Everything you need to know about buyouts

The National Hockey League season has ended, and we’re now completely into what could be one of the most eventful, tumultuous off-seasons in recent memory.

While the hockey world has spent quite a bit of time, ink and bandwidth on the upcoming entry draft, another bit of business could quietly rise to prominence. With the salary cap either going down or barely budging, the upcoming contract buyout window could be very eventful.

Here’s what you need to know about buyouts.

THE WINDOW

Per the collective bargaining agreement, the first buy-out window opens on June 15 or 48 hours after the end of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later – so this year, it’s June 15. The buyout period remains in effect until 5 p.m. ET on June 30, so any decisions on terminating contracts have to be made prior to that date.

CONCURRENT EVENTS

As it turns out, a lot of things also happen during the June 15-30 buyout window.

  • The 2016-17 salary cap will be decided by the NHL’s Board of Governors on June 22.
  • The potential 2017-18 NHL expansion will be formally announced, likely following the Board of Governors meeting on June 22.
  • The 2016 NHL Draft occurs June 24-25 in Buffalo.
  • The unrestricted free agent interview period begins June 25.
  • The deadline for qualifying restricted free agents is 5 p.m. ET on June 27.

PROCEDURE

Here’s roughly how buyouts work. You’re a general manager and you have a contract you wish to divest yourself of. The first step is placing the player on Uncondtional (or $125) Waivers.

From the CBA:

“Unconditional Waivers” means the process by which the rights to a Player are offered to all other Clubs, without a right of recall at a Waiver price of one-hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125) prior to a Club exercising its right to terminate a Player’s SPC pursuant to
Article 13 of this Agreement and Paragraph 13(a) of the SPC.

The player will be on waivers for 24 hours. If nobody claims the player, the contract is eligible to be terminated, which I believe occurs by filing a form with the league’s registry. Once the league double-checks that the contract to be terminated has cleared waivers and the appropriate signatures are there, the deal is kaput.

It should be said that players need to be medically cleared prior to going on waivers of any kind. (In other words: you can’t buy out injured players.)

CONTENDERS & CAP CONSIDERATIONS

Current Calgary Flames frequently mentioned in regards to buyouts include Dennis Wideman, Mason Raymond, Ladislav Smid and Matt Stajan.

Cap breakdowns of buyouts are based upon age. If a player is 26 or younger at the time of the buyout, they get one-third of their remaining value. If they’re older than 26, it’s two-thirds of their money. Since all of the potential Flames buyouts are over 26, they all get two-thirds of their money over twice the remaining time they have left.

DENNIS WIDEMAN

Contract: 1 year remaining at $5.25 million cap hit.

Buyout: 2 years at a $1.25 million cap hit in 2016-17 and a $2 million cap hit in 2017-18. (His deal has $6 million in cash left over this season, so it skews the cap hit a bit.)

Savings: $4 million cap savings for 2016-17.

Why A Buyout?: He’s a really expensive third pairing player and you could use the cap hit and/or roster spot to entice Jakub Nakladal or another free agent defender to stick long-term. Or you could do an open competition for the AHL kids for his roster spot. Either way, axing him gives the team flexibility.

Why Not?: $4 million is a lot of money to give to a guy to not play for you. Also, will he be fully healthy by the buyout period after his end-of-season injury?

MASON RAYMOND

Contract: 1 year remaining at $3.15 million cap hit.

Buyout: 2 years at a $1.05 million cap hit for each year.

Savings: $2.1 million savings for 2016-17 (and considering he’d be counting $2.2 million against the cap if buried in the AHL, that itself is another big savings).

Why A Buyout?: He fell out of favour enough last season that they buried him in the AHL just to open up a spot for another player. If he’s in the NHL, he’s a really expensive bottom-six player.

Why Not?: He’s probably still got some value left in him at the NHL level (though not likely at his current cap hit).

LADISLAV SMID

Contract: 1 year remaining at $3.5 million cap hit.

