The six worst contracts on the Flames

Bad contracts are never ideal, but sometimes, they’re simply unavoidable. Either you sign them yourself – and this can happen thanks to free agency inflation, a perceived need you’re desperate to fill, or needing to reach the cap floor – or you trade for them, perhaps because you feel the player will be good for you in the immediate, or to pick up another asset.

But as unavoidable as they are, they’re never desirable. They have the potential to tear apart teams, force unwanted trades, and prevent the signings other, better players. There’s no upside.

It’s still something every team has to deal with, though, and the Flames are no exception. Last year, they were swimming in cap space, so it didn’t matter; this year, they’re up against the cap, and with some big raises due the year after.

Here’s a look at the worst contracts the Flames have to offer.

The irredeemable

Deryk Engelland: ~$2.9 million, two more seasons. Something should tip you off when the entire hockey world is incredulous about the deal you just signed, and that’s exactly what happened when the Flames signed Engelland on July 1, 2014. 

“That’s $2.9 million per” is a horrifying sentence when thinking about a guy who is, at absolute best, a bottom pairing defenceman, but that ended up being the case. The Flames vastly overpaid for a player who is not a difference maker – and some would argue, hurts the team with his presence more than helps it – and created the worst contract currently on their books.

There’s simply no making sense of this one. Engelland averaged just 14:19 a game over five years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He doesn’t put up points. He almost never has the puck, and when he does, he almost never does anything constructive with it. He’s a perpetual negative CF% rel player. And to top it all off, he’s in his early 30s, with pretty much zero chance of improvement.

Nobody’s ever going to take that contract, because nobody in their right mind would have signed it to begin with. 

Ladislav Smid: $3.5 million, two more seasons. The Flames didn’t sign this contract, but they did trade for it. And true: right now, it’s more of a nuisance than a threat. With Smid’s injury history, including his most recent neck issues, the Flames can simply place him on long-term injury reserve when the season starts, and all the problems his contract causes disappear.

Except… what if Smid recovers enough to be able to play? Then all the problems his contract causes come rushing back in, and for another two years.

Smid was never particularly great to begin with, and he was losing a step by the time he came to Calgary, so he probably never should have been acquired. You need a defenceman? Look somewhere else; namely, look for a cheap pickup first and foremost, not a defenceman of questionable talent on an awful team signed to a big deal.

The Flames have seriously improved their backend over the past few months. Last year, we got several games wherein Smid and Engelland were the bottom defence pairing: something that will likely never occur again. Smid doesn’t have a place on this team anymore, and it’s really, really hard to justify $3.5 million of cap space going to a body that isn’t going to contribute.

As long as he stays on LTIR, this is a non-issue. The second he comes off it, it becomes one of the absolute worst contracts on the Flames. And that’s still a possibility.

The non-ideal, somewhat defensible

Mason Raymond: $3.15 million, two more seasons. Raymond finally got his contractual break. After years of short-term deals at modest cap hits, including a training camp tryout that earned him a $1 million deal for one year, he finally got a bigger contract he looked worthy of: three years, $3.15 million, with a no trade clause from him hometown to boot.

It was a nice story. It was a nice story for the guy who finally proved himself after several seasons looking like he was, at absolute worst, a good depth option. It continued to be a nice story when he scored a hat trick in just his second game with his new team.

It stopped being a nice story when Raymond got injured, his production fell off a cliff, and by the end of the season, he found himself relegated to either the fourth line or the pressbox.

Raymond had one of the worst seasons of his career this past season, and he’s still locked in at a too-high price tag for another two years: one that could end up causing problems for the Flames very, very soon. The forward group is already extremely crowded, and Raymond adds absolutely nothing. In fact, all he’s really doing is taking a spot from a player who could be more deserving, but also may not have a chance, thanks to Raymond’s contract.

The defence for Raymond? He’s had good seasons in the past. There’s a chance he can rebound, and become a more productive member of the forward group once again.

But in the meantime, this is a deal the Flames would certainly be better without.

