Update: Bouma, Jooris, Byron File For Salary Arbitration

It’s been a quiet few days for the Calgary Flames, but there could be some minor news brewing later today.

The deadline for players to file for salary arbitration is today at 3pm MT. Per the CBA and their levels of experience, five Flames restricted free agents are eligible to file: Josh Jooris, Drew Shore, David Wolf, Lance Bouma and Paul Byron.

UPDATE: per NHLPA, Bouma, Byron and Jooris have filed for arbitration.

Of these five, arguably Bouma and Jooris have the most interesting cases for arbitration.

Bouma had a great year, fueled in part by an incredibly high shooting percentage. He more than doubled his previous season high for scoring, generating 16 goals and 34 points and generating a ton at even-strength. He was on a one-year “show me” contract, with a cap hit of just $775,000. He was also a key contributor on the penalty kill and a key shot-blocker.

Jooris came into camp as a second-year pro and impressed enough to nearly make the team out of camp. He ended up playing 70 games in the show, scoring 12 goals and 24 points in a secondary role that saw him play in basically every situation and with basically every player on the team. The only right-handed center throughout much of the season, he was hugely relied-upon buy Bob Hartley late in games for face-offs in the defensive zone. Jooris was in the final year of his entry-level deal last season, and I believe is only arbitration eligible because of the age at which he signed his first deal.

Byron also has a pretty interesting case, given that he was incredibly versatile and useful for the Flames when he was healthy. He scored 19 points in 57 games, just four fewer points than Mason Raymond (and his $3.15 million cap hit) generated in the same number of games. Byron made just $600,000 last year on a one-year “show me” contract from the Flames.

  • Slowmo

    There are 2 players that to me are important enough to mention and hope they get signed #1 and most important is Bouma please make him happy. # 2 and this is just my opinion of course but Wolf deserves another kick at the puck. JJ well he is ok but we have tons of his kind coming down the pipe and he didn’t do all that much the last half of the season.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Should sign all three, with importance of Bouma, JJooris and Byron.

    Seems like the Flames are taking their sweet time getting the RFA’s signed. Possibly waiting on Giordano and there’s issues there?

  • CofRed4Life

    All three better be back, they along with Ferland and 30 year old Jones were our best bottom 9 wingers last year by far. Also like what I saw from Shore and Granlund in limited time.

    We really have too many Junk wingers like Bollig, Colborne, Raymond taking up roster space and cap space.

  • Greg

    Personally I’d like to see Bouma get traded and the other 2 signed. They’ll be cheaper and had fantastic possession stats.

    We need to clear out some excess forwards and Bouma is the only 1 of these 3 likely to get a decent asset back, so capitalize on his big year and see if you can get a 2nd back for him. Better to keep restocking then have 15 or 16 forwards overcrowding the roster, plus we’ve just seen what having a few spare 2nd rounders kicking around can do for you 🙂

  • Greg

    So now the Flames must go through with the arbitration process or the player becomes a ufa? Is that correct?

    If they don,t agree with arbitrator than player becomes a ufa?

  • beloch

    For those wondering, negotiations generally continue until the arbitration hearing takes place, typically a few weeks from now. There’s still time for deals to be worked out before arbitration. When players file for arbitration it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a bad relationship with Treliving. Their agents are simply keeping their options open.

    When a player actually does go through arbitration, then you can be a bit concerned since the team basically has to make the case that the player sucks and shouldn’t be paid much, which can lead to hard feelings.

    So, why might these players feel they’re worth more than the team does?

    Josh Jooris:
    Jooris simply does not have a very good pedigree. His NHL ppg pace this season was higher than his AHL ppg pace in the previous season. That’s virtually unheard of. Either he took a huge leap forward or simply had a flukey season. He did shoot 13.5%, so the team will likely argue he still needs to prove he can put up 20+ points on a regular basis.

    Lance Bouma
    What goes for Jooris goes double for Bouma. Advanced stats say Bouma was completely out of his depths playing in the top 6, but he did get 34 points. Bouma’s sh% was 15.4%. Hudler or Gaudreau might be able to sustain that, but probably not Bouma. Bouma might expect a top-6 contract when he’s clearly not a top-6 player.