Buyout: 2 years at a $833,333 cap hit for 2016-17 and a $1,333,333 cap hit for 2017-18. (Like Wideman, it’s skewed because he has a $4 million salary but a $3.5 million cap hit left.)

Savings: $2,666,667 savings for 2016-17.

Why A Buyout?: As with Wideman, he’s a really expensive third pairing defender. And his presence is clogging up some positional flexibility for the organization.

Why Not?: Is he healthy enough to buy out?

MATT STAJAN

Contract: 2 years remaining at $3.125 million cap hit.

Buyout: 4 years at a $958,333 cap hit for 2016-17, $1,958,333 in 2017-18 and $833,333 for 2018-19 and 2019-20. (Like Smid and Wideman, Stajan’s cap hit is complicated by signing bonuses and salary differences.)

Savings: $2,166,667 for 2016-17 and $1,166,667 for 2017-18.

Why A Buyout?: Man, he’s an expensive bottom-six center, and his underlying numbers weren’t great last season.

Why Not?: He was good enough to play 80 games in the NHL last season. If he had spent a lot of time in the press box, I could see the justification for a buyout. In addition, is there a better internal option for his role? I can see entertaining a buyout after another rough season, but keeping Stajan’s salary on the books for four seasons on the basis of one bad year seems rather imprudent.

A FEW THOUGHTS

Don’t expect the Flames to buy out anybody right away.

The club’s ownership is full of tycoons that aren’t easily persuaded to spend money willy nilly. The Flames will likely explore other options for divesting themselves of troublesome contracts – Wideman’s likely in particular – before buying them out. But if they can’t find any takers on draft weekend, expect dominoes to begin falling.

With the salary cap likely dropping to between $69.5 million (if the NHLPA doesn’t use their escalator) and $73 million (if they do), the Flames will need to do something drastic to give themselves some financial flexibility.

  • Backburner

    I think Smid and Raymond are worth buying out, rather than taking up room in Stockton.

    I still believe Wideman can be dealt. I could see the Flames trading down in exchange for another pick and/or Wideman.

  • The Fall

    Not worth it for any players this season.

    Suck it up guys, one more year of high cost low yield players, and all it’s going to cost them is one Joe Colborne.

    2017-2018 is the spending frenzy !!!

    • Baalzamon

      Doesn’t matter that it’s not worth it. It’s absolutely 100% necessary that the Flames cut salary.

      Assuming the cap doesn’t change, they have 15 players signed with just over 21 million in cap space. Factor in 14 million to extend Gaudreau and Monahan, and 4 million for a starting goalie, that leaves just over 3 million to add five players.

      • PrairieStew

        The idea that it saves on the salary cap is pretty much a fallacy. Pay $3m to Raymond this year to play this year; or send him to minors, which save $890 K, which allows you to call up Hathaway or Porier or Agostino who cost you roughly that same $$ of savings, the net is zero. OR buy him out, costs you $1.05 M, plus the replacement, brings it close to $2M in cost, you save a million against this year’s cap, only to lose $1.05 M against 17-18’s cap. A total wash.

        You have to fit Monahan and Gaudreau’s contracts in to this year, but they also have to fit in to next year and beyond. In 17-18 you will need new contracts for Bennett, Ferland and Jokipakka to go with the increases you see this year, and I’d rather not have money sitting on the books in 17-18 for players that don’t play with the team. You buy people out and think that “adds money” to your budget this year and it only makes you spend more and put yourself in a tougher spot the following year.

