What’s Taking So Long With Ferland and Giordano’s Deals?

We’re now less than a month away from the onset of Calgary Flames rookie camp, which starts in mid-September and leads into the annual Penticton YoungStars tournament. Right now, there’s a lot of thumb-twiddling and heel-cooling in anticipation of hockey starting up again, as the Flames have caught up on all of their off-season business.

Well, just about.

Because restricted free agent Micheal Ferland still is not signed, while captain Mark Giordano – whose contract extension was repeatedly touted as a “top priority” by Flames general manager Brad Treliving – is still not completed.

So what gives?

Ferland’s deal is arguably more pressing, given that he doesn’t have a contract for 2015-16 while Giordano does, but it’s also the deal I’m the least concerned with. Case in point: Ferland participated as the Flames representative for Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day on Thursday. You don’t do that if you’re in the middle of a bitter contract negotiation, so I would imagine things are going well enough.

Ferland has two seasons of service remaining before he’s eligible for salary arbitration, so I imagine the sticking point is probably two seasons versus three seasons (and the requisite raise he’d need to be offered in order to give up going to arbitration potentially right away). Ferland also doesn’t have a massive NHL sample size, which makes things a bit sticky from a negotiation standpoint. He had 5 points in 26 regular season games and another 5 points in 9 playoff games, and it’s probably not unfair to want to wait a season to see what he is over an 82-game grind before throwing big money at him.

Right now, he’s probably worth – and probably going to get – about as much as Paul Byron, in the vicinity of $900,000. With another good season, he’ll probably get more. If you’re the Flames, you’d love to lock him down for three years at a lower cap hit. If you’re Ferland’s side, you’d love to get a show-me contract around $900,000 and then play like you did in the playoffs so you can really cash in next summer (or the summer after that in salary arbitration).

As for Mark Giordano, everybody who follows the Calgary Flames knows how important he is to the club, and knows that he is going to get paid rather handsomely. The lack of chatter regarding his deal is somewhat concerning, but since Brad Treliving’s arrived in Calgary this has been par for the course with these kinds of situations – you’ll hear absolutely nothing for a bit, then the day before the deal is done you’ll see a bit of chatter on Twitter from the usual sources, and then suddenly there will be a press release out announcing the new deal.

It’ll be long term. It’ll be pricey. And it’ll probably necessitate other moves to tidy up the salary cap situation for 2016-17. I’m not particularly concerned quite yet, but I might begin getting worried if training camp opens next month and the Giordano extension still isn’t done.

  • RKD

    I think that Ferland will get done before Giordano. The Gio deal is probably a lot more complicated than we think. Given the weak price of the Canadian dollar and uncertainty of how much the cap is going to go up is probably making BT think very carefully about how to approach this deal from a cap number and tenure length. There are big contracts coming for Monahan, Gaudreau and Bennett in the coming years. Wideman doesn’t come off the book for another two years unless he gets traded. Hudler and Jones come off the books after this season that’s $8 million right there and if they don’t resign Jones that frees up $4 million. Another 8.3 million comes off the books with both goalies. It’s going to be tricky but BT needs to give Gio a contract that doesn’t put the Flames in trouble down the road.

    • Colin.S

      I think the biggest thing is the Canadian dollar IMO. If the Flames are a cap team and the cap is 70 million dollars, at a Canadian dollar at 70 cents to the US dollar the Flames would actually be spending about 90 million on salaries. That’s a big deal. And then secondly to that, if the cap goes down next year due to a low Canadian dollar that’s a huge factor because of how many players need new deals.

      If the dollar was still even and the cap continually goes up by about 3 million per year or so both deals would be done by now, but if you just give both guys healthy raises right now and the dollar gets worse the Flames are gonna be in cap and budget hell next year.

      But as well I think the Ferland deal is taking so long because there’s probably a big back and forth on length. The Flames probably want him as a cheap depth guy for a longer term while Ferlands camp would most likely want a one year deal and then cash in later when he gets arbitration rights.

  • redhot1

    Wishful thinking, but it would be nice if Gios agent realizes that every dollar they save signing him can be used to help him win a cup. In fact, I wish every agent acknowledged this.

    • supra steve

      Exactly. Since the Flames will probably be a cap team for the foreseeable future…a big contract “win” by Gio (or any player) doesn’t change the amount the team’s collective players get, it just reduces the amount that they are able to pay the bottom 2 lines. Effectively stealing from the “poor” to feed the “rich”. The players association should be representing all their members and setting up a hard cap on what any single player can earn, so the majority (average NHL players) can also make a nice living.

