Where Do The Flames Sit Heading Into the Summer?

 

 

Following the completion of the season, Flames general manager Jay Feaster (and several players) expressed that their team is in a decent good place going forward.

They’re not entirely wrong. While the team on the ice is what it is – there are a lot of holes – but the club does have a bounty of resources at their disposal heading into the summer. A look at how the Flames sit compared to their counterparts in three areas can give a glimpse as to how the club sits, and who may be ideal trade partners going forward.

DRAFT PICKS

The Flames have nine picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. That’s three firsts (their own, Pittsburgh’s and St. Louis’), a third, a fourth, Columbus’ fifth, a sixth and two sevenths (their own and Ottawa’s). That’s a lot of picks.

Only five teams have more: Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville and Winnipeg. The Kings don’t have a first, while Buffalo has two of them. If you’re interested in picks in the first three rounds, Buffalo has five, Dallas has three, the Kings have two, Nashville has two and Winnipeg has six. Calgary has four.

On the other end of the scheme, New Jersey and the New York Rangers have four draft picks apiece, while Anaheim, Carolina and Chicago only have five. And the Rangers and Penguins have zero picks in the first two rounds between them.

This is the first time in franchise history the Flames have had three picks in round one. It will be interesting to see if they use all three or deploy some of them as trade assets in order to move up, add more picks later or trade for a roster player.

NHL CONTRACTS

If you have a lot of NHL deals for 2013-14 already, it’ll be hard to do anything over the summer. If you have very few, you have flexibility. The maximum is 50.

The Flames have 30 players under contracts for 2013-14, with another 13 guys being restricted free agents. A good bet is only about half those guys will actually be retained by the organization. The only teams with fewer committed deals for next season are Winnipeg (19), St. Louis (26), Columbus (28), New Jersey (28) and Florida (29).

Teams who may be looking to unload bodies? Philadelphia (41), Detroit (40), Boston (39), Ottawa (39), Dallas (38) and the Rangers (38).

CAP SPACE

Here’s where things get hairy for most of the league, as the NHL’s salary cap is dropping to $64.3 million next season. Presuming that Miikka Kiprusoff doesn’t retire, the Flames have roughly $19 million in cap space. If he retires  or the team buys him out, that number swells to just under $25 million. If that’s the case, only the Islanders ($29.7 million) and Winnipeg ($29.3 million) would have more cap space, although the Flames undoubtedly have more actual budget room in terms of real dollars to spend than either of those clubs. In effect, the Flames would have the fattest wallets in the league heading into the summer.

Teams that are nervous include the Flyers ($70.7 million), Montreal ($65.7 million), Vancouver ($64.4 million), Anaheim ($63.4 million), Chicago ($62.6 million) and Tampa Bay ($60.9 million). There’s another handful of teams that are just below them (Washington, Boston, Carolina, Pittsburgh) and have a lot of money spent but have some holes in their NHL rosters for next year (and some key bodies left to re-sign).

This obvsiously positions the Flames well to take advantage of some desperate clubs looking to shed some dollars. Calgary may be able to strip a useful player or two out of the cap crunched in the league, or, alternatively, trade cap space for salary dumps in return for some useful futures (prospects or picks).

Conclusion

The Flames are entering the off-season with an unprecedented amount of first round picks and financial flexibility. Although the team on paper is underwhelming, Flames management is at least positioned to set the club on the right path as they take their first few steps for the rebuild.

  • What I’ve learned from being life time of Flames fanaticism, especially more so the past few years, is that they NEVER do what all of us armchair GM’s predict.

    In this case, I am relieved, because I don’t think going after FA’s or eating horrible contracts left right and center for draft picks are all that great of ideas.

    What I would be ok with is targetting teams who don’t know what they have in strong possession players – remember how we got GlenX? More of those kind of moves!

  • T&A4Flames

    One more thing… I know I’ve said before I think moving up in the draft is highly unlikely, but I’d attempt to move heaven and earth to get into the top 3. I’d move anyone not named Backlund//Baertschi to get that 6th pick into the top 3. Including eating salary. Maybe Cammy would be attractive if we ate some of his salary using the new CBA rules.

  • T&A4Flames

    Oh, and trading Wotherspoon to COL for Statsny is silly in my opinion. He’s our best D prospect and Statsny is another over paid player with declining numbers. I would take because he falls within my above suggestions, just not for a solid prospect. That would be counter productive.