        Here’s my budget

        Frolik 4.3
        Backlund 3.575
        Stajan 3.125
        Bouma 2.2
        Bollig 1.25
        Bennett 0.925
        Ferland 0.825
        Monahan 5.75
        Gaudreau 7
        Colborne 2.75
        Raymond 3.15
        Jooris 0.95
        UFA RW 2.25
        Gio 6.75
        Hamilton 5.75
        Wideman 5.25
        Brodie 4.65
        Smid 3.5
        Engelland 2.91
        Jokipakka 0.9
        Ortio 0.925
        UFA G 3.5

        = $72.4

        You are well under if you have a $1 M defenseman replacing Smid if he is IR’d. What the Flames might have to do is deal Colborne , or bargain shop for another forward ( I’ve budgeted $2.75 and $2.25 respectively). With Monahan and Gaudreau you sign only the 5 year deals – don’t buy up their free agent years and you take your chances they walk in their prime, like Tampa is doing with Stamkos, who looks like a risk @ $10 m right now.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Wideman and Stajan still have value albeit well under what their contracts pay them. Therefore, they will not be buyouts. I have no doubt that the Flames will try and move Wideman and will even retain salary to do so. Stajan may be bought oout in 2017-18 depending on the state of the team.

    Raymond is an obvious trade candidate with salary retention a possibility. On the other hand, maybe the new coach is a Mason Raymond guy who thinks he can restart Raymond’s career.

    Smid is in limbo.

    Buyouts will ease the cash crunch but they also represent bad business. This is a time when Flames ownership have to show the mayor and councillors and the general public that they are good money managers if they want to get the green light for their new digs. Tossing good money after bad is not the best way to impress Canada’s Most Popular Big City Mayor and fiscally-responsible members of council.

  • GoFlamesGo

    The ideal case is to trade them. But I doubt it’s easy to do. Therefore buying them out is one good way to free up some cap space and also free up some spots for more talent and younger players.

    • The Fall

      It’s Tre’s job to find a trade market for any player with value. It is bad for the team to retain salary cap hits for players not on the roster PERIOD.

      There is roughly $15M tied up in the players above. If none are bought out the worse and best cases are below. Both are beneficial to handcuffing the team for another two years while those players walk onto other teams.

      Worse case:
      They all play and we get to see some young cheap options fill out the roster this year. … and JoCo walks.

      Best case:
      Tre finds a trade partner for various cases above and retains some salary. Flames get and extra $4M-$7M to spend this year. And a TON more to spend next year. Not to mention a couple draft picks from some ‘win now’ teams.

  • Glenn

    I think the Flames have to buyout Raymond and Smid minimum. Unless Smid is willing to take the early retirement and as discussed many times here, take a scout/player development role for the young Czechs.

    Wideman obviously has to go but he may still be injured. In any event, when healthy he should be tradeable if the Flames eat a bunch of salary. Ditto or Engelland.

    With Murray’s new tax savings in England, maybe he’ll be a little generous with some buyout money! Ha Ha.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I’m all for either trading Wideman, Raymond, and Smid (if not IR) for literally anything. Otherwise, keep’em and suck it up. Demote whenever possible (same with Bollig).
    They are only around for another season anyway.

  • Brodano12

    Forwards (11/14) – 33.41:

    Gaudreau – 7.25

    Monahan – 6.25

    Frolik – 4.3

    Backlund – 3.575

    Stajan – 3.13

    Colborne – 2.75

    Bouma – 2.2

    Bollig – 1.25

    Bennett – 0.93

    Jooris – 0.95

    Ferland – 0.825

    Defense (6/7) – 24.76:

    Gio – 6.75

    Hamilton – 5.75

    Brodie – 4.65

    Engelland – 2.93

    Jokipakka – 0.9

    Tspoon – 0.95

    Wideman – 2 (retained/bought out)

    Smid – 0.83 (bought out)

    Goalies (1/2):

    Ortio – 0.66

    That’s ~58.9 Million invested with 3 forwards, 1 dman and 1 goalie needing to be signed. On a 70 million cap, that gives us just about 11.1 million to fill those spots.

    If we re-sign Nakladal for ~1 M, Grant for ~1 M, bring in a goalie for ~4 M, Then we have ~5 M for 2 forwards. Sign one top 6 forward like Brouwer or Backes for ~4M, and bring up Agostino, Hathaway, Shinkaruk or Pribyl (depending on camp) for the last forward spot, and you fit the entire team in under 70 M. And additional cap can be used to upgrade the RW or goalie.

