The 2013-14 season is now over entirely, folks. The hockey calendar officially flips over to the 2014-15 schedule on July 1, but obviously there are a lot of things to touch upon between now and then. Those things include trades, free agency, the draft and buyouts, compliance and otherwise.
Will Calgary, a team that needs to add some money to reach the cap floor, rid themselves of big-ticket deals? Probably not. However, Shane O’Brien made $2 million in the AHL, a far cry from the $75,000 made by everybody else.
If his deal gets buried in the minors again, that does eat up about $1.1 million of NHL cap space. But it could unbalance the Baby Flames (either financially or in the locker room). O’Brien in the AHL isn’t a solution for anybody. he’s probably the most likely Flame to be bought out.
CGY and pending UFA Mike Cammalleri still talking contract. Term, more than $, would appear to be the issue. #TSN
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 16, 2014
Bob McKenzie’s news isn’t shocking. The Flames need veterans and good pros, and Cammalleri ticks those boxes rather well. They also need guys that can drive possession, which Cammalleri has done these past few years. Curtis Glencross’ rough last season probably only further Cammalleri’s stock in Calgary.
Not so shocking, again, is the issue of term. If you’re Cammalleri, you want stability and a pay-day. If you’re Brad Treliving, you want some veterans to guide the Monahans and Gaudreaus of the world through the next two or three years, and then you hope to have a team on the cusp that can lure in free agents. Cammalleri probably doesn’t want to move his family again. The Flames don’t want to get locked into another Dennis Wideman-esque anchor contract.
Two teams that likely have to move Dmen: Philly and Boston. Shaunavon SK native Braydon Coburn coveted by Western Cdn teams.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) June 16, 2014
Coburn’s 29, has a $4.5 million cap hit. He’s 6’5″, 220, and unlike say, Chris Breen, he can play hockey at the NHL level. He is, of course, a left-handed shot. Like every defenseman in Calgary’s system not named John Ramage.
But he’s from the West, is big and (shockingly) mobile, and is probably an upgrade over Chris Butler. His cap hit is pretty decent (for only one more year after this one), and considering the Flyers have six NHLers (including Coburn) signed for next year and a bunch of promising kids waiting in the wings, the asking price probably won’t be monstrous.
And who can’t wait for the poor play-by-play guys to have to differentiate between Colborne and Coburn?
One name to keep in mind in the second or third round of the Draft in two weeks? Ryan Donato.
The Flames have had a renewed scouting presence in New England over the past several years, dating back to before John Weisbrod arrived. Donato’s a New England product with a former NHLer for a dad. Ted Donato was a solid depth NHLer, putting up 347 points in 796 NHL games with Boston, the Islanders, Rangers, Ottawa, Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles and St. Louis. He bounced around a lot later in his career, ironically after his son was born. No doubt the younger Donato is aware of the realities of continued NHL employment via his father, who now coaches at Harvard.
Coming out of high school, Donato is a big lanky kid with great hands. And he went to Dexter Prep, where he was a year behind Tim “Who?” Harrison, Calgary’s sixth rounder last year. He’s a project who’s committed to Harvard for 2015-16, but with multiple second and third rounders and likely some familiarity with the player, the Flames may be willing to take on a project player with some upside.