  • Seriously though. It’s so weird to see the same people that lambasted Feaster for re-signing Sarich and Babchuk turn around and suggest that the Flames trade for Vinny Lecavalier. And then buy him out. Paying $XX MILLION dollars per year for 14 YEARS for a player, just to move up a couple spots in the draft seems ludicrous. Talk about selling your future out from under you.

    Ask the Islanders how they feel about STILL paying Alexei Yashin to go away.

  • @piscera.infada

    Last half of what? I read the whole article, don’t you fret. I just have a different opinion than some of you it would appear.

    @SmellOfVictory

    I said that signing Clarkson would be good, so I’m not necessarily saying “no UFAs at all”. I simply would prefer “no UFAs at all” to the trade / UFA signing proposals I’ve read here.

    As far as your specific point, the Flames also have GlenX, who played hard minutes with the OMG line. They also have Cammalleri, Hudler, and Tanguay, who can do support minutes. Isn’t Reinhart supposed to be developing towards a hard minute, two-way player? I see your point though. I don’t like David Booth – once again, he was a moderately-good player on a terrible team (someone had to be able to score on that team) and his injury history scares me. If he came to the Flames and contributed in this fashion, I would be proven wrong (and that would be okay).

    I stick by my assertion. I would rather have kids challenging for spots and playing on the team, as opposed to what the Flames have done in the past (which was to crowd out the kids with the signing of post-apex vets). Knee-jerk reaction signings of UFAs to big deals “JUST BECAUSE” isn’t a good enough reason, in my opinion.

    @Parallex

    The reason I don’t like that Timmonen deal is twofold. First, he’s 38. The Flames already sat an aging D-man all season (Sarich), why do they need another one? Smith will be back next season and he’s serviceable enough for a bottom-pairing D. I do, however, see your point that it couldn’t hurt the Flames really by having Timmonen (and they do need an extra top-6 D-man or two).

    Second, as I stated in my post, that first rounder won’t necessarily be the next Zetterberg or Shea Weber. Flames have a poor development history and I would only be open to taking on more first rounders if they were going to be used to bring in a good, young roster player/prospect. Or for trading up into the top 3/4.

    @T&A4Flames

    Regarding my contradictory sentence. There is a long list of poorly developed Flames prospects (Matt Lombardi and Dustin Boyd to name two) and a very short list of prospects currently on the Flames roster or in the system (who will make the NHL full time) that were actually drafted by Calgary. As I’m about to explain, the part about “playing the kids” was in reference to what I would prefer IF all these scenarios were actually in Feaster’s radar of capabilities. I don’t necessarily think that’s a wise move though, and I never said it was a good idea. You’re right, it’s the fiery, decaying path straight to Shelbyville.

    I never said that I was hoping for Calgary “to do nothing”. Actually, I said that I would rather have the Flames do nothing, IF what they were going to do was sign Nathan Horton, David Booth, and trade for Kimmo Timonen (as proposed here). Two with a long injury history and one who is 38, almost 39. I disagree that Timonen will be all that valuable, or that the Flames would get much else for him. Sorry, I just disagree with you on that point.

    Besides, have we known Jay Feaster to be all that good at trading?

    And I’m not insulting anyone. I just disagree with your proposals, it’s that simple. You all have your opinions, and I have mine; who’s to say what’s right and what isn’t? I’m still allowed to disagree with people

    I’ve had many thoughts on how this team should proceed, and I’ve stated them many times. Since you want to hear specifics, here are a couple examples. I thought CGY should’ve signed Subban to an offer sheet (I know we don’t have a 2nd so that would’ve been impossible); I think David Clarkson should be targeted; I think Michael Frolik should be targeted; I think Wotherspoon should be traded to Colorado in some sort of deal for Stastny; finally, I was an early adopter of the “Free Iginla” movement. These are my opinions, critique them as you might.

    Once again, regarding the draft picks, high draft picks do not equivocate to good players. See: Kidd, Trevor. Krahn, Brent. Daigle, Alex. A “deep draft” does not imply that the whole 1st round will be Duchenes. It implies that a lot of those players will simply make the NHL. Having 10 first round picks wouldn’t mean a thing if 9 of those 10 ended up as career AHLers/NHL 4th liners. If the Flames took on picks, I would like to see them used wisely in a trade, either up in the draft, or for “proven” prospects and/or younger roster players. That’s another thing I believe they should do moving forward.