    Paul Byron:
    Byron, on the other hand, was a possession dynamo and seems relatively cursed to have shot “just” 9.7%. I’m sure the arbitration panel (if one convenes) will be treated to a video reel of Byron getting breakaway after breakaway without scoring. Byron is the one guy who I think might be better than people suspect. He only put up 19 points (in just 57 games) this season, but he’d be my favorite, out of these three players, to make it to 30 points next season.

    All three of these guys are due for a raise, but Bouma’s and Jooris’ probably won’t be as big as they’re hoping for. Here’s hoping Treliving can get their expectations to line up with reality and sign them before arbitration becomes necessary.

    • everton fc

      Good post.

      To me, Bouma’s a guy you want back. With Jooris – do guys like Shore, Ferland, Arnold, others possibly cancel him out? That said, I hope he’s signed. He’s quite versatile, which is what the organization is looking for. Or so it seems.

      Byron played a lot before injuries plagued him later in the season. He’s grown on me. He, too, is versatile. In fact, all three are. Hopefully all three can be retained prior to arbitration. All three owe the organization their careers. That said, it’s a business. Here’s hoping the trend towards guys singing without issues continues. Gio will be the big test of this theory.

    • The Last Big Bear

      IIRC, advanced stats are not admissible considerations in arbitration hearings.

      The basic system is for both sides to establish comparable RFA players, on the basis of TOI, situational usage, and point production.

      The arbitrator awards a one year deal that matches the most convincing comparable RFAs.

      But shot-counting metrics are not an accepted part of the process.

      • piscera.infada

        Technically, while there was no official policy regarding the use of advanced stats in arbitration cases, advanced statistics were disregarded in large part because they were only published by third-party sources. Now that the league itself has begun publishing the stats, it could change whether or not they’re used–that remains to be seen though.***

        As for the arbitration ruling, I thought they could award one or two year contracts, although I’m not sure on that.**

        **Upon reading the relevant sections of the CBA: “the party against whom the arbitration election was filed” (in this case The Flames) “shall elect[…] whether the award will be a one or two year SPC (standard player contract)” [S. 12.9(c)]. If no term is explicitly sought, a ruling will be made on a one-year term.

        ***Moreover, from the CBA: “The League shall obtain and provide to the NHLPA any statistics relative to any aspect of Player performance: (i) kept or maintained by the League; or (ii) retained by any Club” [S. 12.9(h)]. One can infer from ‘part h’, that literally any statistics tracked by the NHL are open to be used in an arbitration hearing. Now that the League maintains advanced stats, they would have to be part of the decision (assuming either the player, or the team asks for them to be considered in their brief).

    • McRib

      “Paul Byron: Byron, on the other hand, was a possession dynamo and seems relatively cursed to have shot “just” 9.7%.”

      The reason he has a 9.7% shooting average is he can’t hit the broad side of a barn, it’s not luck!! I have seen him shoot the puck over the glass on a breakaway far too often!!! This is the one thing where Stats guys get it wrong, certain players are never going to trend positively!!!

      Lance Bouma is a MUST sign!!!!! Josh Jooris, Drew Shore I hope they resign, but we are moving on to bigger and better things anyway in a couple years time (Poirier, Mangiapane, Agostino, Arnold, Klimchuk, etc).

  • McRib

    Completely off topic here but I would LOVE to see a breakdown of Calgarys possession numbers as a team comparative to other teams. Similar to Prospect Cohort Success, but for teams on the whole. Possession isn’t everything to me, and it seems to be for a lot of folks around here, I get it but I also feel like Paul Byron is the perfect example of a player that is an advanced stats darling but is he a real difference maker? I’m not so sure. Is doing laps around the zone and upping possession better than driving the front of the net and immediately getting a scoring chance? Also, re-possession ratio, I feel like that’s important and overlooked. Someone smarter than me please help. These are the questions that swim around my brain in the summer.

  • Graham

    Hopefully we get these guys signed before the hearing. My priorities in order; Bouma, Jooris, Byron. No need to go past two/ three years or pay more than one million for Jooris or Byron, maybe one point five tops for Bouma. Lots of other choices and players pushing for a spot. Great test for Brad. Keep it short and simple, we need to be prepared to let any of these guys walk.

