Now What? – A Look Ahead

The draft is over!

But now there’s a lot of things that will happen in rapid succession: qualifying offers to RFAs, free agency and Flames summer development camp.


The Flames have 34 players with contracts for 2014-15. They can be split into three main groups.

One-Ways (and Monahan)


G Karri Ramo, D Dennis Wideman, D T.J. Brodie, D Mark Giordano, D Kris Russell, D Ladislav Smid, F Jiri Hudler, F Matt Stajan, F David Jones, F Curtis Glencross, F Brandon Bollig, F Mikael Backlund, F Sean Monahan & F Brian McGrattan

Everyone Else


D Shane O’Brien (one-way, but buried), D Tyler Wotherspoon, D Patrick Sieloff, D John Ramage, D Brett Kulak, D Ryan Culkin, F Corban Knight, F John Gaudreau, F Sven Baertschi, F Bryce van Brabant, F Josh Jooris, F Markus Granlund, F Max Reinhart, F Bill Arnold, F David Wolf, F Kenny Agostino, F Michael Ferland & F Turner Elson

Sliding Deals::
F Morgan Klimchuk, F Emile Poirier & D Keegan Kanzig

That’s roughly nine roster spots (a goalie, two defenders and six forwards) and a lot of cap space to work with. That leads us to…


Eleven players are pending restricted free agents and must be qualified by 3pm MT on Monday for the Flames to retain their rights.

  • G Joni Ortio
  • G Olivier Roy
  • D James Martin
  • D Mark Cundari
  • D Chad Billins
  • F T.J. Galiardi
  • F Paul Byron
  • F Joe Colborne
  • F Lance Bouma
  • F David Eddy
  • F Ben Hanowski

I would wager that neither Eddy nor Martin get qualified. And Ortio, Bouma, Byron and Colborne are probably locks. Beyond that, we probably find out on Monday.


Based on the Winsport ice-time calendar, Flames development camp opens next weekend. We’ll get confirmation on dates and roster invites in the coming days.

  • beloch

    TB sent Gagner and a bruiser to Arizona for a 6th round pick. Damn! I’d have taken that trade! Gagner may be a possession hole and a slacker to boot, but a dude who puts up 40 points a season is worth more than a 6th rounder. In the right atmosphere (i.e. a non-toxic one that emphasises actual effort) Gagner might even turn things around. The Coyotes should be real happy about this trade.

    Tampa dumped some salary, but man that has got to hurt! This is the sort of trade Treliving should have been in on.

    Edmonton swapped out a soft ~0.5 ppg center for a slightly older, soft ~0.5 ppg winger. Purcell does have substantially better posession rates than Gagner, but he’s been surrounded by a *much* better team. It will likely plummet with the oilers. This trade suggests that Draisaitl is now indelibly inked into the Oilers lineup.

    • loudogYYC

      I agree that this is the type of deal the Flames should be all over, given this opportunity to use cap space.

      Tomorrow’s gonna be very interesting day with all the necessary maneuvering teams like Philadelphia and Boston will have to do. I really hope we see a Flames sign and trade with retained salary. Iggy to Boston at 50% salary for a dman and a pick/prospect will make the ugly Pittsburgh trade easier to deal with.

  • RexLibris

    Tough seeing Gagner go.

    Watched him get drafted and come in along with Cogliano, Nilsson and Gilbert.

    Seemed like things were turning around then.

    Lesson to Flames fans – prospects will break your heart, progression is neither guaranteed nor limitless.


    With regards to Gilbert, he is fairly consistent and reads plays rather well. He is not what fans and commenters like to call “physical” because when he separates the player from the puck he focuses on, surprisingly enough, the puck.

    He doesn’t take the player away from the puck but the other way around.

    He is a good 2nd unit PP option for a team with fewer weapons – not a cause for concern with the Flames already sporting Giordano, Brodie and Wideman, but nevertheless something to consider.

    He has a large frame which means that, while he is not typically one to engage physically, neither is likely to be simply overpowered by large forwards.

    Physicality and soft are misnomers that people use to imply that a player is not of the type to focus on separating a puck-carrying forward from his sense and/or teeth rather than prioritizing the puck and the transition game.

    Many of us like to say that we prefer smarter hockey players who can play a possession game and create chances with puck retrieval and distribution. Tom Gilbert is one of those players, albeit not an elite one, he is an effective player asset of that type.