    Our lines would look like this:

    Gaudreau-Monahan- UFA RW

    Ferland-Bennett-Colborne

    Agostino-Backlund-Frolik

    Bouma-Grant/Stajan-Jooris

    Bollig, Stajan/Grant

    Brodie-Hamilton

    Gio-Nak

    Jokipakka-Wotherspoon

    Engelland

    UFA Goalie

    Ortio

    Not ideal, but not terrible either. Having Shinkaruk, Poirier or Agostino be able to fill a top 6 role would allow Colborne to fall back into Backlund’s LW and make the Bennett line more skilled, but I’m not banking on that. Then we just wait a year till our #6 pick is ready for Bennett’s wing, and we’ll have a legit top 6, amazing 3rd line and decent 4th line, along with a steady and star powered d-core and at least league average goaltending.

  • freethe flames

    Between buyouts, trades and FA the flames could look like a completely different team to start 2016.

    There are lots of ways to upgrade. No goalies at the moment signing either Johnson or Reimer is an upgrade from Hiller. Trading for any of the following goalies; Andersen, Kuemper, Pickard or MAF is an upgrade but will cost assets.

    We have 3 signed top 9 forwards; Bennett, Backs and Frolik. We will get Johnny and Monny signed so that brings the total to 5. If Colborne resigns we are now at 6. If one of the young guys steps up and we are at 7. Tell me that there are not at least 2 UFA’s we could sign that would not make us better. Or two RFA’s that we can trade for that will not make us better.

    Our 4th line of Bouma/Stajan/Bollig is horrid and could be upgraded from within or through free agency and trades.

    We have 3 high end defenders and several 5-7 three of whom are widely overpaid. Surely guys like Spoon and Nakdaddy are upgrades on these guys.

    BT I expect has been working hard to try and move Wides, Raymond, and Smid; if nothing is there I expect him to buyout Raymond and Smid if healthy. Wide’s has value but in all likelyhood we will need to retain salary, Raymond cleared waivers twice last year so IMO his value is minimal even if we keep 1/2 his salary and then there is Smid who in his own best interest should retire but if he is healthy needs to be bought out. We can survive this year carrying at most two of the 5 bad contracts.

    Bouma is still trade able and needs to be moved.

    You don’t fire your coach and then remain status quo. The good news is that the new coach will be signed soon. I can’t wait for the action.

  • Hockeyfan

    Tree will hopefully find a trading partner for Wides + Smid as a package, hopefully Pens for Fleury, or get Reimer here somehow. Maybe that Checq guy will be another Kipper. Stajan needs to go, someone needs that. Buy out Mayray already. Bouma – please trade him. Go for Okposo if we can afford him, bring up one of Andersson/Kylington, 2 of Janko/Poirier/Manjy/Shinkaruk. Vast improvement in speed/goal right there. i know it’s not that easy but i have confidence Tree will take care of business this summer. GFG!

      • Hockeyfan

        True, but separately even if we eat 1.5 mil from each it would help. it is only for 1 year and I don’t want to wait another year to get a little bit better. There are teams that will take those players, just need to sweeten the pot.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    No to buy-outs.

    We have too many D, and some are on bad contracts. We also have more than enough C, some on bad contracts.

    We need G and RW, we just need to find teams that have the opposite problem than us and make salary neutral trades (convincing some NTC to be waived).

    Btw; NHL quality D and C are not so easy to get…Columbus needs C; we have Backlund, Colborne, Stajan. Other teams need D; we have plenty.

    BT needs to trade his way out of this mess…

    WW

    • Kevin R

      Totally agree. No buyouts unless its our last option. Last resort.

      1 trade will be all it takes, 1 contract we probably would prefer not to have. I think Wideman, #53 & our 3rd rounder could get us Fleury & I wouldn’t mind that at all. So what he craps the bed in the playoffs, at least he’s capable of getting us to the playoffs. He got the Pens to the dance.