Brandon Bollig: $1.25 million, two more seasons. Bollig is just like everybody else preceding him on this list: in danger of losing his job, simply by being not good enough. The forward lineup is full, and all Bollig is doing is being a warm body occupying a spot. He’s not one of the top 12 forwards on this team; in fact, he’s the worst of the 16 or so guys the Flames will have battling it out.

Like Smid, this isn’t a contract the Flames signed, it’s one they willingly traded for: an overpriced, too-long deal for a forward who has never performed well at any point in his career, and a forward who should be completely pushed out of the regular lineup from here on out.

The only reason it’s defensible is because it’s a relatively cheap deal; at least, cheaper than the other guys on this list. But it’s one that really shouldn’t be on the books, and provides no help whatsoever.

The ones likely to hurt in the future

Dennis Wideman: $5.25 million, two more seasons. Wideman has been one of the Flames’ most expensive defencemen throughout his career in Calgary, all the while being mostly underwhelming. True, he had a career season last year, and was a massive part of the Flames having such a high-scoring backend. He’s also 32 years old, and unlikely to have another year as good as that one.

Wideman’s defensive game leaves a lot to be desired, and at the cap hit he has, that’s inexcusable; especially when he could be preventing the Flames from signing Cody Franson, a much better, younger option. This isn’t just a short-term repercussion: it’s a long-term one as well, and all for a defenceman who will be 34 years old by the time his contract ends.

Remember, there’s a reason Wideman was a healthy scratch at the start of the most recent season. That’s an issue that could easily arise this season, too. Throw in his no movement clause, and a potentially toxic contract becomes even more difficult to move. 

This offseason is probably the best chance the Flames have to move his less-than-desirable deal. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, and that’s going to hurt down the line.

Matt Stajan: $3.125 million, three more seasons. What Stajan doesn’t do in scoring, he makes up for in defensive acumen and sheltering the kids breaking into the league. His value isn’t exactly noticeable on the scoreboard, but it pays dividends throughout the lineup. 

The problem: he still costs a fair amount, and he’s going to cost that fair amount for a while longer yet. It’s nice to have good insurance options, but when your insurance is your sixth-highest paid forward and has a no trade clause? That’s not particularly pretty.

For the time being, Stajan is still a great, valued member of the Flames. Are we going to be able to say the same as his contract expires? Three seasons from now, if still in Calgary, Stajan will be a 34-year-old centre with 29, 24, and 22-year-olds ahead of him on the depth chart. At that price tag, it’s no longer money well spent.

Moving these guys

To deal with the impending cap crunch, it’s best if the Flames can move some of these players to other teams. The bad part about this is the most moveable guys, Wideman and Stajan, are the most useful on the ice. The guys you really want to get rid of – Engelland, Smid, Raymond, and Bollig – are going to be difficult to move out, if even possible at all (without giving up a quality asset: think the Flames offering to take on Cam Ward or Mike Ribeiro’s contracts in exchange for additional first round picks a couple of seasons ago).

Considering the current forward situation, it’s imperative to clear out some bodies from that group. Considering how the defence has been bolstered with the addition of Dougie Hamilton and the potential of a handful of newly-found prospects, the battle for potential NHLers to make the lineup is all the more intense, and there doesn’t need to be dead weight around complicating things.

You just hope it’s possible for the Flames to move some of these players within the year, and that it doesn’t hurt them in the long run.

  • BurningSensation

    That’s almost 20 million in deals that are either bad or has a good chance to be real bad. Image the lines you could build with that cap space instead of those deals.

    The Flames Defence could be Gio – Brodie, Hamilton – Franson, Erhoff – Russell

  • BurningSensation

    Fuunny,but this looks like an opportunity for the Flames to make serious cuts to payroll without affecting on-ice performance.

    Ditching Engelland, Bollig, Raymond, and Wideman, would create all the cap apace necessary to re-sign the pups as their contracts come up.

    • redhot1

      Yeah. It’s just that easy. Ditch Engelland, Bollig, Raymond, and Wideman.

      How do we do that?

      Oh, right.

