Jay Feaster addressed the media on Monday afternoon with a number of interesting tidbits coming from his conversation. The first announcement was the contract extension of goaltender Henrik Karlsson, which is covered below, but Feaster also added new information regarding Alex Tanguay, Brendan Mikkelson and what the team is thinking heading into a very important two week period.
The Karlsson signing is an interesting one. To be honest, I don’t dislike it the same way Robert did on Twitter; I think it shows the confidence the Flames have in Karlsson going forward. I saw a ton of progression from the guy in his first season in North America, and if that progression continues, I think this signing might end up being a good one. If it doesn’t, it’s not the most difficult contract to send to the minors.
The biggest news item came regarding Alex Tanguay, as Feaster’s quote was "we’re not where we need to be" in negotiations with the pending unrestrcited free agent. When asked what the sticking point was, Feaster was very blunt in his response, retorting "it’s money," and leaving it at that. It leads me to believe that the current issue is not the length of a contract but moreso the annual salary, and it sounds a whole lot less optimistic than the last time we heard from the Flames GM. It also seems like a bit of a departure from the reports last week that the deal was close to being done, so we shall wait and see. I’d still be very surprised if Tanguay isn’t back next season, even with Feaster’s comments today.
Feaster revealed qualifying offers have been tendered to two pending restricted free agents in goalie Leland Irving and defenceman Brendan Mikkelson. The Irving one makes sense, he’s earned another contract, and he’ll likely accept that offer. I do wonder whether the QO tendered to Mikkelson gives us any indication as to the status of Adam Pardy’s future with the team, but that’s just speculation.
The Flames still have five pending RFA’s to deal with, if they so choose. Forwards John Armstrong and Hugo Carpentier along with defenders Matt Pelech, Josh Meyers and Gord Baldwin are all without offers at this point. It doesn’t mean offers cannot still be tendered, as that’s still a possibility for all five, but as I laid out last week, I only expect a select few to actually fall into that category.
Finally, the most refreshing piece of news came in the form of Feaster’s comments about buying out players. He was very adamant that buyouts are not something he wants to be getting into, which is the right way to go about things, plain and simple. There’s no need to waste money next year buying out guys like Cory Sarich and Niklas Hagman when it’s much more prudent to just be patient and ride out their contracts.