      That trade alone solves any cap issues, any need to buyout anyone & who knows, maybe Tre can give Raymond & our 2017 3rd rounder to Arizona for future considerations or a 6th rounder in 2018 or something dumb like that. Smid, I hope he retires, chances are he will be on LTIR for a good chunk of next year. No to buyouts.

      • freethe flames

        How does this solve our cap issues?MAF salary is higher than Wides; I get we get a goalie for 1 year for little cost. I’m not a big fan of acquiring for two major reasons; his cap hit for two more years and I worry that his game could fall apart quickly like Hillers did. I’m also not a big MAF fan to begin with.

        Moving Raymond we will probably have to pay 1/2 of his salary; no one wanted him when he was free to acquire twice when he cleared waivers. For someone to eat his entire contract it will cost much more than the silly offers in your post.

        • Kevin R

          You never studied did you? Simple math. You get rid of excess & replace it with need for roughly the same cap hit, the net effect is we just gained about 5.0 mill on paper because we no longer need a goalie. See Brodano post & take out the need for the most expensive piece, a goalie & subtract the buyout hit of Wideman. You think Wideman wouldn’t waive to go to the Stanley Cup champions. You have to have a goalie cost every year, so don’t get hung up on the fact we have 3 more years of Fleury, we’ll still need him the year after & probably need him to mentor Gilles the year after that. You won’t get Riemer for less than a 3 year deal. A 3rd round pick for a functional bottom 6 winger(Raymond) on a team like Arizona isn’t silly.

          What other “silly ” offers are you referring to in my post?

          A 2nd , 3 rd & Wideman (who would probably be fetch a 2nd at the TDL) isn’t bad for a 5.75 mill back up goalie Fleury would become in Pitt. Don’t see a lot of buyers for goaltenders.

          • KiLLKiND

            The biggest problem with this trade is that we are now stuck with MAF for 3 years. We also have to protect him in an expansion draft because he has a no-movement-clause in his contract. This will leave Ortio unprotected. So now we are stuck with a below average goalie who gets paid more than he should and lose a cheap young goalie that we drafted. So having MAF will cost more than other goalies, cost an asset, but also we lose one our most proven young goalies, and now we have a below average starter who has been declining year after year. This would create far more problems than it solves.

            The next biggest problem with this trade is that MAF has no-movement-clause. Why would he waive to leave Pittsburg? He got the clause so he wouldn’t get traded and likely took a lower salary for it. So even if Wideman agrees to go to Pittsburg would MAF come here? If I was MAF I would want to tandem up with Murray or let Murray get traded/drafted come expansion. MAF has no reason to want out of Pittsburgh, just because he wasn’t the starter for the Playoffs after getting injured. The challenges will be the same everywhere, young up and coming goalies trying to overtake him as the starter, he appears to have lost his job in Pittsburgh does he think he will be better here? Do we think he will be better for some illogical reason?

          • Kevin R

            Cant agree with your thought process here. MAF knows he is about to play a lot less games next year. He comes to Calgary as the bonafide #1 for at least the next 2 years. These guys have pride & know sometimes they need a change. Pitt were struggling so bad last year before they fired their coach but MAF was winning games for them & he was the one that got them to the playoffs. Look at his numbers & they are very good numbers. Whats so bad about a 3 year bridge from a good goaltender at this stage. He’s a huge upgrade to Hiller or Ramo, Nothing illogical about the numbers, its not like he’s on the decline.

            Expansion draft & we lose Ortio & his .890 save %, so what. I doubt the 1 expansion team would pick off Ortio when there are a lot of other pretty darn good goalies that will be exposed, so I just don’t see your concerns about the expansion draft. & no way Pitt don’t protect Murray, I would bet you $$$on that, just name the bet.

          • KiLLKiND

            You are trading one year of bad contract for 3 of a more expensive contract I can’t agree with your logic at all. There are better options in UFA in Reimer as well. Some teams still think of Wideman as an asset as well, which come trade deadline could get us an additional 3rd/ prospect. I would much prefer that over being handicapped in net for the next 3 years.