    • T&A4Flames

      People should have opinions and i will not disrespect that. I just don’t like when others disrespect others opinions. You can certainly disagree but I want to see counter arguments and not just insults. I don’t think that’s what you were doing but I didn’t see other options from you either.

      Anyway,re: the Timmonen thing. Maybe he brings in another asset at the DL, mabe not. But he would with a trade to take his contract. That should be the focus here. But he’s still a top 3 Dman.

      Acquiring quality RFA’s is difficult and unlikely. If CGY Is going to expedite the rebuild process then they have to make deals like this IMO. You’re right to an extent in wanting to get proven young players but we need multiple assets to acquire those types of players. Gaining extra draft picks gives us more options. Ultimately we have to use what remaining assets we have to get what we want. IMO trading away guys like GlenX and Gio hurts us more going forward than could possibly help. So we’re left with cap space and a few guys that we could still move out, like say Tanguay and/or Cammi.

      If we could get a guy like Couturier or similar, go for it. I just don’t see us having the proper assets at this time to get a player like that.

      And nobody here would take on Lecavalier at $5.2per if their 3rd overall somehow came with it? He’s not useless, he’s a still decent center man. 4-5 of the remaining 7yrs could still be helpfull to this team. Think of Jbo, over paid but this team would have been hurting a lot more if we traded him 2 yrs ago.

  • Franko J

    I think the team should be pretty reserved when it comes to free agency and taking on uneccessary bloated contracts.

    The free agent pool this summer appears to be pretty thin. Very few players who are available will or can improve the fortunes of Flames come next season. The smartest choice for the Flames would be is to go after the RFA market. While it is harder to obtain an RFA player without giving up something, some teams may not have a choice due to the salary cap and might have the hard decision to release some of their RFA’s.

    When it comes to the draft I like to see the Flames continue to move roster players for further picks. Keep the three first round picks and build the team through the draft like St.Louis, LA, and Ottawa has done.

  • Derzie

    Here are the UFAs I could live with. No post-apexers in the list:
    Klinkhammer, Rob »
    Fistric, Mark »
    Horton, Nathan »
    Bozak, Tyler »
    Brunner, Damien »
    Raymond, Mason »
    Stalberg, Viktor »
    Bickell, Bryan »
    Chipchura, Kyle »
    Wolski, Wojtek »
    Johnson, Nick »
    Cracknell, Adam »
    MacArthur, Clarke »
    Clitsome, Grant »
    Sulzer, Alexander »
    Drewiske, Davis »
    Richardson, Brad »
    Clarkson, David »
    Bouchard, P. »
    Lovejoy, Ben »

    • Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea

      I’d like to say this is my worst nightmare, but we’ve all seen the Flames do this before. Bozak? It’ll cost us $4.5M for another Stajan. Overpay to have Horton and Bouchard spend half the year in quiet dark rooms? Wolski? Raymond? Really? Why would we overpay for mediocre players just because that’s what we’ve done in the past? Sh#t, did I just answer my own question?

  • Jeff Lebowski

    When you look at top teams, the common thread is they have a LOT of very good payers. Chicago: Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Hossa etc.

    Pitt, Bos etc just look at the rosters.

    Calgary has no one even close. They have so far to go and I fear them using cap space to bring in high priced castoffs.

    Are they gonna get a 27 yo high salary or a 33 yo high salary in a cap deal?

    It’s imperative, IMO that they move up and get elite offensive guys and swallow the pill of being bad for a few years.

    EDM has a lot of those high end players needed. They are infinitely closer but they had to go through what they went through. You can’t buy your way outta this. I wasn’t for the slow and painful in the past but now here it’s what Calgary has to do.

    I’d be willing to wait, accumulate and suffer more playoff less seasons if it means entertaining hockey with a team that eventually resembles the Kings. Big, young, skilled.

    • Parallex

      EXACTLY. Couldn’t agree more. Slow clap.

      I think a lot of people would be willing to accumulate and suffer IF a plan was put in place and clearly communicated. Right now it appears as if mgmt is floundering for a quick fix and it scares me.

      But you hit the nail on the head about the best teams having a lot of good players, and these players being acquired through drafting not signed as UFAs hitting their jackpot contract right before they go post apex and start becoming declining assets.

      • please cancel acct

        Hossa was not drafted by Chicago but continues to play a lead roll.The Kings picked up Carter and Richard’s who also play a big roll.

        Edmonton on the other hand has never added players that play big rolls.

