Hesitant Suggestions: Stajan for Gomez?



If you missed it yesterday, make sure to check out Cam Charron’s article on Scott Gomez and why the Canadiens most expensive forward is probably better than you think.

Brief summary: Gomez drives the play north. The Canadiens have the puck more when he plays and they tend to win more. His lack of goal scoring coupled with his outrageous cap hit stains his public perception, but the truth is he makes the team better.

Cam’s analysis made me wonder if there is any way the Flames might get their hands on Gomez. His cap hit is certainly a problem, but his skill set is something the team currently lacks and desperately requires: the ability to drive possession at ES. As anyone who has watched the Flames the last month or two can attest, Calgary doesn’t spend enough time in the offensive at 5on5 these days. Adding Gomez at center would help tilt the ice.

The $7M cap hit represents both an obstacle and an opportunity: the former, because Gomez is obviously overpaid at that price and would eat up a huge chunk of cap space. The latter because it is the reason he would be available at all.

Obviously Gomez at half rpice would be far more preferable. At some point the Canadiens might choose to do the waivers/re-entry thing with Scott if they feel the cap space would be better spent elsewhere, but there’s another way the Flames might be able to figuratively cut the cap hit "in half".

Trade Stajan for Gomez. Darryl Sutter’s folly has two years left on his contract at 3.5M (cap hit) per season. Absent a buy-out or demotion, the Flames are probably stuck with that deal. Unless, of course, they move him for another "problem" contract like Gomez. 

Sather’s misstep also only has two years left. Gomez’s cap hit is $7.35M, but the real dollars drop to 5.5M and 4.5M starting next season so the actual financial commitment isn’t as quite as intimidating.

The difference between Gomez and Stajan in terms of cap space is $3.85M. That would be the net addition and "true" cap hit for the Flames if they somehow made this trade, assuming no other parts are involved. Considered from that perspective, it’s not as insane a proposition as it seems on it’s face.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part. It’s possible the Canadiens have no interest in trading Gomez at all, or at least not for an expensive spare part like Stajan. There is also obvious other risks to adding a 31-year old with a huge contract and an apparent inability to put the puck in the ocean. I think it’s an idea worth considering nonetheless.

Something to think about during the festivities this weekend. If the Flames want to remain competitive during this transitory period, they’ll need to start getting creative.

  • Gomez + pick for Carter would never happen. Columbus is likely looking for something similar to what they paid for Carter – 1st rounder, 2nd rounder, and a GOOD current roster player.

    As far as the Gomez move, I’d say nyet on this one. Yeah, he drives the play north, yeah they win more with him around. The fact, however, is that the dude simply cannot score goals and is heavily over-priced. Unless you can get Gomez and Subban or Gomez and Eller for Matt Stajan, a pile of beans, and a crate of Finnish juniper brandy, I concur with the earlier post “turrrrrrrble”.

  • I had actually pondered this scenario at the time of the Bourque-Cammalleri trade. It would have had to include Stajan being sent to the Habs in the deal & the Flames claiming Gomez on re-entry tho.

  • Bob Cobb

    Being an Oiler fan I say do it, whats to lose, one underachieving overpaid forward for another who is more overpaid, sounds like a deal to me. Heck while your at it you want Horcoff? Could probably get him for a bag of pucks and a new set of tires for the Zamboni.

  • Bob Cobb

    I would absolutely do that deal.

    Both players are playing like shades of their true selves… Those contracts have crushed them I fear. A swap and new beginning might be a win-win trade for both teams.

    Also, though I wouldn’t expect Gomez to ever score in bunches, when he’s playing confidently his distribution skills are definitely 1st line quality.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’ve thought about and I believe I posted the concept as well a while back. I would consider for a few reasons. 1) Only if we get at least a 2nd in the deal but preferably a solid prospect. 2) We have cap space moving forward; that said, I would wait until after July 1st to see if we have better options. 3) what direction is the club going in? If we are not planning inserting the kids into the line up because we want to let them grow in the AHL, then fine, 2 years of that cap hit is ok.

    If they went that way, do we need Olli? We would still have Backlund, Jones, Horak, Bouma (I believe plays Center)….

  • xis10ce

    Something else to consider, while it is an expensive prospect the new CBA this summer might allow for the team to shed some Albatross contracts. In a situation like Stajans his Cap hit for the next 2 years is 3.5mil, but his real dollars is 2.5mil. MGMT might opt to pay him off (assuming there is a amnestty clause like in 2005?) And free up that cap space, then Stajan could be traded off with nothing holding him back for who knows what (id take “future considerations” at this point). There is a lot of ‘ifs’ in this scenario, but assuming the ifs line up would mgmt even eat that $5mil bullet?