            MAF knows he has to come to camp and compete for a spot and that his backup will be Murray instead of Zatkoff. My brothers head coach won a Stanley cup with Detroit in 98 and he said the toughest part about the NHL isn’t making it but staying there. MAF is showing now he can’t stay with the pace of the NHL and 3 years for a bridge goalie is far too long when we should be competing in 2 years.

            MAF most definitely is not a huge upgrade on Ramo, who could be acquired for far cheaper, and serve as a better mentor to Ortio. Ramo is also much younger and looked fine when given the opportunity last year. He is a fellow Finn and has shown that he is a great locker room guy.

            Why would we want a 3 year bridge goalie that has proven he can’t perform under pressure and costs far too much? His numbers are not good and he is already 31. Hiller is 34 now… Even If MAF isn’t on the decline yet he will be before his contract ends. MAF’s best year save percentage is .921% That is slightly above average, most of his seasons are not near that. MAF has also come back from injury and we have no idea how good he is since he has been back. MAF as a bridge goalie on a 2 year 2 mill contract fine, whatever, MAF at his current price handicaps us next year when we should be UFA shopping for TJ Oshie.

            Expansion draft and we lose Ortio is worse than you are implying he did fine in his last half season. He had a poor start as did our entire 3 headed monstrosity, but rebounded fine in the 2nd half and has shown potential. He is on a cheap contract and would make a fine tandem with Gilles or be a future trade chip like Schneider. Given that we can expect to lose a player no matter what I would rather lose a Colborne/Jooris or even Jokipakka. These players come by all the time. Look how long it has been since Calgary has drafted a starting goalie, giving him up for nothing would be worse than you think.

            Pittsburgh won’t have the option to protect Murray if they still have MAF and his NMC give me your $$$ on that. He also still has no reason to think that if belongs in the NHL he can’t beat out a 23 year old goalie with only 34 games NHL experience. Would Pittsburgh even be willing to go forward with a Murray Zatkoff tandem? They are still in a win now mode and would most likely still enjoy having a veteran presence should Murray get injured or not continue his play.

          • CofRed4Life

            Wow, you’re really sold on Ortio eh? He does have potential, but I don’t see him as a “proven” goalie. He really hasn’t done enough to tell me he could be a starter. I see where you’re coming from with this trade proposal, but just remember that some of us don’t have the same faith and hope in Ortio. I think he’d be a good backup for next year, but not a starter.

          • piscera.infada

            Those are my thoughts pretty much exactly. Ortio doesn’t even instil a ton of confidence for me as a backup next year. I will, however agree it’s time for him to be placed in that role to see if he can sink or swim–although his success will largely be tied to having a legitimate starter in front of him. I certainly don’t think that he would be on the top of anyone’s list in an expansion draft.

          • KiLLKiND

            He isn’t proven, but let’s assess our options

            1. Trade assets for a goalie. If we are giving up things we actually like we should get something useful in return, I would be excited about trading for vasilevskiy, Murray, Gudlevskis, or someone younger who like our team has potential but isn’t quite there yet. This goalie could devleop with the team and be our win-now goalie. Trading for a veteran goalie makes very little sense. We are giving up useable assets for a stopgap goalie that will be a burden by the time we are ready to compete. Do you really want MAF blocking Gilles, for 3 years or have Ortio only be able to be a backup for 3 more seasons? Tradng for Bishop looks unlikely as his cap hit is massive, unless the Lightning plan on eating some, but then he is a UFA in a year and we have to negotiate a new contract which will likely have to be more term than we want.

            option 2. UFA This is likely the best route as we don’t have to give up any assets and can negotiate our terms. We could sign a 2 year cheap contract for a goalie like Enroth. He could be had for super cheap and tandem up St. Louis, Dallas style until Gilles is ready to split duties with Ortio. Signing Reimer or Ramo, likely costs too much and have too long of term, neither goalie will be around when our team is competitve.