        Adding good player’s make sense at any time.

        • T&A4Flames

          Chicago would be with us in the lottery if they didn’t have Kane, Toewes, Keith and Seabrook. Hossa is a nice add, but is far from the driving force on the team.

          LA would likewise be terrible without Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, Quick. Carter is a nice add, but far from the driving force on the team.

          I’m not debating if its a good idea to add these types of players. It clearly is. But adding them without FIRST having 3 or 4 elite players of your own is a fools errand. Its what this team has done for 10 years, and it leads to perpetual mediocrity, playoff bubbles and 15th overall picks.

          I see no value in adding complimentary players unless they are in their early 20s and can grow with Backlund/Sven etc. The problem is that good players younger than 25 are not available except by trade or possibly offer sheet. But we don’t exactly have a lot of assets to start trading anything away.

          IMO, that leaves us with 1 option and it involves a slow, methodical, painful rebuild. I know I’ll get blasted but I think the Oilers did it exactly right. I do think they have bungled it this year, but until now I think they have the perfect plan to setup a powerhouse for 10+ years. 3 years ago when they decided to commit to rebuilding and drafted Hall & Nugent Hopkins in consecutive years. Thats what we need. Laugh and point all you want because their management has clearly bungled things this year, but you cannot deny that they have the equivalents of Toews, Kane, Sharp etc in place. Now they need to add complimentary players. We can’t skip the pain and just start adding complimentary players, its pointless.

          So at least 1 more year of bottom 5 finish after this year, and I think every single UFA deal, trade or signing from this team should revolve around a 2-3 year trajectory that includes another bottom 3 finish in 2013-2014.

  • After reading the trade/UFA proposals that people have posted here, I’m glad you people aren’t the GM.

    Nathan Horton? He’s had at least 2 concussions and is probably high on the list of “keeps” for the Bruins.

    David Booth? Canucks overpaid for him, and he’s been injured a lot. His numbers are terrible, and he’s getting older. He’s like Matt Stajan – the only reason he ever had good numbers was because he played for a sh*t team. Somebody HAD to score.

    Kimmo Timmonen? He’s just turned 38 in March. No. Just, no.

    Lecavalier? No. No. Not at all. Why are you even suggesting this?

    I understand these are all fantasy scenarios, but get real. Just because the Flames stock up on picks doesn’t mean those picks will mean anything in the long run. You actually have to pick a half-decent player and hope you develop them properly. This team has NEVER shown the ability to do this properly. Ovechkins and Crosbys don’t just fall out of the woodwork either.

    Trading for Lecavalier, or Timmonen, just to get another first is ridiculous. I’d rather the Flames trade with no one, and sign no UFAs, and give the kids we have now a chance at playing.

    That said, I wouldn’t mind David Clarkson, and believe him to be one of the top 3 UFAs this summer. It would definitely be an overpay, IF New Jersey lets him go. I don’t think they do.

    • T&A4Flames

      Ok, so you say “This team has NEVER shown the ability to do this properly.” (develop) in one sentence and then “give the kids we have now a chance at playing.”

      Since I was the guy saying the Timmonen thing I’ll clarify my reasoning. Yes, we would get a good asset along with him. And yes I think we would get a decent return at the deadline as well. In 2 summers/drafts we will have stocked out prospect cupboards. Then we can focus on putting the pieces together to challenge for PO again.

      You’re not really suggesting anything. You’re hoping that CGY does nothing but hope to god that things work out. That is the quickest way to end up like EDM. If you have better ideas, by all means, share them. Don’t just come on here and insult thise of us who want to try and think about scenarios that could work and offer no opinion ither than “do nothing!” Ultimately that will just lead to what you don’t seem to want, more high draft picks.

      I don’t get you.

    • Parallex

      How would trading for Timonen to get another 1st be a bad thing? Timonen isn’t signed longterm (and is still a pretty decent player). If Philly were to offer up their first and Timonen at a discount rate I’d say yes and laugh all the way to the bank. That would be fantastic deal! So fantastic I don’t think Philly would do it.

    • SmellOfVictory

      No UFAs? Do you want to just dress 20 kids every night and let some of them get absolutely destroyed? It would behoove the Flames to have at least one, maybe two, full forward lines of vets who can be thrown out as checkers without getting killed. Currently they have 2.5 forwards who can handle that kind of job: Backlund, Stempniak, and Stajan. 2-3 guys who can handle themselves defensively would be huge for the team; they don’t have to score, just get the puck out of their own end and into the offensive end. That’s why I think Booth would be a good pickup (assuming he does get bought out).

