Flames Cap Crunch



With Feaster now cemented in the GM chair and Glencross signed, we can turn our attention to Calgary’s predicament heading into next season. With a few more dollars on the books (and yet another NMC), the Flames have a few players left to sign and a vanishingly small amount of cap space to do it with.

Forwards Cap hit
Iginla 7.00
Langkow 4.50
Stajan 3.50
Bourque 3.33
Hagman 3.00
Jokinen 3.00
Kotalik 3.00
Glencross 2.55
Backlund 1.27
Moss 1.30
Kostopolous 0.92
Ivanans 0.60
Jackman 0.55
Tanguay UFA
Morrison UFA
Modin UFA
Total 34.516

The org has 12 forwards under contract currently, although Raitis Ivanans is a good bet to spend the year on LTIR and at least one of Hagman or Kotalik will likely find themselves demoted or shipped to Europe. You can add another 3.60M in cap space if those assumptions prove to be accurate. The actual number will probably be about 30.916M as a result.

Bouwmeester 6.68
Giordano 4.02
Regehr 4.02
Sarich 3.60
Staios UFA
Pardy UFA
Babchuk UFA
Carson RFA
Mikkelson RFA
Total 18.32

With Giordano’s raise, the Flames back-end becomes even more top-heavy in 2011-12. The club has 18.32M committed to it’s default top-four and will probably need to sign at least two more veterans (one established enough to slip into the top-four comfortably in case of injury) and hope that one of Erixon or Brodie is good enough to step in and not struggle too much. Brodie’s cap hit is .741M while Erixon has yet to sign his big league deal. Look for his salary to land in Backlund’s ballpark (1.27M including bonuses).

These numbers highlight why Anton Babchuk is likely a goner this summer. Beyond the fact that he probably won’t be worth whatever contract he lands, the Flames probably don’t have the wherewithall to afford it anyways.

Kipper 5.83
Karlsson UFA
Total 5.83
Dawes Buyout 0.141
Total Cap 58.807

Including Ivanans and Kotalik, the Flames have about 58.807M already spoken for in 2011-2012. If the cap swells to $62M, Calgary has all of 3.913M to play with. If you delete Ivanans and Kotalik, the club has 6.793M in the bank, although that also creates two more holes to fill on the roster.

Going with the "Kotalik moves to Europe" scenario, Calgary will have to re-sign or replace Tanguay, Morrison, Pardy, Staios, Babchuk and Karlsson. With room for contigencies during the season. If the club reserves $1M cap space as a buffer, they’ll have about 5.793M to spread across 6 UFA’s, or an average of $966k per player.

Which isn’t a very good number. If he re-ups, Tanguay is a good bet to soak up at least half those dollars ($3M), dropping the available space down to 2.793 for six guys ($559k per player). That’s barely enough scratch to pay guys minimum wage under the current CBA, meaning something’s gotta give here. In addition to Kotalik and Ivanans, one of Stajan, Hagman, Kipper, Sarich or Regehr would also have to go away (with their replacements being much cheaper pieces) in order for the Flames to make it to October with a complete, cap-compliant roster that doesn’t boast five replacement level skaters.

Looking over each of the tables again re-affirms my belief that the best Calgary can hope for in 2011-12 is to run in place. If Tanguay re-signs, the next iteration of the Flames will probably look a lot like the last iteration, albeit slightly more expensive and probably with a rookie or two on the back-end.

        • Pfft. Oilers fan must wish Khabibulin was as functional as Bouwmeester and Bourque. Not only is he terrible the rare times he actually plays, he’s been either injured or a felon otherwise. Oh…and then there’s the small fact that his over-35 contract sticks to your books like glue and he was signed during a summer where the goalie market was saturated with other younger, cheaper options.

          Anyways, if we’re here to list errors, we might as well throw in Sheldon Souray, Shawn Horcoff, Tom Gilbert, the failed Vanek RFA sheet, the Chris Pronger fiasco, the failed Hossa whale hunt and the attempted Nylander signing. Those are off the top of my head, but I’m certain there’s more.

          There isn’t a team in the league Oilers fans can look down their noses at. Edmonton has been the saddest, most laughable franchise in the NHL since the summer of 2006 outside of the Glendale Arizona circus. Frankly, I don’t know why Oilers fans haven’t stormed Rectal place and burned the org’s stewards at the stake*

          *(and for any humorless Canucks fans reading this…yes, that’s a joke).

          • icedawg_42

            That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think, Kent?

            I mean if you want to compare hockey clubs the Flames have no information in the books since before 2004 anyway. I wouldn’t say Edmonton is the laughing stock of the NHL because at least they are profitable (4 times more profitable than the Flames) – go ahead and look up forbes.