      Anyone else really hoping for an expansion draft to save the Flames from these contracts?

      • BurningSensation

        If David Clarckson can be traded, or Pronger’s contract, or……

        Not worried. Everytime somebody has said ‘THAT is an untradeable contract’,it has nevertheless, been traded.

        (Except for Lecavalier, he’ll get bought out and then re-sign at a similar amount)

      • Trevy

        Totally agree…it’s going to be extremely difficult to move any of these players. It’s obviously easier said than done. The only ones that would even remotely garnish any interest would be Wideman, Stajan and an outside chance with Raymond and the only way they’ll get moved is if we throw in a young prospect or pick. Most teams are already at their cap ceiling or self imposed ceiling, thereby making any trade consisting of these players even more unlikely unless we take some money back. I would bet my last dollar BT has been trying in vain to peddle these guys over the last several weeks. It’ll ultimately come down to training camp before teams will make any further moves based on performance and injuries and at that point, you never know.

        As usual, great article Ari!

      • Train#97

        It will not be easy to do the Flames will need to wait for injures and the trade deadline to hopefully move one or two of them for a worst contract that expires this year or eat a bit of money on the contract to get cap space in the future.

        Hopefully the Flames will limit future roster filler contracts to two year even if they have to pay bit more up front. It is the last year on Engelland and Raymond contract that are putting them in to cap jail next year.

  • redhot1

    And with the Canadian dollar the way it is right now, the cap most likely won’t be going up for a few seasons.

    And you’re right, as bad as it sounds, Smid being out indefinitely would help everyone.

  • supra steve

    Enjoyed your article.

    Re. Wideman, you wrote:

    “he could be preventing the Flames from signing Cody Franson, a much better, younger option. This isn’t just a short-term repercussion: it’s a long-term one as well”.

    This contract is no different than any other in that respect. Money committed today, can’t be spent tomorrow. And really, who’s to say that in 2 years time there isn’t another option on the table that is a better fit than Franson? Then Franson becomes the “long term repercussion” rather than Wideman’s expiring contract.

    It’s a lot like looking to buy a used car. The one you REALLY want is there, all the options you’re looking for, it’s available NOW, but it’s EXPENSIVE. The seller is not being realistic with his price, but will it really hurt to pay a couple extra grand for just the right fit so I can get just what I want NOW? If you don’t let yourself get carried away, there will ALWAYS be another one that comes along to fit your needs, perhaps better, probably cheaper. All you need to do is be patient.

  • beloch

    Cant really disagree with too much here Arii, good job. I still don’t think you rush out to spend Widemans $5.25mill if we are fortunate enough to get a return for him. Jones would almost be in this category as well. When he has played, he hasn’t been all bad but certainly no where near a 4.0mill per year player. But at least we can eliminate that one without having to give up assets.

    Injuries on our team as well as other teams should open up not only opportunity to move some of these deals but also make use of the contracts we would prefer yo use. So we can look at this analyses now & it looks more cloudy than what it may actually be. There is reason you need depth that has experience & can play in this league in a pinch.

    Right now, I would say moving Wideman now should be BT’s priority unless he can’t get Gio resigned to a good contract, then it may be prudent to keep Wideman & trade Gio. The return on Gio would be significant & WW I would be down with getting Drouin & a 1st out of Tampa for Gio. Keep Wideman & Russell for that 2nd pairing & let the rest of them battle hard of the 5th & 6th spots.

    Raymond is probably a TDL deal as is Bollig. Very little returns expected.

    • Train#97

      Trading Gio to Tampa for Drouin and a first probably won’t happen. Drouin has 15 years of good hockey in him Gio may have 5 , but most importantTampa is over the cap and Gio is gonna want upwards of $7 ml /season. That’s why this won’t happen. They already have a super stud Dman in Hedman .Why would they need Gio?