      And if they did get one or two of these defensive guys, that would mean shipping out someone like Tanguay, if possible. The last thing this team needs right now is a veteran soft minutes point producer.

      • piscera.infada

        Backlund, Stempniak, Stajan, Glencross, Tanguay, Cammi – too many vet forwards – we need to move a ferw more over the next couple of seasons, but as to your point – we already have plenty of supporting vets. We really don’t need to add more unless it brings back a player like Couturier or a top 10 1st rounder. But to just sign UFAs, I don’t get it. Why sign a UFA anyways when you can just trade for a vet along with a pick or prospect. And even, the merits have to be very carefully considered.

        • SmellOfVictory

          My thinking is that you pick up useful UFA vets, if possible, and trade a couple of the existing ones (again, Tanguay being the prime example) who might have shinier numbers. I can’t believe I forgot Glencross in my list, though.

          The idea for the vets, in my opinion, should be to go for a Nashville-style team: a decent number of guys who are solid defensively, but don’t put up big numbers. Then you fill in the other half of your roster with the kids like Baertschi and Reinhart. It’d theoretically give them a cushion of territorial advantage on the ice, while allowing the Flames to acquire assets (picks, prospects) for the guys who put up gaudier numbers.

          Targets for moving out would be Tanguay (definitely), Cammalleri (maybe), Stajan (maybe), and Hudler (maybe). None of them is a world beater in terms of puck possession, but they all (well Stajan to a smaller extent) have the nice-looking scoring numbers that could make them a draw to other teams who want to add a little extra.

    • piscera.infada

      “I understand these are all fantasy scenarios, but get real. Just because the Flames stock up on picks doesn’t mean those picks will mean anything in the long run. You actually have to pick a half-decent player and hope you develop them properly. This team has NEVER shown the ability to do this properly. Ovechkins and Crosbys don’t just fall out of the woodwork either.

      Trading for Lecavalier, or Timmonen, just to get another first is ridiculous. I’d rather the Flames trade with no one, and sign no UFAs, and give the kids we have now a chance at playing.”

      ^^^ WHAT YOU SAID!

  • T&A4Flames

    I like Clarkson. The type of player the Flames need to be targeting. I think there will be a lot of teams after him though. Might be tough to convince him to come West to a rebuilding team.

  • T&A4Flames

    Honest question… When was the last time a UFA went to a lottery team? And I don’t mean the leftover UFAs still hunting for work in August.

    My gut tells me never, but there may be examples that say otherwise, I’m just not sure.

    Personally I think we’d have to overpay X2 to get any UFA to come here, and I fail to see the point at this point. You get UFAs when you are ready to take the next step, not when you are at ground zero of a rebuild or retool or whatever you want to call it. Any UFA you get now will be declining in 2-3 years when our kids are starting to mature. Its pointless…

    But the bottom line is that I think its wishful thinking bordering on lunacy to think any good player with teams fighting for his services will choose to come here. I’d be happy to be proven wrong by historical examples.

      • piscera.infada

        Not sure if you’ve been to Florida, but its… well.. not Calgary. But Florida in 2011 was an example. But that also reinforces my point…. How’d that work for Florida? Overpaying for second rate UFAs in an attempt to speed retool on the fly. It gets you 30th place a few years after….

        @Sincity1976 – You can’t compare Minnesota last year to us this year. We are on the steep decline, they were treading water. And it was sort of a unique situation since Parise AND Suter both went there, and both admitted it wouldn’t have happened without them both agreeing as a package. There is no such scenario this year….

        I just think we are overvaluing cap space. It does you no good if you just end up overpaying UFAs who only come for money or because they got passed over.

        I’ll come back on here and tip my hat and give big props to Feaster if he can land any of big UFAs this year.

        • Jeff Lebowski

          Minnesota also had/has a very deep crop of prosepcts ready to step in. Calgary does not. Very different circumstances. Parise and Suter are meant to be finishing pieces, not bridges.

    • T&A4Flames

      Minnesota picked 7 last draft but acquired the top two free agents. I agree attracting free agents is going to be difficult for Calgary. Especially with the lack of high profile free agents on the market. But with our cap space are certainly in the conversation for some free agents.

  • T&A4Flames

    I want Feaster to be that dirty hooker on 4th ave holding a sign saying “will do anything for a 1st rounder”.