            Option 3. sign no goalies and let Ortio and Gilles tandem up this year. Also I would like to say I’m not so much sold on Ortio as I am gilles. I am also a goalie who is and I know a lot about the surgeries he underwent the past year. I am fairly certain he is going to be better than before.

            Another point is why does he need to develop in the AHL? playing and practing at the NHL level he will learn far more, he also I thin can handle the NHL level of play. He was the best goalie in college hockey basically every season, he also looked great in the AHL. I would prefer having him and Ortio tandem up and bring in a a guy with previous NHL experience on a PTO. If Gilles earns a spot he earns it, and him and Ortio can play tandem. If management feels he isn’t ready then sign the guy on the PTO to a cheap 1 year contract. Rinse and repeat until Gilles and Ortio tandem.

          • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

            Below average? Before he got hurt and Matt Murray replaced him, they were talking about him being Pittsburgh’s MVP and a vezina candidate….. playoffs aside, he is an above average goalie who is 30. A proven, 60 start above average goalie on a 5.75 cap hit is not a problem…. and in terms of the no movement clause, guys want to play, why would he stay in Pittsburgh to ride the pine?

          • Raymond was on waivers twice last year so getting anything for him is not likely. MAF is a good goalie at least now but almost 6 million for another 3 years is a big gamble. A replacement goalie shouldn’t cost that much. Reimer almost certainly won’t.

            I say suck it up for a year. Who knows though? As an owner I would look at all aspects (which none of us know all) and decide if it is worth setting fire to more money or not.

          • freethe flames

            If you actually read my post I did the math for the first year; it’s the 2nd and 3rd year that concern me the most. I suspect the worse, that MAF may decline rapidly and we won’t be able to shed his contract.

            The silly trade ideas is that Arizona will take Raymond’s contract for virtually nothing. Thinking Raymond is a functional 3rd line winger is a pipe dream. He could not stay on our top 3 lines last year what makes you think he can play on Arizona’s.

          • Hockeyfan

            mayray would be an upgrade from Bouma.

            Why do you think MAF would fold as quickly as 2 years. He has proven his stability and stamina. I think it’s looking like we might be going with 2 of ortio, Gillies, Rittich, might be ok for a year, but would prefer Fleury or Reimer.

          • Kevin R

            I read your post. What makes you so confident Fleury is going to decline next year or the year after that. His numbers were awesome this year. Maybe take a look & compare them to what we got with Ramo & Hiller. If we had Fleury in net last year with these numbers, Flames are in the playoffs. But yeah go ahead with Ortio & Pickard you are so high on. 2 unproven goalies & if they struggle will only cost the GM his job. I guess it’s not your job on the line so why not eh?

            A 3rd round pick isn’t nothing. A 3rd round pick will get you a decent prospect & sorry, Raymond is still a capable bottom forward, especially on a team with the roster of Arzona. Maybe send me to the link where it says so many million over pay in cap space is worth X amount in draft pick equivalent. You have some concrete examples of what is the currency for cap space is? We obviously have different opinions on many things, I say we just agree to disagree, really doesn’t matter, Flames will do whatever they think is best for their organization.

          • freethe flames

            I used the word may decline. Here is my thought process: he just had quite a bad concussion and when he did play in the playoffs he was not up to form(long lay off probably, bad playoff performer history might back that up or maybe a side effect of his concussion maybe and that maybe has me worried). Yes I do agree that his numbers were awesome this year in Pittsburg but that does not mean they would have been awesome here we can only speculate. My other reasons for being concerned is watching the rapid decline of Hiller this year or Kipper in his last year. I can’t guarantee that it will happen to MAF just as no can guarantee that it will. As for gambling and going with a young goalie it seems to have worked out fine for Pittsburg and SJ. If the Flames picked up Pickard it does not mean that they have to go with Ortio(he’s not signed) If you go with two vets and they struggle it does not mean your job is any safer.