      • Train#97

        Well I look at Tampa’s D & yes Hedman is a stud, but after that Carle, Garrison, Coburn, Sustre are certainly not top pairing D partners. You put Gio in that equation & I think Yzerman is no fool, he has a pretty darn good forward group & two stud top pairng d-men. Agree their cap is precarious, Gio makes 4.0 mill, so you maybe see a deal like Gio & Granlund for Drouin, 1st & Coburn(4.5mill). Why would they need Gio? Because you need more than 1 stud/top pairing d-dman.

        • Train#97

          Well they did make it all the way to the final. Drouin is gonna be a very good player for a lot of years. Just doesn’t make sense for Tsmpa to trade away that talent for an aging defenseman that plays only 60 games a year

          • MontanaMan

            You might be the only person to rate Stralman as a “stud” d-man. He may be a decent top 4 defenceman but he’s a long way from stud. Hedman and Gio yes, Stralman no.

          • MontanaMan

            Regardless of your thoughts on Drouin ,Calgary would be foolish to trade Gio for anything less than Drouin as a starter.

            PS Oiler management and fans wouldn’t know what a good defenseman looks like.They haven’t had one since Pronger.

          • Train#97

            Not saying Calgary should accept anything less than a Drouin type player. Tampa bay is just not the team to trade him to. Again… Salary cap and the fact that Tampa does not need him ,not at the cost of Drouin , a first rounder plus over 7 ml/season.
            You used to be able to get big returns for guys like Gio but not anymore. The team taking the big contract usually gets him on a sweet deal.

          • RealMcHockeyReturns

            Agreed. He is a very good 2nd pairing dman. Tampa made it far these last playoffs without Drouin & when there is smoke for tension with a player there is fire. We saw that with Sven. Is Drouin & a 1st an overpayment for Gio? I don’t think so because how often to top pairing blue liners ever become avail. Gio would make Tampa better next year way more than Drouin would. I wondering if this would even be enough return for Gio. By that’s my Flames bias coming out. Bottom line, as a fan & also what I think would be best for the Flames, we get Gio inked for a 5-6 year deal at around 7.0-7.5 per, front load the first couple years to get him his $$$ so that he gets more of the contract before he’s 35. I understand after this last injury that an injury at this age for him could derail any future contract. This means you totally have to forget Franson (gladly) & work with a much cheaper version in Russell & hope some of our young potentials force some hard decisions.

            But if things don’t go well with contract talks with Gio, then I would keep Wideman for the remaining 2 years & hope like heck our young guys are as good as we hope they are.

          • DestroDertell

            Given how my post got seven thumbs up, it doesn’t seem like I’m the only one.

            “Decent top 4 d-man”? Give me a break. He had a SAT%Rel of 4.8 playing 1st pair minutes last year and while point production is not a good way to judge defensemen given how random on-ice sh% really is, he was still way above average there too. His high-scoring (6.4%) and scoring chances (6.8%) relative numbers are also way above average too.

            So again, in what world is Stralman not a stud dman?

          • MontanaMan

            A little education for you young fella. A stud defenceman is generally considered to anchor a defence or better yet, anchor a team. Historically, that would be someone like Bourque, Robinson, Lidstrom or Niedermeyer. Trust me, Stralman is not a stud d-man despite your weak stats.

        • TX Flame

          Based on the ages of the best players alone, this would be a hopeless overpayment by TB. Kind of like Vancouver giving up the better player in the Sutter trade as well as a decent prospect. Yes, they could use another stud D man, but not at this price.

  • BurningSensation

    I’m going to defend the Wideman deal and I’m going to get trashed for it. Wideman was signed to be an Offensive defenceman to be a pp quarterback. Last season he finished 4th in NHL scoring amongst defenceman(he did his job) and saw his role on the team grow. His coach sat him and made him get better, he stepped up and played well enough after the injury to Gio to earn an A from his hard nose critic. Is he paid to much probably but in no way is it as bad as either the Engs or Raymond deals both signed by BT or the deal on Stajan signed by BB. There probably is still a market for him and he sure seems like a good insurance policy if one of the big three goes down.