    Some scenarios:

    To Calgary-Heatley(1 year left 7.5mill) & Minny’s 1st for Tanguay

    To Wash: Butler & our Pitt 1st round pick for Alzner

    To Tampa: Butler, Granlund, Stl 1st, 2014 2nd for Ohlund(cap hit 3.6 for 3 more years) & 2013 1st

    To Philly: Pitt 1st, Butler for Mezaros & the 2013 1st

    To Philly: Our 1st 6th overall,Butler, Tanguay(they need left wingers) for Bryz & Couturier & their 1st 12th overall

    To Chic: Butler(wanna get rid of him), our 3rd rounder for Olesz(3.1 dump for next year) & their 1st

    Something along those lines:)

  • T&A4Flames

    Montreal is one of the richest franchises in the league. They can just buyout Kaberle rather then give up a high 2nd in a deep draft.

    Re Lecavalier there is noway to make that happen. Tampa isn’t going give up big assets to unload him and the Flames aren’t in a position to take on a 33 year old with 7-years left under contract.

    • T&A4Flames

      Unless they trade for hVinny and the Flames do the buy-out.

      Interesting point – should Flames target Coutuier-types of just go after more 1st rounders?

      • T&A4Flames

        With Vinny, comsider this. We trade to acquire Vinny and a VERY GOOD asset. We buy out (preferably only part, maybe half- based on my earlier question) Vinny. TBL resign him. What is that worth to TBL?

        If Couturier types are available, that’s what I would take. I would help quicken the rebuild. Although, if it’s a top 10 pick I would consider that depending on what may still be on the board if it’s a draft day deal.

  • I would absolutely sign Horton. He has been on the top of my ‘to sign’ list since it was clear the Flames were rebuilding.

    He turns 28 this month so he is in the right age bracket. When he is healthy he is a dominate power forward that can play both ends of the ice. And he plays RW and we are weak there on the roster and in the system.

    The Flames have the cap space to take a risk on Horton. We also have the risk tolerance since nobody is expecting us to be going for a cup next season. If Horton works out that would be a huge success in moving the franchise forward.

    That said, the Flames have to be careful on term. 2 or 3 years maximum.

    • piscera.infada

      I agree with Parallelx on this one. The guy will want dollars and term. If we sign him to 2-3 years, his skills will likely decline by the time he’s 32 (wont be an awful player, but enough to impact his salary in his next contract). Thus, his goal will be to maximize term – making 2-3 years a non-starter.

      In my mind, if the Flames make a desperate push for Horton it symbolizes that they have not learned their lesson over the past several years, and I will be joining the hoards demanding new management for this team.

      • Parallex

        I’d actually be fine giving Horton term (4-5 year range). It’s not so long that he’d fall off a cliff at the end, fills an immediate and medium-term need and I’m a big fan of Horton.

        Tough figuring out dollars though… what is Horton’s cost/worth in the upcoming cap environment?

        • What’s the point in acquiring Horton though? If the goal is to rebuild then Horton’s best days will be long behind him by the time the Flames are really rolling. I think that salary can be better spent elsewhere.

          • Parallex

            … the point is to get a really good hockey player? What else would it be?

            If F.O. statements are to be believed the Flames are trying to rebuild while remaining competative. Horton easily makes the team more competative. It’s not like the Flames lack for cash or cap and there’s little better out there to spend it on (I’d argue nothing better). I suppose you could go looking for older, cheaper, shorter-term options but none of them will be as good a hockey player as Horton. Since other are trumpating him, I’ll also say that I wouldn’t mind Clarkson either… but he’s a bit older and I have no idea what he’d be looking for in either dollars or term. Regardless, if the Flames pick one of them up I’d like them to also move Tanguay.

        • piscera.infada

          I think he can ask for what he wants – he’s been there done that (as far as playoff hockey).

          I guess I can agree to disagree though – I’m not a big fan of his, I think he’s a tad overrated.

    • Parallex

      Two or three years won’t get it done, this is going to be Horton’s only prime years UFA contract so he’s got to make it count (he’s also the best forward on the free agent market this year, pre-buyouts, so he’ll have no shortage of people offering him more term then that).

      • T&A4Flames

        Then you don’t sign a deal. But I don’t agree. Horton’s declining production and injury risk may mean that no team is willing to give him a long term contract.