  • Vintage Flame

    Interesting idea. I would think that even if he helped the team in the long run most GMs would be scared to take him just because of his infamy as a an expensive dud (who hasn’t scored in a year). If GMs want to keep their jobs for the long run it seems to be about fan perception as much as results. I might be wrong. To the rest of the NHL Feaster would look like such a fool… the same way Dutter did after throwing away Dion and after picking up Jokinen the second time (regardless of how that worked out). It would be a high-risk, low-reward sort of gamble. It would also, very pubically, rest squarely on that GM’s shoulders. I think Gomez will be sent down soon.

  • Gange

    In a word, no.

    I’ll take the 3.5 cap hit and work with that. Gomez “may” be a piece that works in the “go for it” mentality but there is no cap space for that type of folly.

    He’s not good enough for me to want to take that cap hit. Sure he’s better than Stajan but what does that really say about him?

      • Gange

        It’s compelling. It doesn’t change my answer though.

        He’d likely help Jarome score goals but that’s still a “win now” move rather than a “Stay competitive and rebuild” move. If they were to get him on re-entry, that’d be a whole different story.

        I will say that he’s clearly head and shoulders better than Stajan.

        • I can’t speak for Cam. I haven’t seen much of Gomez this year, but previously I always liked what I saw personally. Whenever I watch him I find it really surprising that he doesn’t produce more points.

          • Last year he didn’t produce because of truly ludicrous 5v5 on-ice shooting percentage: 4.73%!

            This year it’s a combo of injuries, cut-down icetime, and the Habs’ chronic failure to finish 5v4. His ESP/60 is back in the top-6 range, 1.84 (on assists alone obviously). His on-ice shooting percentage while 5v4: 2.17%. So yeah.

            Can’t say I’m intrigued by your suggestion as a Habs fan, Kent, but I happen to like Gomez. I’m also of the school of thought that the Habs can be competitive as early as next year and likely need Gomez to do it.

  • Vintage Flame

    Kent, I think you are right that the Flames need to start getting creative and thinking outside the box, and in that… The Gomez deal would warrant a look.

    However, this might be a little too outside the box for what the Flames need to look at. Despite the Cammalleri deal, Calgary can still effectively accomplish what they need to do with shedding contracts and moving in different players. I don’t think Gomez fits into this train of thought.

    If the Cap hit difference was only 1-1.5 million, or if Gomez was say 5 or 6 years younger, then I’d be all over the Flames at least exploring the idea. A 3.85 M difference and the fact that Scott is 31, I think kills the conversation.

  • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

    Maybe I’m out to lunch, but isn’t this the type of trade the flames could/should be able to also peel away a pick or prospect from the Canaiens for the ‘favor’.

    ie: Matt Stajan for Gomez + 2nd round pick or Ian Schultz? (only throwing Schultz that out there as I’m not too familiar with who is in the Habs system)

    I mean Stajan has been a total dog for the Flames, but isn’t Gomez a more expensive dog with fleas? I’ve come to accept that the Flames are likely stuck with Stajan. They might be able to find a taker when he has one year left on his deal and the Flames sweeten the pot with a pick/porspect themselves, or they may be able to give him the Hagman treatment, but I just don’t see the flames being able to find a takers.

    • Bob Cobb

      I thought at first that yes, they could probably get a 2nd back in the trade, but looking into it more, it might be tough. With all the stuff Kent said above, clearly Gomez is better than Stajan when neither are producing offensively. So then it would all come down to the salary. Since Gomez’s contract is front loaded, the Canadiens would only save $3mill over the 2 years left on the contracts. They did that already in the Cammalleri trade. They have $20 million in cap space this summer with Kostitsyn, Subban and Price to sign. I would think that at most Subban and Price sign for a combine $10 mill per and Kostitsyn may get a small increase. So they would still have $12 to spend on 2 defence and 4 forwards to fill out the roster, which is plenty.

      As bad a the Gomez contract is looking right now for Montreal, it is better than Stajan’s.

      Unless Subban and Price ask for way to much money, and then Montreal needs the extra $3 mill, then I really do not see any way they will throw in a top round draft pick to make the trade happen.

  • jeremywilhelm

    As much i am sure you are trusting the stats that Gomez is driving the play, i can tell you, from my experience watching this season, Gomez is terrible. Tuuuurrrrrrible. Bad luck or no, that contract is an albatross.

  • it makes sense in theory, I’d rather had Gomez playing top 6 than Stajan. I don’t think I would make this trade in midseason, but rather trade them in June/July when you have a better idea of who you are keeping off all the UFA’s and who you might sign of the free agents.

      • RexLibris

        Maybe he meant over the remaining course of Stajan’s contract? Just trying to give Mr. Stajan the benefit of the doubt here.

        Maybe I should have included the tildes (~) on that?

        Actually, I like the theory. And with the way Gauthier has played his hand lately (acting like it’s Bridge when everyone else is playing Blackjack) who knows what you could wring out of him and his organization. Gomez and Calgary’s 2nd round pick in 2013 for Stajan and a low-level prospect could even work. And Gomez would probably end up being one of those dumped-on players who revives, or at least re-invents, his career there.

        Be careful though, you could walk in looking to pick up some Gomez and walk out with a serious case of the Kaberle.