            I am not even going to talk about decorations and records, because you stand zero chance in that category. Further, Edmonton’s upcoming talent is far superior to your talent. I mean come on Kent, your AHL affliliate is a joke too.

            You have how many NMC? Dollar for dollar the flames are one of the worst managed team in the nhl. Edmonton isn’t even spending to the cap and their fans love them. You guys don’t even have fans… you have newfies who like to drink and saskies that just like to drink and pretend they understand the game.

            If you wanna compare your organization to a team with similar embarrassing histories compare yourselves to the Canucks. We can handle it – believe me.

            As for that murdering your own teammates joke – that was just weird.

            The Oilers are a far superior hockey club than the Flames. Put something in your rafters before you open your ugly mouth – loser.

          • Vintage Flame

            Ohhh Toad, welcome back! I can’t believe you actually had or found the resources to get back on this site. Kuddos to you kiddo! 😉

            Please enlighten me to as how the Flames “are one of a handful of teams spending to the cap who failed to make the playoffs”, has anything to do with what we were just discussing?

            Now I know you were “just sayin”, but we all know that you are like that little geek in the corner that just barks out useless facts to get the attention of everyone or anyone else in the room.

          • Vintage Flame

            I’m an Oilers fan and I laughed at that.

            The only (and admittedly weak) rebuttal is that, the Oilers and Flames have won the exact same number of playoff rounds in the last 5 years. Zero.

  • It just reinforces that if the Flames are going to move forward, one of the big contracts has to move. I’m betting Regehr is the most tradeable of the 3 (others being Kipper and Sarich) but I’d love to see Feaster peddle Kipper to a goalie-starved team like Philly for a good young forward if he can do it.

  • Greg

    Resigning tanguay and running in place was about what I’ve been thinking would happen since we were eliminated last season. I actually didn’t even expect we’d be able to retain glencross, so that has to mean Feaster has already decided at least Kotalik won’t be here. I don’t expect being a flames fan to be much fun at all until close to the deadline next season. That’s when some if these contracts start becoming movable (Sarich, Hagman, Jokinen, etc) to teams looking for playoff depth, and we can start looking ahead to a full draft cupboard and actual cap space for the offseason. Perhaps by then we’ll have a new CBA with friendlier buy out terms so we can trim the rest of the fat sooner.

    Unless Langkow completely turns this team around, or Backlund or Stajan jump up into the 60 point range, or I suppose even Erixon or Brodie are Calder finalists next year, we are running on a treadmill until January 2012, waiting for “Daryl’s Dementia” phase of a few months in 2010 to finish running it’s course. Maybe we fight for a 7-8 spot, maybe we fight for a top 5 pick. Likely somewhere in between.

  • Robert Cleave

    “Brodie’s cap hit is .741M while Erixon has yet to sign his big league deal. Look for his salary to land in Backlund’s ballpark (1.27M including bonuses).”

    The problem with this is that I believe this is the last year on the current CBA which means that all bonuses count directly against the cap even if the player doesn’t get to those bonuses, I could be wrong, but I thought I remember reading that. So even if you go with Erixon getting the 1.27M, any bonuses built into his contract will be directly against the cap.

    I was really hoping that this year we would be going a lot younger all around and just seeing what happened. Giving Brodie, Erixon, Carson and Pardy all really good oppurtunties on the back end instead of picking up old guys(ie Staois) and taking roster spots from players who could really help us. Babchuk has to be gone, if we only have 7 million in cap space to work with, there is no way we shoudl commit any of that money to him without signing Tanguay first.

      • icedawg_42

        You know when I wrote that looking at your cap number I thought that the bonuses would be a lot higher for guys like Brodie and Backlund and all, however looks like the Flames still have manageable cap numbers for those bonuses. And hey maybe the NHL and NHLPA come out with a big surprise and work something out to not count bonuses against the cap, every little bit helps.

  • Robert Cleave

    I think Hagman’s gone, too. I’d suspect he’ll be replaced by a cheap 4th line type, with the left over money going to Tanguay. They could try to sign one more cheap forward with experience, and then cover off the last two spots on the roster with Meyer/Bouma level filler. Not optimal, but that would get them a more or less competent roster.

    On the back end, nothing would surprise me less than the team signing Carson and Pardy for cheap (like about 6-700k each), giving one kid a job, and flushing Staios, Mikkelson and Staios. Karlsson for about 750K or less, and that might be about it. Feaster did a bit of yakking yesterday re: a roster change, but unless he’s moving Reggie or Kipper, it’ll be tough to do.

  • icedawg_42

    Ok – now you’ve won the pic of the day contest! I wouldnt be surprised to see a Kotalik to Europ PLUS Hagman demoted scenario. I also think Reggie’s a good bet to be on the move. I think we’ll see a lot of rookies this year.