    Now in saying that if the Flames could make a hockey move and gain someone who could play in the top on the LW with Bennett and Frolik or a good draft pick or series of draft picks for him I would be okay with trading him. Or a young affordable 5/6 defender with some upside I would be for it. But I would not trade him for a bag of pucks just so we could sign Franson.

    As for the rest of the bad deals we might be able to move Stajan and Raymond but wait they have NM clauses and this makes it slightly harder to move them. Stajan has a role but one that Arnold would likely be able to fill next year and unless Raymond returns to form there are a number of guys waiting to replace him.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I would love to see BT work some magic by taking on shorter term high priced contracts by ditching longer term ones.

    Look to a rebuilding team with a lack of NHL ready prospects, that by throwing in a few of our excess forward prospects, we can rid ourselves of a bad contract or two.

    Take for example New Jersey. They only have 19 players signed (11 forwards) and loads of cap space. We could use a 2nd line LW and Jersey is looking to tank for a high draft pick this next year. So how about Mason Raymond (LW), Matt Stajan (C), Drew Shore and Joe Colborne for 39 year old Patrick Elias (C) and 32 year old Tuomo Ruutu (LW)? Out goes 8.7 million of salary spread over the next 3 years; in comes 9.3 million that expires at the end of this one.

    Jersey is going to have trouble attracting free agents and could use some established NHL vets (with term) to allow their prospects more time to develop. They get 4 forwards, lose 2 and thus fill out their roster. We lose 4 gain 2 which brings our number of 16 forwards down to 14 and solves a big chunk of our cap problem for next year.

    Flames use Elias similar to Stajan (matchups) for one more year until Arnold is more ready.


    Rutuu/Bennett/Hudler (super sheltered, scoring line)

    Bouma/Backlund/Jones (shut-down)

    Ferland/Elias/Byron (energy)

    Jooris(injury extra)

    Bollig (bench warmer)

  • Train#97

    As far as Wideman’s contract goes….isn’t 56 points for a defenseman worth 5.25ml in today’s NHL? Didn’t he play a reasonable role in getting Calgary into the playoffs last year. Contract doesn’t look that bad ,unless you think his 56 points were a fluke??

  • beloch

    For the same reasons why the Flames should sign Franson and trade Wideman, any team that has the cap space and desire for Wideman is currently preoccupied with beating out all the other teams currently trying to sign Franson. Wideman may be traded before the season starts, but likely not until after Franson finally signs somewhere and the teams that missed out look for a “Plan B”.

    Smid has been in visible pain ever since joining the Flames. He simply hasn’t been the same player that he was with the Oilers. The neck injury he sustained last season was not his first, but the Oilers (as we now know from how they treated other players) probably pressured him to play while injured before dumping him on Calgary. His operation and extended recovery time may have finally resolved whatever was ailing him, and he is still on the right side of 30. There is still some possibility that Smid will make a comeback, even if the Flames don’t really need him to. Barring a major shock at training camp, I expect he’ll start out in the AHL for conditioning, and a blessing be upon any team willing to claim him off waivers.

    Stajan was overpaid for the fourth line minutes he played last season. As we’ve seen all through his career, his level of play seems to rise or fall to match his deployment. He can be a mediocre first liner or a mediocre fourth liner, sometimes even in the same season. I’ve said before that Stajan is a guy the Flames should consider trading. The Flames have too much depth at center to justify keeping a guy who could play a much bigger role on a different team, especially if Bennett sticks at center. Stajan’s minutes could be better used to develop some of the centres bubbling up from the AHL.

    • Ari Yanover

      What’s the context for this?

      If I’m meeting Engelland at a thing and we’re just chatting, no.

      If I’m specifically asked by him or someone else we’re talking to, yes. I’d probably word it a bit differently – i.e. “You know your agent is awesome, right?” – but the message remains the same.

      Any criticism I have of a player I write I would say to his face if appropriate.

      The way I see it: These guys are public figures. With that, there comes an expectation of criticism, pretty much no matter what. (Hell, I kind of fall into this category – albeit to a far lesser extent – because I mean, I’m a recognizable writer on here, and you guys have let me had it more than a few times.)

