like it did at the start of the decade, either; not now that this team actually has a collection of good young players and prospects.

It's a big ask, though. This is a team that finished in the bottom five in the standings the season before. We're asking them to ideally jump up 10 slots or so.

Here are five players who could be key in that happening.

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Treliving has staggered the important expiring deals

Ryan Pike
September 07 2016 11:00AM

As the hockey world – at least the part of it that focuses on the Calgary Flames – waits for Brad Treliving to finally get Johnny Gaudreau to sign a contract, it might be interesting to look ahead a bit.

We may criticize some of the moves Treliving's made, and the deals he's inherited are hamstringing the team in terms of the salary cap. But when you look into the future, this season may be the one remaining pinch point before they have a lot of flexibility.

All of the team's big deals are space out quite nicely.

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Got a problem? Give Brad Treliving a year, he'll fix it

Ari Yanover
September 07 2016 08:00AM

When musing on why acquiring Brian Elliott was a smarter move than Ben Bishop, something Toofun said in the comments caught my eye:

"All together it takes our biggest liability from last year and turns it into an opportunity."

At this time last year, the Flames' goaltending didn't look like it was going to be that horrible; of course, we know how that turned out. So while there aren't any certainties heading into this season, we still have a lot more hope going in to 2016-17.

That's what Brad Treliving did: he took the club's biggest weakness and turned it into a cause for hope.

Sound familiar?

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Stat Shot is illuminating and informative

Ryan Pike
September 06 2016 02:00PM

I honestly cannot remember the first time I read Rob Vollman's work on advanced statistics and hockey analytics. I'm sure it had to have been sometime around 2005 or 2006, but by that time he'd already become ubiquitous with what I like to call "looking at hockey with an academic sensibility." After a few years of working in relative obscurity, Vollman has broken through into a mainstream niche as the go-to guy in analytics – evidenced by his column on NHL.com and plentiful radio hits on places like Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

Vollman's first print book, Hockey Abstract Presents... Stat Shot: The Ultimate Guide to Hockey Analytics, is exactly what you would expect from him – it's what he's been doing, but on a larger scale. To put it another way: if his previous editions of the Hockey Abstract were his Evil Dead, Stat Shot is his Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. It is an extension of his previous work, but on a much larger scale.

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