    I like Tom Gilbert. I don’t like the Flames. But I still suggest that signing him would be a smart move.

    Think of it this way, sign him to a one or two year deal and then flip him at the deadline when defensemen traditionally (this past season notwithstanding) have exceptional value. You’ve essentially purchased two-thirds of a season of production, time for sheltering and development of defensive prospects in the AHL, and a draft pick.

    There are other options, of course, but Tom Gilbert is not a bad one.

    • RexLibris

      I find that “soft” is a word a lot of fans use to describe players they don’t like. If you look at all the players who have had the soft label stapled to them, it quickly becomes clear that the term is demonstrably meaningless.

      Take, for example, Mikael Backlund. He’s called soft because he gets hurt. Why does he get hurt? Getting his shoulder dislocated on a hit from Alex Edler, popping it back in on the bench and returning to the ice without missing a shift, then picking a fight with Andrew Alberts to protest a dirty hit on Blake “kablammo!!” Comeau.

      Yeah. Mickis is soft as a newborn babe.


      • RexLibris

        Then presumably you would have respect for Ales Hemsky.

        He was called soft by many people in the media, and many Flames fans.

        And yet he routinely skated into the most hazardous areas of the ice to score, as fans of Robyn Regehr would well remember.

        He didn’t destroy both shoulders by ducking defenders.

        Mikael Backlund has strong possession numbers. He also gets injured because he carries the puck well and the best way that some defenders have found to knock him off the puck is by physically assaulting him.

        Hemsky and Backlund both think the game the same way. Get the puck, keep the puck.

        • beloch

          Hemsky was actually given a fair bit of shelter most years with the Oilers, so I’d say Backlund is the superior possession player. Hemsky was certainly the better scorer. The Hemsky that was putting up 60-70 point seasons has been gone for a long, long, time unfortunately. Of course, now that he’s been traded to Ottawa he might start playing like a he was half a decade ago.

        • Jeff Lebowski

          Right you are. Hemsky drew a lot of flak the last few years, but he was also a useful player (and that trade was ghastly)

          I remember nodding to myself and thinking “that seems reasonable” when you compared Sven Baertschi to him one time. Two 70 point seasons, a 60 point season, and several more with paces in that range (ruined by some of his many injuries, obviously). That definitely seems like the kind of production we want to get out of Sven at some point. Hopefully without so many injuries.

    • RexLibris

      I don’t know. Mark Fraser seems an awful lot like a Brian Burke kind of player. Guy blocked a shot in the playoffs with his face. You can’t teach that kind of grit.

      *crosses fingers*


  • Burnward

    I still have nightmares of watching Gilbert when he was in Edmonton.

    I think I shook my head and muttered to myself at least three times a game after a horrible play he made.

    I’m hesitant despite the seemingly positive numbers.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Gilbert probably makes Smid a relevant Dman again. All he had to do on a pairing with Gilbert is seperate man off puck. Gilbert does the rest. There is a reason Smid looked decent when they were paired together in Edmonton.

  • RickT

    I know it make no sense to do so, but I would, in some sort of sick way, enjoy seeing Hemsky be part of the Flames for a little while.

    Not at all for the betterment of the team – because he really doesn’t fit. But I have an Edmonton fan as a friend, and I know it would drive her insane. She has three Edmonton jerseys. One was a Glencross, the other a Hemsky and the third is blank.

    Edit: Apparently I am mistaken, he would fit. Let’s do it. Credit to jeremywhilhelm.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Hemsky most definitely fits on this team. He is a good right winger who can play the toughs and produce, both EVstr and on the PP.

    Would be silly not to sign him if he would come here.

  • Rockmorton65

    I just had a thought. Can you imagine…








    veteran backup.

    Looks good for year two of the rebuild, especially if you consider Reinhart, Poirier, Knight, Baertchi, Seiloff, Klimchuk, Wotherspoon and Bennett in the wings.

    • Burnward

      So somehow we manage to add 5 highly sought after UFA at say $5million for Cammi, 7 million for Stastney, $6million for Vanek, $4million for Niskanen and say $3million for Gilbert and $2 million for a back up goalie, $27 million for these guys and 40 million for the rest of the team, we would just manage to be under the salary cap. Not going to happen.