      • KACaribou

        News flash! $600,000 to $900,000 per year is a nice living. Sports has our thinking all askew.

        Baseball is the same way. You have a top shortstop like Tulu making $20 million a year, or an ace like Price, and a middle relief pitcher or utility fielder making $750,000 and we feel sorry for him.

        Players and agents care about their wage, not how they are affecting the salary cap. Sure they care about winning, but number 1 is my, myself and I.

        Ask Mark Giordano.

        • supra steve

          My whole point is, the guys making under $2 million must greatly outnumber the lotto winners who are earning $6 million plus. How long will it take the majority to clue into the fact that in the union, they collectively hold the power…if they choose to use it. If I could participate in a vote that would guarantee me a larger piece of the pie, I know how I would vote.

          Any “star” player that couldn’t make due with a cap of, let’s say $7.5 million, could find another line of work with a better pay grade.

  • redhot1

    I think the timing of this extension will be done around the same time as Brody’s was last year… around October/November.

    I also expect his contract to be in the same ballpark and Dougie Hamiltons.

  • RedMan

    couple of things…

    If Gio sticks to his guns and demands the same money he would get from a bidding war in free agency, then he needs to forgo a no trade/no movement clause, so that the Flames can sign him but are still able to do whatever they need to to be competitive, because at 8 or 9 AAV, there is no way to fill in the star talent needed around him to actually make a run for the cup. last thing anyone wants is to have a star priced so high that there is no room to add the other pieces needed to legitimately contend. If Gio sticks to his guns and expects an AAV north of 8, he is essentially telling the flames that the cap is there problem, and he would prefer to get his even if it means nit even having a chance of competing. Flames have done a good job and been more than a little lucky at filling in the pieces quickly, but Gio can put them in a place quickly where pieces need to be moved. Surely Gio realizes they cant pay him 8, 9, or 10 mill per year when he is 37, 38, 39, 40.

    Regarding Ferland, I am wondering what his offensive upside is? We can see that he is a top level crash/bang agitator, but can he bring offense to the table? What did he do in Jr? what was his NHLe from Jr? if he can add his brand of grit AND 40 points per year… lock him down, but if he is a 15 point guy and agitator, then things are different.

    Anybody care to speculate on Ferlands offensive and possesion ceiling/potential?

    • beloch

      Ferland is tough to get a read on. Over his last two AHL seasons (which were just 25 and 32 games respectively), he’s had NHLE’s of 26.0 in 2013/2014 and 16.9 in 2014/2015. His 10 points in 35 NHL games last season put him on a 23 point pace for a full season. There’s no denying that he played a substantially bigger role in the playoffs than he did in the regular season. He raised his game to a different level, but that was just 9 games.

      Should we interpret Ferland’s playoff performance as a step forward, or simply a blip? Ferland is 23, but it can be argued he might yet take some significant steps forward given that he got a late start in hockey and his career was nearly derailed by alcoholism. On the other hand, 9 games is just too small of a sample size.

      To the eyes, Ferland looks like he has some offensive upside. He’s scored some quality goals. His ability to play the pest against Vancouver was astounding. Other players may have had a bigger impact on the scoreboard, but Ferland was deep inside the minds of the Canucks.

      To my eyes, Ferland projects as a better than average bottom six winger, provided he stays off the sauce, stays out of bar fights, and continues to bring a little bit of intensity to games. He could be substantially more if he were able to bring the same intensity he had in the playoffs to an entire season of games, but I’m not convinced that’s possible.

      If I were Treliving, I wouldn’t necessarily try to lock him up long-term just yet. Signing him for three years would probably get the Flames the best deal, but next season will be pivotal in Ferland’s development. Depending on the type of person he is (only Treliving can really guess this) it might be better to give him a one year contract to ensure that he pushes hard all year. A shorter contract might net the Flames a better player, although then they’ll have to pay extra for him.

  • Trevy

    I think Darren Haynes article explaining the factors and comparables involved in resigning Gio, are bang on. In the end, his best educated guess is hopefully what all parties involved will agree to as well. He proposed a 6yr, $46.5 million contract that is front loaded beginning at 9million. It works out to 7.75 AAV. What Gio’s camp is proposing is just a starting point. They know they will not get it. This deal will take him to 39 yrs old. It’s extremely fair for both sides. This puts him in line with all the other great top defenders in the league. Surely Gio doesn’t believe he’s above them and deserves more money and term taking him into his 40’s, but if that becomes the case, BT would be wise to explore other options.