  • RKD

    What’s all this arbitration nonsense? Jk, they have a right too. I need to see another full season from each of these players to see where they are at or progressing towards. Hope the arbitrator will rule in the club’s favour or close to the middle.

    • Skuehler

      True that each player needs more time but they still need a contract and each played an important part of the team’s success. Bouma definitely did and proved the most so should get the most, though I think Jooris has the best potential.

  • Skuehler

    We need all 3 in our bottom six and to cover injuries. Not to mention play special teams. They aren’t world beaters necessarily but they also aren’t easy to replace. Consider who has been occupying our bottom six the past three seasons. These guys represent full value assets for the org right now.

    Guys like this win you a playoff round or two. Just think if Byron finds some scoring touch and confidence. All three guys probably won’t add up to much more than one Engellend or Smid. And besides they’ve earned a raise no question.

  • McRib

    I’m assuming the top three lines will look something like this–Mony, Gudreau, Huds, Backland, Bennett, Frokik, Stajan, Bouma, Jones (although Bennett could center line two and push Backland to 3rd and Stajan to fourth).

    That leaves two fourth line positions. I can’t see them giving up on Colborne and Ferland is too valuable to send back to the minors.

    That leaves two more forward roster spots for the following six players: Raymond, Bollig, Byron, Poirier, Shore, Jooris. That also assumes no one else emerges in training camp. We probably need to shed some salary, so who goes and who stays?

    I don’t think they’ll jettison Raymond based on one bad season and Bollig is necessary for size/grit. Are some trades brewing?

    Any thoughts????

    • piscera.infada

      Raymond didn’t have ine bad season. He had a season like every other one he’s had… Soft, weak, tunnel vision… These are criticisms that date back to the Canucks. I was baffled when we signed him.

      And no Bollig isn’t necessary for “size/grit”. He’s a plug.

      • everton fc

        Thinking out loud here…

        Somehow, Raymond needs to go, because the assessment above is pretty good. Colborne could be the 4th line centre, or 4th line RW. He could also replace Jones, if they move him, which I hope they don’t. But I think they like Colborne.

        Ferland will probably be the 4th line LW. Jooris will either centre the same line, or play RW if they can sign him. Shore may also be on that line. Or he may centre it if Jooris isn’t signed. Who knows? All this, if Bennett plays LW next season.

        Poirier is not a sure thing. Yet. But if he has a good camp, things become more clogged. Byron and Bollig seem odd guys out. I like Byron, though. And if Bennett plays centre, moving Stajan to the 4th line, which might be the sane thing to do… At lease this makes room on the left side for one of Bouma/Ferland/Byron/Raymond. Which leaves the 2nd line, left side a challenge. “On paper”. But most (all?) of these forwards play both centre and wing, so there is some flexibility here, and the org wants flexible assets (not sure Raymond has played centre of late. Doubt Bollig has)

        Of course, they may (will?) move guys for assets down the road. How long are Raymond’s and Bollig’s contracts, and how do our picks look in 2016?

  • SydScout

    Putting aside all stats for a moment. Is there anyone reading this that wasn’t continuously amazed at Jooris’s tenacity?

    The kid just won’t quit! So many times last season I was cheering that little bit harder as the dog with a bone wouldn’t let bigger, better, faster or more skilled guys go. And more often than not, it seems, he succeeded.

  • everton fc

    Bollig and Raymond have 2 years left on their contracts while Stajan has 3 years.

    Here’s what I think the line up will look like at the start of the season:

    Johnny/Mony/Hudler: this line will see plenty of OZ but will play in every zone.

    Ferland(Raymond)/Bennett/Frolik: This line will see plenty of OZ starts and Frolik will be used to be the glue on this line.

    Bouma/Backs/Jones(Byron): This line will see plenty of DZ and will be expectedd to drive possession and provide secondary scoring.

    Colborne/Stajan/Jooris(Byron): This line will see litle OZ and will play against teams 2nd lines in the DZ.

    That’s 14 forwards for 12 spots leaving no room for Bollig. There are also a number of other guys who could earn a spot on this roster including: Poirier, Shore, Granlund and Arnold; pushing some of the veterans out of the line up.