        • T&A4Flames

          I wonder, with the dropping cap and possible concerns over his health, would the Horton camp be interested in signing a big 1 or 2yr contract to prove he feels good. He’d still be 29 at the end and could sign a much more lucrative contract then. Very risky, though, for him.

  • T&A4Flames

    Kent, Ryan, anyone with better knowledge than I have, how does the buyout thing work with salary retention?

    This goes back to one of the earlier blogs but for instance, we make a trade with TBL for their 1st and take Lecavalier’s stupidly monstrous contract but TBL retain $2.5mil of his cap for each of the 7 years remaining. CGY management decides to buy him out at 2/3rd his salary. Does TBL have the option to buyout that $2.5per yr? Can they buyout if CGY doesn’t? Can CGY buyout if TBL doesn’t?

    If TBL retained some of that salary I would consider keeping Vinny at roughly $5.2mil per anyway. I’m just curious if a deal could be worked out where we get TBL 1st buy helping with cap space but not completely screwing ourselves for 7 years or longer on a buyout of over $35.5mil

    • Colin.S

      I don’t like the idea of trading for Vinny at all, unless maybe TBL took like 3 million+ of his salary, even then by the end of that contract I couldn’t even imagine what kinda player he would be. And I doubt they would be willing to part with their first just to dump him, if that was the case they wouldn’t keep any salary.

  • Parallex

    In terms of the RFAs the Flames will certainly sign Brodie, Backlund, Cundari, Bouma, and Breen. They will also probably sign Butler (yuck) and Byron. Patterson and Cameron won’t see an extension.

    So that leaves Aliu, Bancks, Nemisz, and Lamb. I don’t think any of those guys are NHLers. But I could see them giving Bancks and Aliu one more contract.

    That brings them up to ~9 contracts.

  • piscera.infada

    I’m not on the Horton bandwagon (not that I think he’ll come here anyway, unless we greatly overpay him). I think his best hockey is behind him to the point that he will likely not contribute in any fashion once this team is ready to compete. He’s also just one bad hit away from potentially ending his career (because with concussion history, you never know).

    The injury history may not be a big thing to a deep team that can pay him fair market value, but as I opened with, I don’t believe in any way the Flames can sign him for anything more than a ludicrous dollar figure with term.

    • T&A4Flames

      Since we will likely be the biggest cap space and budget team out there, I would offer a long term contract to a guy like Clarkson in NJ. He is a good leader type that we would want our young guys to learn from; works hard, does all the tough little things to win. He is on the right side of 30 and fills a void on the RW.

      • piscera.infada

        I’d be a much bigger fan of Clarkson than Horton. I still think that’s a real tough sell. To me, Clarkson seems like the kind of player any potential contender would want, and that’s a tough contract to turn down if your Clarkson and his agent.

        Aside from contenders, I could (unfortunately) see him signing with the Oil. However, I’m not too certain of their Cap situation, and too lazy to look it up. It just seems like he’s the type of player they need, and again (unfortunately) they have a bigger appeal than the Flames at the moment.

        • T&A4Flames

          Oilers cap situation is middle of the pack with about $16-$17mil available. However, they have to sign Gagner this year and PRV if they are keeping him as well as RNH and both Schultz’ next year.

          I would argue EDM situation is better though. There are a lot of things that players know that we just don’t ever hear about. The view of players could be that there is dissension in EDM. One good thing that Feaster has done is publicly tell people that they still want to make the PO. Sucks for the fans on the ‘rebuild’ side to hear, but good for any potential FA to hear. That is also why I would say a long term contract for Clarkson because he may see us as contenders in 2-3 years. We’ll likely throw in a NMC for good times. Also, another good thing is how the org treats players. The way CGY handled Iggy and Jbo was class. It likely hurt the organization in possible asset acquisitions, but it will gain points amongst players and FA.

          • T&A4Flames

            I’m sure EDM will take a run at him. That’s why I would offer him full term (7yrs. and upwards of $5mil/per.). Yes, it’s a large over pay, but some of those character guys that can do it all are worth it and we have the space. Over the next 3-4 years we should see a large influx of young players on ELC. Clarkson can protect them, help them grow as pros and score some points at the same time.

            I would love a Clarkson- Backlund- Baertsci line.

    • T&A4Flames

      Agreed. Horton is too old and injured to bother IMO. Flames need to think long term.

      Pondering the merits of bring back a Fleury or Bryzgalov for a Couturier-type player.