      But there’s a difference between criticizing someone and being rude. I wouldn’t unpromptedly tell Engelland that I think he’s terrible and overpaid. If, however, he was aware of what I’ve written and asked me about it, I’d reiterate what I wrote (unless something had happened to change my mind, in which case I’d acknowledge that).

      Re: Wideman – yes, imo his contract is terrible and he had a fluke season last year. Two years ago he had 21 points; three years ago, 22. This past year, 56. I’m not down with recency bias though.

      • Brent G.

        Re: Wideman

        You are cherry picking your stats. You never mentioned how many games. In the past 3 seasons Wideman has a PPG of .54 same as Ryan Suter.

        His defence may leave something to be desired but I believe it’s fair to say at the moment he is offensively elite.

        • DestroDertell

          You’re cherry-picking stats as well. You never mentioned minutes for one and you didn’t split the seasons. Another one way to see it:

          2014-15 | 0.52 ES primary points/60 | 49.6 OZone%

          2013-14 | 0.38 ES primary points/60 | 61.6 OZone%

          2012-13 | 0.35 ES primary points/60 | 44.5 OZone%

          PP production (OZone% always > 95 so unworthy of note):

          2014-15 | 3.45 PP primary points/60

          2013-14 | 1.31 PP primary points/60

          2012-13 | 2.67 PP primary points/60

          Last season he was offensively elite. It was a fluke.

          • MontanaMan

            So explain to me why powerplay goals are worth less in your eyes? They count the same on the score sheet. Last I checked Wideman is a PP specialist so he’s doing his job and doing it well.

            I remember everyone saying Monahan was a fluke in his rookie year too. Or when Kiprusoff was a flash in the pan. You guys need to learn to appreciate the team you cheer for.

          • DestroDertell

            Didn’t say he’s not a PP specialist or he shouldn’t get o-zone starts but as I showed, his PP point production has varied a lot since he joined the flames and last year was the highest (by far) he got.

            A powerplay goal is the same as a 5vs5 goal on the scoresheet but when you evaluate players, you have to remember it’s much easier to score on the powerplay because it’s very, very difficult to defend when shorthanded and so the pp unit can control the puck a lot longer, making it easier to get a good shot and lots of them.

            Did you just compare a long-time veteran with a rookie? Pretty sure a 32 years old veteran is what he is at this point.

    • TX Flame

      So… do you think Engelland is going to beat up a woman because she thinks he’s overpaid and not an NHL calibre D man on a good team? What’s the point of this question?

      • beloch

        Admittedly I didn’t know Ari is female when I wrote that, but that’s not nearly the point. Ari addressed it in her response to me and although I don’t 100% agree I think she supported her view well enough. I just don’t see how articles like this help the team. I don’t know if players read this stuff but on the off chance they do, I’d hate to know what goes through their minds. These are the guys that gave everything they had to help the team achieve what they did last year. I’ve said it here before, but I guarantee that every player, coach, member of the front office of the Flames will say that moment in game 2 when Engelland fought 2 Canucks, that it had as much to do with the Flames winning that series, as any other single moment of the series. He adds value that will not be captured in an advanced stat. These things are at best a gross oversimplification of reality, as described by math. You have to add in the intangibles which cannot necessarily be quantified. Is he worth 2.9MM? I think so. Are we gonna have this same conversation about Frolik in a few years? I hope not but there is viable chance. Overpayment in free agency is a sunk cost.

  • Train#97

    I think Burke was bang on when he said the mistakes GMs make in FA and the problem with these contracts is that it is the term that is the problem more than the salary.

    Burke said to sign a guy in FA you have to always give one more year than you are comfortable with or you should.

    While Engelland and Raymond are overpaid. The salary does not really hurt Calgary. It is that extra year that is the burner. If these were two year deals… no issue.

  • Train#97

    Sorry Arii,

    Can’t agree with some of the other comments about this being a good article. For me, the bitching about these few contracts is SO OLD NEWS.