    There is plenty of flexibility on the backend but I think I would experiment with the following units:

    Not sure who would be my 7th but I guess you have to put England in this spot.

    Until they move someone the net is wide open based upon your preferences. I personally like Ramo better than Hiller and would go Ramo/Ortio.

    • CofRed4Life

      Agree or disagree with your lines or the lines suggested by Calgary Candle, the underlying point is that there are too many forwards for the available positions especially given the number of young guys that should be pushing for jobs. This is why I have been saying, for a while, there need to be some trades or some veterans could easily find themselves buried in Stockton. The alternative is that the Flames will have to leave some good young talent to stew in Stockton. While that is not a bad thing developmentally, it does mean that “never given, always earned” doesn’t quite have the same meaning.

      The trio exercising their arbitration rights may be making the decision for the Flames, depending on how it goes. BT appears to have a salary structure in mind and it would be very difficult to accept a significant deviation from that structure at the low end of it because the knock on effects could be far too significant.

      Conclusion? BT has some work to do and the communications group will have to come up with a new, catchy, slogan for this year’s iteration. Oh, and yeah, the team looks really promising.

      • CofRed4Life

        I agree that work needs to be done unfortunately the three guys one might want to trade have little value IMO on the market: England, Bollig and Raymond. I think you could bury Bollig rather easily and if someone wanted to pick him up so be it.

        Raymond has a NMC and would be difficult to move although he has some value. What I hope is that he has a rebound year playing with some more skilled guys.

        England is the guy I see little value in. His best hockey was played with TJ but hurt Brodies game significantly. I believe the prospects on D have way more potential than England.

        For me the thing is we have depth in most positions and could easily play a game properly rolling 4 lines and 3 defensive pairings using them in their most effective roles. It may indeed take some time to properly fit guys but at least there are some choices now. No need for placeholders with maybe the exception of net.

        • CofRed4Life

          I agree.

          I know there is little cap relief burying Bollig and Engelland in Stockton but that’s not the point. The point is getting positions for younger better players on the main roster.

          Alternatively, the Flames might have to package them up with a player or prospect to make it slightly more attractive.

          Another reason why you shouldn’t sign bad deals with term.

  • CofRed4Life

    There’s a lot of speculation on what the lines will be at the start of next year. I’m don’t really agree or disagree with them, per se. But I do think there will be a lot of line juggling next year, unless major roster changes are made over the course of the summer.

  • Purple Hazze

    Lets not forget that Shore is waiver eligible, so if he’s not on the team we’ll lose him on the wire for nothing. Personally I hope he makes the team, he was an AHL all-star last year. With the offensive potential he’s shown in the minors, and being a natural right handed shooter, I’d like the team to give him a shot playing RW on the top line. It adds some much needed size to that top line, and it allows Huddler to slide down and play with Bennett.

    • CofRed4Life

      I like the thought, but do you think Shore is ready to step up to the first line? It would be much better to bring him up as a RW in a 3rd or 4th line role, just to get him more familiar with the speed of the game.

      I’m wary of giving guys too big of a role too early (see Oilers, Edmonton)

  • The Last Big Bear

    Just a thought that is somewhat pertinent to the conversation…

    Flames ownership lets the team spend to the cap every year. They are willing to lay down the cash, but they draw the line at paying some to not play for the Flames. They don’t buy out noteworthy contracts (SOB being the only buyout that comes to mind), and they don’t bury big contracts in the minors (when Kotalik was sent to the AHL, they gave up a 2nd rounder to get him off the books, rather than eat his contract).

    I actually really like this philosophy. They pony up the cash, but don’t let the GMs bury their mistakes, or use the owners’ money to spend their way out of trouble.

    I suspect this also means that they won’t allow a player to be traded with salary retained. Because, as I said, they seem to draw the line at paying someone not to play for them.

    Just something to consider when discussing the current housekeeping task. Although things like trading Raymond with salary retained, or buying out the last year of Engelland might be completely reasonable in theory, I think they look pretty unlikely in light of the team’s history.

    • Parallex

      They bought out O’Brien, they bought out Nigal Dawes, they paid Anders Eriksson, Ales Kotalik, Nik Hagman NHL money to play in the AHL.

      … thats not a thing.