      On a no pressure team Bryz might actually play well or Flames could then do the buy-out instead of Philly if they wanted.

      How much would that cost? Do either of those guys have a NTC?

      Not sold on the idea per se, but if the idea is to bring back some talent that isn’t close to 30 years old, it’s something to consider (along those lines anyways).

  • Colin.S

    The Flames have an unprecedented opportunity this offseason.

    I’m pretty excited and think we will be a better team next season than we have been in each of the last 4 years..

  • If Feaster plays his cards right, we could actually see a quick turnaround to where this does not need to be a 5 year rebuild. However, the temptation of spending to the Cap and filling the team with aging, entitled players, is an all too familiar recipe for mediocrity, and I hope we don’t see the Flames fall into this once again.

  • Colin.S

    Derek Roy and Nathan Horton are both UFAs at the end of the season and with out large amount of cap space and need for Forwards do either of those guy in any represent something the Flames should go after or is Derek Roys performance in Vancouver getting swept more of what we could expect from him?

    • T&A4Flames

      I would go after either of these guys but on no more than 3 year deals. I would rather sign a guy like Roy on a big salary, 1yr deal. That way we ca move him at the deadline for another 1st hopefully.

    • Parallex

      I love Horton and think the Flames should make a play for him but I’d rather they stay away from Roy (except maybe on a relatively cheap 1 year deal where he basically just becomes an asset to move at the deadline).

      I’d keep my eye out for the guys that teams use compliance buyouts on. Those guys strike me as ideal targets to seek-out a short-term “redemption” (i.e below fair market value)contract with.

      • Colin.S

        Those guys on “redemption” deals though tend to want to sign with a contender or almost contender as going to the playoffs will raise their value, if they were to sign with Calgary there would not be any below market value deals.

        • Parallex

          I disagree actually. They’ll want to go someplace where they’ll get to play a significant role, they won’t want to go some place where they’ll just be depth playing limited minutes in limited circumstances (which is what most pre-season favorites will want them as)… given that they’ll be signing a sweetheart “show me” contract they make themselves attractive deadline targets for cash/cap strapped teams so they can get the best of both worlds as they can play a bigger part on a poor team initially and then get traded to a contender to finish out the year.

  • Lordmork

    Who are some useful players we could target on those cap-space teams? Alternately, who are some salary dump players, and what could we reasonably expect to obtain for taking them on?
    I’m assuming the team would be very careful about taking on long-term salary dumps.

    • T&A4Flames

      If teams are willing to move young players I would certainly take that option. They have to fit into the long term plans however. The more likely scenario I would not object to see happening would be gaining other assets (picks and prospects) while acquiring expensive contracts with 1yr left on them.

      1st target on my list would be MTL. I would take Kaberle’s contract if our 2nd came back to us. I’m not sure what we would have to give in return but I wouldn’t expect it to be much. Maybe something like Paul Byron.

    • SmellOfVictory

      There seems to be a substantial likelihood that Vancouver buys out David Booth, and he’d be a great guy to use in a bottom 6/checking role, assuming he can remain somewhat healthy.

        • Parallex

          They’ve been “going to move Luongo” for a while now. Not sure it happens without them being willing to take significant dollars back and buying out Ballard only might make them cap complaint after filling roster holes… if they want to attempt an upgrade at any position they’ll have to find more I think.

          • Parallex

            You think? With his $4,250,000.00 cap hit (in a lower cap environment), injury history, and declining production rates?

            I’m skeptical of that. Who would all these suitors be?

          • Colin.S

            Anyone that can find the cap space, hell I wouldn’t object to the Flames acquiring him if the price was small enough.

            He can drive the play forward, bigger body and this year his PDO was stupidly low as well and he’s only 27.

            Yeah he’s been injured a bit, but unless he’s Rick Depietro injured that’s not a big deal. If Gomez and Redden can both find deals, there is easily a market for David Booth.

        • loudogYYC

          I’m all over trading for Timonen or other expensive players with 1 year left on their contract, but I was reminded on another forum that Timonen was extended this year, so even though his salary puts Philly in a pinch, they knew this when they gave him a $6M extension. They’ll likely buy out Briere and use LTIR on Pronger to stay below the cap.

          This is a real good article, Pike!

          • T&A4Flames

            I don’t think you can buy out injured players. Maybe this amnesty buyout is different. Timmonen is signed for next year, but Holmgren has lengthy of times that that men’s crap. Besides, it was really only a hypothetical thing anyway.