    As for Ferland, it’s just a matter of tweaking a few things here and there, it’ll get done for sure.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I know that Trelliving stated that Giordano’s extension was his number one priority at the end of the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the deal got done midway through next season.
    Giordano is under contract now, and I don’t believe that His current perceived value could go up. After all, if the rumours are true he’s looking to be one of the best paid defensemen in the world, with general consensus seeming to indicate that he’s looking for a Norris candidate payout. Certainly the last 3 seasons have Giordano earning that kind of payday, but if you’re the Flames why not wait? If the Flames or Giordano studder out of the gates, if his early results are not quite up the standard of a Norris candidate. If (hockey-gods forbid) he gets hurt, or his arm doesn’t fully heal, will he get his full payout? By no means am I suggesting he hasn’t earned a big payday, but if I’m the Flames why negotiate now?

  • Parallex

    Ferland will probably wind up getting a 2 year deal around the 1.0 mill mark. He has good offensive upside & has shown that he can have that grit & offence at the NHL level on a small sample. 2 year deal is probably the way to go. I keep saying it but Wideman”s $$$ on a 3rd pairing doesn’t work in a cap league. You need cheaper up & coming talent that can learn & log 8-10 minutes a game. We have those kind of young guys available & Schlemko would give you a decent option as well for under a mill. You take the 4.0 mill difference & add it on to Gio’s current 4.0 mill & problem solved. You have jones coming off at 4.0mill which will cover Russells & Hudlers raises. That leaves you having to deal with Raymond, Smid, Hiller & Engellend to find the $$$ for Monahan & Gaudreaus raises. Piece of cake. Why moving Wideman now may garner an asset back versus having to add assets to get rid of Widemans 5.25 mill. next year. Don’t shoot the messenger, the Cap is an NHL thing.

    • piscera.infada

      We all understand the cap consequences of Widman’s contract, but the plain truth is, with his full no-move clause, are there many teams that: a) he would waive to go to?, and b) can afford his contract without sending something equally horrific back? So in reality, it’s not a piece of cake. It would be a very tough contract to move–coming off a good season, or not.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        So let me get this right. You are saying Wideman would likely block a deal if the team approached him to approve a trade they may have in place to a team like New Jersey or Buffalo or Arizona because he doesn’t want to play for particular teams. I think the opposite. I think the team (Calgary) is telling him they don’t feel they need what he brings, probably for financial reasons & if he blocks any movement to another team that would obviously need him, he will be looking at a reduced role with the organization, equating to fewer minutes ES & PP. Right? Obviously as long as Hamilton Gio & Brodie are healthy, he may or may not play as the #4. Flames have to make a decision on Russell next year, they certainly aren’t going to demote him to the 3rd pairing & give him way less minutes to see what he has. I think Wideman would take a trade to any team he feels he would get 2nd pairing minutes & top PP time. He needs a new contract in 2 years as well & it would be a horrible business decision knowing his playing time will be reduced significantly over the next 2 years & he is traded as a salary dump. I think you need to give players a bigger benefit of the doubt that it’s a business to them as well & they want the best chance to earn the biggest dollars possible for the longest possible time. Piece of cake my friend, if BT pulled Wides in & says I got to move you because of cap reasons & your PP & playing minutes will decline significantly if you stay here, do you really think he would flip him the bird?

        • piscera.infada

          Look man. Players don’t sign no-move clauses (let alone ‘full’ ones) just because they’re a thing. Many of these players prefer the security, especially the older ones. Many are willing to waive at a trade deadline, because they don’t have to uproot their family until the next season when they sign as a UFA. Once the NMC is waived, it is no longer binding on the remaining years of the deal, so there goes his security.

          I’m not necessarily privy to Wideman’s situation, so I can’t comment on if he would waive, or not. However, it seems rather unlikely that he would waive a clause that he specifically bargained for just because it might make it easier on his current employer.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      I think the “Wideman sucks so trade him” camp is too big since he is decent, but I am more likely to be in the “he sucks at that salary level” camp. Anyways, I have an ODD idea…BUT first he would have to waive his limited no-trade clause as would the guy I propose we get.

      Trade for the MORE expensive and older but much better Brian Campbell as he only has 1 year left on his contract (which helps the Flames next summer whether you let him go OR sign him for under $5M). But why again?