    Yea, you don’t like them, we’ve heard it all before…

    Yes, Brad Treliving is going to have some work to do with the cap in the next two years… We’ve all heard this repeatedly already as well.

    Me, I have been wonderfully impressed with the work Mr. Treliving has done this summer, and I have confidence that he will make the decisions necessary to make the cap work.

    Maybe we disagree, but I can live with that.


      • Train#97

        For you and Burnt offering; let’s remember it is the dog days of summer and the Flames have not done much in the last 3 weeks for them to write about. You can only write so much about the Glory and the Prospects before it too gets boring.

        This article is a good recap of why the Flames have not done more and also suggest some areas where the Flames need to improve to be legitimate contenders.

    • Rock

      Totally agree always saying sign Franson and then he would complain that Franson don’t know how to play defence and is not aggresive enough. this team don’t need Franson

      • Train#97

        I totally agree . Once you play in Toronto you become way overrated. Franson wants either term or money or both. I think he’s good but not as good as he thinks. That’s why he is still available

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    I think wiley Treliving will wait until late in training camp to make a deal when a clearer picture of how things will shake out at Forward due to major competition and at D (including factors such as Smid health) is in place. And Flames need to be creative to rid themselves of excess bad contracts/players like the ones in this article, mainly for next year’s scary cap situation-reason. I suggest looking at trades with New Jersey who needs forwards (just not sure about ideas proposed above) or Chicago who needs cap space and maybe 1 F and definitely 1 D-man at less $. More below…

    In a possible trade with Hawks I suggest we must take (yuck) overpaid B Bickell but insisting on a Rundblad be included, and we also getting rid of one of Engelland, Raymond or even Stajan and likely with some other players coming both ways so Chicago saves (and we take on) a net $1 to $1.8M. Chicago gets cap space and players while we get promising, cheapish, but experienced Rundblad as a future 3-4D position and Bickell as something (his size?) that is mostly justified by losing one or more of our bad contracts. This deal may even require Russell going to Chicago and again another few players in the deal to make it happen. Or maybe we are unsure about Gio re-signing so ask to have Hjalmarsson (note NMC clause) in deal with Gio leaving us, that would then be leaving Flames with Brodie & Hamilton, Hjammy, and others as future top 4 D.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        You’re being shortsighted. Seabrook is likely on the way out so that saves $5.8 as well as the savings from my trade proposal. That leaves roughly 7.0 to $8.0 to sign Gio in Chicago. Flames need space after 2015-16 to re-sign our entire top line so cannot spend so much on the defense. I prefer they keep Gio but sounds like his agent wants to hit a home run and Flames cannot afford it in long term if they want to keep elite forwards.

  • MontanaMan

    Man, fourth in nhl defense scoring, 25 minutes a night, wearing the A, a plus 8 on the season, 7 points in the playoffs, more points than weber, keith, doughty, Suter : Wideman may be a tad overpaid but he deserves a little love. He’s certainly not worse than Franson who had 20 fewer points and was a -6. Franson may be better in 3 years but he’s nowhere close to Wides now.

    This is where advanced stats become burdensome when evaluating players. The guy had an incredible season, if you’re worried then put him with Gio and his corsi will improve. He may not repeat 56 but he should be good for at least 40.

    A guy can’t even enjoy a career year anymore. Why don’t you write an article about how Los Angeles was the best possession team ever to miss the playoffs?

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Let’s get this Gio/Drouin trade done already. BT work out the details.

    Tampa wins their first legitimate cup next year.

    Think of the options the Flames will have in a few years for our top 6: Monahan, Johnny, Bennett, Drouin plus Hudler/Emile/Ferland/klimchuck/pane or who ever steps up…….

    This Trade makes total sense for both teams…


  • Derzie

    The Wideman criticism is based on 2 years ago. Unwarranted under Hartley. Also, given the work Treliving has done recently, it is pretty clear that Bollig & Engelland was mostly Burke. The good news is that both guys play hard for their coach. They are just not very skilled. There are worse problems to have. Smid was a mistake from the get go. We got Oilered on that one. Again, he plays hard, just lacks skill and health.