Last night’s game between Calgary and San Jose was the 27th game of the 2015-16 Flames calendar, which places us roughly one-third of the way through their schedule. Through 27 games, there have been many transactions, tinkers and injuries that have impacted the lineup.
For your information, here’s a brief rundown of which players have been paid not to play this season, by virtue of illness or injury. Included in brackets is their cap hit for the games that they didn’t play in, which is particularly important/damning for healthy scratches in a salary cap system. (Injured players don’t usually count against the cap unless they’re still on the 23-man roster.)
- Jonas Hiller – missed 12 games with lower-body injury [$659,000]
- Joni Ortio – missed 6 games as a healthy scratch [$44,000]
Yes, Jonas Hiller made as much money on the injured reserve for two weeks than Ortio would at the NHL level all season – Ortio’s full cap hit at the NHL level is just $600,000 (since he’s on a one-way, that’s what he’ll make all season).
- Ladislav Smid – missed 14 games as a healthy scratch [$598,000] and 6 games recovering from neck surgery [$256,000]
- T.J. Brodie – missed 8 games with a broken hand [$454,000]
- Jakub Nakladal – missed 4 games as a healthy scratch [$40,000]
- Deryk Engelland – missed 2 games as a healthy scratch [$71,000]
- Kris Russell – missed 2 games with a hand injury [$63,000]
Ladislav Smid has made nearly $600,000 so far this season for games in which he was able to play but didn’t suit up. Similarly, Engelland netted a cool $71,000 and while Nakladal has yet to make his NHL debut, he took about $40,000 back to the AHL for eating popcorn for four games.
- Lance Bouma – missed 24 games with a broken leg [$644,000]
- Mason Raymond – missed 12 games as a healthy scratch [$461,000]
- Brandon Bollig – missed 10 games as a healthy scratch [$152,000]
- Micheal Ferland – missed 8 games with a knee injury [$80,000]
- Josh Jooris – missed 7 games as a healthy scratch [$83,000]
- Joe Colborne – missed 5 games with a hand/wrist injury [$78,000]
- Derek Grant – missed 3 games as a healthy scratch [$25,000]
- Jiri Hudler – missed 2 games due to illness** [$98,000]
- Markus Granlund – missed 1 game as a healthy scratch [$11,000]
- Sam Bennett – missed 1 game with an upper-body injury [$11,000 on non-bonus cap hit]
Hats off to Mason Raymond, who’s made $461,000 for games he didn’t play in. Brandon Bollig’s also done well in that respect, bringing home north of $150,000. The remainder of the scratches have been relatively inexpensive.
Of note here is Jiri Hudler, who the Flames media notes say was still sick for the second game of his absence but various folks (including us) have concluded he was probably more of a healthy scratch.
The salary cap this season is $71.4 million. The Flames have spent $1.534 million so far this season on the cap hit for healthy scratches (including a game of Hudler), which accounts for about 2% of their entire cap space for the season through just 33% of the schedule. It doesn’t sound like a ton, but when you note that the team’s carried only 22 players – or just two extra healthy bodies – for much of the season, it’s a pretty hefty amount of money to be spending on players that aren’t helping your team win games. They’re on pace to spend just shy of $5 million on healthy scratches over the full season at this pace.