      Flames get a very good defenseman for 1 year (check Campbell’s regular AND advanced stats), while the poor (literally) Florida team would probably be interested in saving 1.7M+ by taking Wideman, even if that meant over 2 years. And if you are Dennis, well Florida’s a nice place to live!

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        I’m not sure how interested Florida would be in moving Campbell. Playing with him was great for Ekblad last season, and I’m not sure why Florida would want to rock that particular boat.

      • KACaribou

        I won’t need to check Campbell’s advanced stats. I have actually seen him play.

        He is NOT an improvement on Wideman.

        Not sure you haters actually watched the guy play last year. He is a very talented hockey player.

        Wideman being in our second or third D grouping speaks very highly of our defensive core.

  • Slowmo

    If Fer thinks he deserves a big raise he is sadly mistaken he only played a hand full of games and did ok but he is a josh jooris type of player and deserves close to the same and I mean that in the respect that it is only this yr and needs to show more if he follows last yrs progress with a full season then pay him

    • KACaribou

      I don’t know where you get that thinking from to tell you the truth. He is likely just letting his agent do his thing. Tree knows what he has in this young man potentially.

      For all the people saying he has to show you more and he is probably just an anomaly, let’s trade him. Go ahead. See what happens… Check if the Canucks might be interested…

      Tree and Train 79’s agent both know. Here in lies the problem. He hasn’t shown much but he made the largest impact of any Flames player in the playoffs. I believe the playoffs are where we are all trying to get to and have unsuccessfully for years.

  • Slowmo

    Sorry forgot to add why is everyone so interested in moving wids he is going to make use one if not the most dangerouse 1234 punch in the NHL our top 4 D can score and are going to hurt every team because most teams only have 1 checking line and how can you contain 2 or 3 left and right power forwards through a whole game I don’t think it can be done. It is going to be I think a very high scoring team and fun to watch relax all lets see what happens for a half a season before we shed some cap space and with all that danger in the back it is surely going to help wides produce even more which will raise his demand

    • everton fc

      I’m glad they did. I still have hopes Roy could surprise.

      Had for his friend and fellow Wheatie, Ferland… He’s one of my favourite players in the last few years. But he has to prove he can do some of what he did in junior, mainly, to score goals and stay off the physio table. One year, 900K and prove yourself. Seems fair.

  • Dan the Drunk

    I cannot see Giordano offered a contract at 9 million for 8 years. He hasn’t played more than 65 games a season since 2010 – 2011, and hasn’t played a playoff game since 2007.

    Treleving should not be giving him a retroactive raise for the “good years”, and I doubt he fetches more than 6 million as a UFA to another team should Gio choose to wait it out. Giordano’s agent (Ritch Winter?) surely knows this. They’ll take the time in order to compromise.

    I see Treleving reach out to Gio’s loyalty, use the C of Red as a reason to play in Calgary, the chance to use the spared $3M on other proven players, and the opportunity to lead a young group of growing stars (Monohan, Gaudreau, Bennett, Hamilton, Brodie, (*Kylington?, *Andersson?), Gilles).

    Maybe Treleving throws in a few Boston Pizza locations as an incentive as well.

  • Parallex

    With regards to Gio here is how I think it ought to shake out… take your elite Norris quality defenseman level of pay, now take 25% off… that’s what Gio should get paid. It’s a reflection of the fact that he’s both not durable (missed significant time due to injury over multiple years) and that he’s on the wrong side of 30 while at the same time compensating him for his level of play while healthy.

    As far as Ferland goes… he’s not proven anything yet and he’s not arb eligible. We don’t have to offer him anything beyond his qualifying offer so give him a fair deal for his level of service time and reflective of his leverage. When he shows that he’s a full-time NHL’er then we can talk about multi-year deals. No stripes earned for
    Mr. Ferland just yet.

  • RKD

    Hahaha…Flames Nation have you checked out the nhl website today? Hahaha front page is about the Flames and it’s titled Regression. Hahaha. Its sooooo true.

    • supra steve

      You mean the article titled “Flames Facing Questions About Possible Regression”?

      Yeah, that one really stings. Same article we’ve read several times over the last few months. If you’d taken a minute to read it you probably wouldn’t have bothered posting your big “burn” on FN.

      Spoiler, it’s about how there is reason to believe that the Flames will dodge the type of regression that Toronto and Colorado have experienced in the last few years.