An Open Letter To Curtis Glencross



Dear Curtis Glencross,

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Flames fans.

I’m being told I need to delve deeper into this, so I guess that’s what I’ll do.

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In reference to this interview you gave, Mister Glencross, the one where you’re talking about working on a contract extension now for some reason, the one where you go on record saying you’re not willing to play for a hometown discount? That one? Yes, we the undersigned have a few issues with it, and if it’s okay with you, we’d like to go over them in some detail? Good? Good.



We’re all aware of what you’re doing, Curtis, and it’s a pretty smart move if you ask me. Your contract is up at the end of the season, and you and your agent are being proactive out there on trying to get a new contract out of the team. That makes sense. They haven’t talked to you yet, so you talk to them.

But your timing, my friend, is off. Consider the mind of Brad Treliving like a warm, delicious pie. Do you see pie in your head right now? Yeah? Me too. I’m also very much craving pie right now, but let’s focus on the task at hand. If you cut the pie that is Bred Treliving’s brain into pieces, you’ll see the individual sections are of unequal size. These slices are Treliving’s priorities. The big pieces, you’ll see are as follows: 

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The medium sized pieces are all about getting RFA’s (Joe Colborne, Lance Bouma, Joni Ortio) all locked up. Which leaves the smaller pieces of the pie for Treliving:

This is not to say that signing you is not a priority, or that it’s not important, because it is. You just need to wait your turn, pal. It’s not time yet. And this is potentially, a very good thing for you, if you play your cards right, because of value.

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There’s one part of your interview that really struck a chord with me, Curtis, and I think it’s worth repeating:

“It’ll be a little bit different this time around,” Glencross explained. “I told them when we did the last deal that I love playing at home and I’ll take kind of a hometown discount hit so we could make this team a better team.

“I might only have a couple more contracts left in my career, and this is probably the biggest contract of my career. The Flames have to know that as well, and hopefully they take it into consideration, what I did the last four years.”

Okay, look, there’s no doubt that your current contract is one of the best values in the NHL. After you signed that deal in 2011, it was mere months before we saw players nowhere near as good as you get richer with some pretty madcap and wacky deals, and it wasn’t cool. When you’re on your game, you are a fine hockey player. You’re not a huge possession driver, but you’re not a liability either, and when you’re in the lineup, you put up points. In a full season, we can probably reasonably expect you to be a ~45 point guy with a shooting percentage in the 15% range. That’s not bad. That’s good second line stuff.

But let’s face the facts. You said it yourself, you probably only have a couple of contracts left to sign (I would say it’s more than that, because towards the end of your career, I suspect you’ll only be re-upping for one year at a time until we all retire and die). You’re going to be 32 years old when your contract expires this year, and we know what that means. You’re still a young man, sure, but as a hockey player, you’re on the brink of twilight, and you’re never in that point of your career where you’re ever going to get better. Players regress, and the way you play the game, Curtis, you’re not going to be any different. It’s a punishing style, and you’re not the kind of guy who lurks around on the periphery looking for the fast break. You’re more an Iginla than a Selanne. And that catches up with you eventually.

Which is why you’ve never skated through a full season. Injuries always happen, and I don’t think the term “injury prone” is actually a thing at all. I’d suggest playing a full season in the NHL takes a good degree of luck. It’s a random game, and at it’s heart it’s a violent game, to come away unscathed is hard to do. What I would say, is that you have bad luck. It’s hard to justify paying a full season’s worth of work when you’re only around for half of it.

Which is not to say you won’t rebound and have a lush, full season where you play the finest hockey of your life. That’s entirely possible, just much more implausible. 

Which is why you should use this season as your resume for the contract you’re going to sign at the end of this season. It would be swell if the Flames recognized that you took a healthy hometown discount on your last pact, and that it’s very clear that Southern Alberta is where your heart is, but at the same time, it’s a business, and it’s ill advised to go around signing players to legacy contracts if they’re going to also be expensive. You’re as aware of this racket as anyone, as you’re willing to go to the open market to get more money in a city you don’t necessarily want to be in (because who would ever want to live in Buffalo? Yech).

If you were to rebound from last year and be the Glencross we all know and tolerate love (and maybe decreased the amount of flagrantly stupid penalties you’re wont to take), then would we all be smitten kittens if you inked a 2-3 year deal worth 3.5 million a year? I’d say that’s very fair for someone in your position. It’s not as if you’re really able to hold the team hostage over this – there’s not a lot of depth on this team, but at LW it’s stronger organizationally than any other roster spot – so how much leverage do you really have?

Not to say you don’t bring a lot of value to the Flames, Curtis, because you really do, but it’s not cool to be a veteran forward who offers all the “intangibles” and “clutchiness” to his team but can’t stay in the lineup due to injuries and commands a 5 million dollar a year contract. I know that sounds crazy, but I swear to Lanny’s Mustache I’ve heard that one before.

Don’t go full Bolland, Curtis. (Even if it would play out a hunch of mine)

Play the season out. Take a step back and assess where the team is heading and how you fit into it. Wait and see how the Brodie and Backlund negotiations go. Wait to see how the market shakes itself out. Become the market, and earn that next contract. Or earn that next bigger one somewhere else. Trying to win the big ticket right now before training camp even opens is your weakest move.


rational people

  • jeremywilhelm

    Yes, one mediocre season makes a guy with one of the best value contracts in the NHL expendable.


    I agree.

    Ship his ass out because the Flames depth chart is just bursting with 25 goal scorers we can’t afford to keep Glencross.

    Sigh…. This Is going to be a long season.

    • loudogYYC

      It’s not about the mediocre season, man. He’s gonna be 32 and for him to be effective he has to play a style of game which most 32 year olds no longer excel at.

      I always thought Glencross was one of the best 3rd liners in the NHL, much like a Justin Williams but with a different playing style.

      Philadelphia, NYR or LA would be much better teams for Glencross than Calgary would be. It doesn’t make sense to pay top dollar for a player who requires excellent linemates.

  • FeyWest

    Pay the man! He represents everything there is about Calgary Values. Western Heritage, helps out the chuckwagon’s during Stampede, hates the Oilers and he earned his stripes in the NHL the hard way.(midget C and a tour through the AJHL with the Brooks Bandit’s)
    Glencross obviously has the Cowboy up, never quit attitude, so revered by our population, at least during Stampede.
    It would be a black eye to the Flames ownership similar to the one whenSutter punted Andrew Ference to Boston after signing him to a home town discount.
    You cannot treat everyone with a NMC but it is clear in this example that Glencross is OWED by the Flames
    C’mon Murray Edwards, It is the Cowboy Way. Make it Right

  • Rockmorton65

    Give him top line/pp minutes,pads his stats while he helps teach the kids. Hopefully he can put up 20-25 G and 50 pts.

    Trade him at the deadline to a contender, with the agreement that the Flames will re sign him in the summer (ala Tkachuk).

    Sign him to a cherry contract (3 yrs/16 mil in the off season) as a thank you.

  • Well, as he points out, part of his motivation for taking the value deal was to make the Flames a better team. It seems strange to me that he would want to do that for his hometown and then just bounce when we finally get good. It wouldn’t surprise me if we are able to sign him again next year for another good value contract. And if that’s something we can do, I don’t see why we wouldn’t.

  • Reidja

    As Loob points out, it is very telling that Curtis is coming out and talking about his (currently not ongoing) contract negotiations. And it’s also understandable. I can imagine it must be a pain on the neck to look across the dressing room at Denis Wideman and his >$5mil/year contract everyday. Especially when you have such a “great value” contract (i.e. terrible contract for you). Completely agree with the article that the Flames need to let him play the season and evaluate where he fits in the future. In his mid-30s, and with all the young guys, his role needs to change a bit. We all need to see if he can provide good hard minutes and continue to contribute a bit. If he does, pay the man. 4 mil for 3 years sounds reasonable. If not, I hope we can flip him for an asset at least.

    And rhubarb sucks Azevedo.

  • I love Glennie. I really do. He actually happens to be my favourite current Flame, and he has been ever since Brendan Morrison left. He was my third favourite in 2008-09 when Bertuzzi and Aucoin were here, and before that, I didn’t like hockey, mainly because I was too young to understand it. Glennie and Gio are my only two lifelong Flames, and I would hate to see him go. He is the classic underdog, who no one thought of in 2008 when the most reception that he got in the Albertan hockey community was from Oilers fans who called him a traitor. Andre Roy got more praise. In my head, I want him to extend in Calgary, win in Calgary, and retire in Calgary. But in my heart, I think he’ll retire elsewhere. He deserves it. Baertschi is NHL ready. Agostino might be, although one more year wouldn’t hurt. Gaudreau is probably ready. Mark my words, Glencross will be a Philadelphia Flyer within 5 years.

    • supra steve

      Honestly, your comment doesn’t make sense. First off, people don’t have fur. Secondly, I don’t think you wrote what you meant to. Women typically hit puberty sometime between 10-15, and this “fur” that you love must be 19 years old, right? SO that would put the 19 years unshaven woman between 29 and 34. I can almost agree with that last part. IMO regarding a combination of appearance and skill, Women are not unlike hockey players, their best almost always come somewhere between 22 and 32 🙂 But yeah, in reality, I get that you were trying to be creepy and insinuating that barely legal women are what you are most attracted to. Bravo, the older you are, the weirder that is.

  • supra steve

    Man, I can’t blame Glencross for not wanting to take a hometown discount. Jones is making 4 million. We just gave MayRay 3.15 mil and Engellund 2.9 mil each for 3 years. If that was my work environment and fellow employees of that calibre were landing that kind of money… there’s no way I’d take a discount. I’d at least be asking 4mil/3yr if I was him cuz he will get it somewhere. These thinner on talent free agencies of the “new” nhl really crank the price on mid-level talent.