            One thing I do agree with you is that we will not likely convince each other to change our views; you like him as an option and I don’t. You think Raymond has value and I think he has little value. The other area we do agree is that BT will do what is best for the organization; the rest of us are just writing on the fan forum flapping our gums. When he does make a decision we can flap our gums a bit more whether we agree. Have a great evening and maybe we can find a player we can agree on.

      • Bananaberg

        PIT’s cap situation is about as tough as it gets. Sure, Wideman could be useful on their roster, but even if we escalate to $73M, they are in the red with current roster and they have some guys to resign as is.

  • freethe flames

    Here are some suggestions that could help the Flames that I think could be achieved at relatively inexpensive to acquire. I think Kevin Hayes can be acquired for something like the following: 1/2 Wides and either the 66th or at most the 56th; the Rangers need picks and Hayes seems to have fallen out favour with Coach V. He can play in our top 9 on the RW. Bouma and Sieloff could be traded to Ottawa for the rights to Chiasson and Wierioch both rumored to be on the way out in Ottawa and B/C of their poor seasons last year would be cheap to sign. They IMO would be better than Smid and Bollig. If we are really desperate Stewart would be an upgrade on Bollig.(although not something I would really want)

    I wonder if either Kreider or Hoffman might be available for Colborne +. Again either from a team needing draft picks or rumoured to be on the outs in the organization.

    What is the availability of Shaw or Lewis?

    You can make a team better without swinging for the fence. BT said earlier in the off season that we could see some minor tweaks and if they are the right ones a team can make itself better.

  • cberg

    Hectic month coming up. When the dust settles it’ll be a much-different team. And just to think, we aren’t even one of the really cash-strapped teams. Yikes!

  • KiLLKiND

    Best way to save cap is in goal and we are in a great position to do so. We could save at least 3 million by having Ortio and Gilles be a young tandem for at least halfway through the season. Ortio and Gilles will learn more in one year of being the two goalies in Calgary, and I’m sure give one enough starts in a row he’ll get into a rythm. Gilles I think will surprise many this yar and while it may not be ideal having two young goalies, the rewards outweigh the risks. If it goes poorly, potential mid season trade in which we finally trade Wideman. His cap hit will be much more manageable at this point.

    Best case scenario: One of Ortio or Gilles catches fire and becomes a legit starter, while the other one also gains experience and is solid backup.

    Worst case scenario: We receive goaltending as bad as last year and miss the playoffs again, wthis isn’t even that bad as it look destined to miss the playoffs next year. If this happens we can look at the UFA goalies next year and the best of which includes; Ben Bishop, Brian Elliot, Michael Neuvirth, Steve Mason, Jonathan Bernier, and maybe even some of the UFA goalies from this year. The UFA pool next year looks much better than this year, who has Reimer and Ramo at the top. We also get a decent chance in the lottery and one final year of burning of bad contracts. It will also be the summer of the expansion draft which will likely scare teams into making trades they otherwise wouldn’t and we could aquire a starting goalie for a bargain.

    So in the worst case scenario nothing we already don’t expect happens, we gain cap space this year and do not have to do any buy outs therefore saving cap space next year as well.

    If we don’t do this we should still sign a goalie to tandem up with Ortio for as cheap as possible. Upgrading goal this year doesn’t win us the cup and could be better addressed next season when teams are worried about the expansion draft.

    • Rockmorton65

      Sorry, Killkind.

      In your proposal, the worst case scenario is that we push Gillies into a situation he’s not ready for, stunt his development and ruin his confidence. Which would need us to find a new “plan a” for our goaltending future.

        • piscera.infada

          It’s in the CBA. Because Sec.11.8 (Individually negotiated limitations on player movement) are bound by the terms of Sec.11.10:

          In no event shall a Club and a Player negotiate a change in any terms of a Player’s SPC for the then-current season or for any remaining season of an SPC[…]

          There is no clause in the CBA that states outright that terms of the Standard Player Contract are changed in any way as the result of a trade or transfer.

          Also, the wording of a no-trade or no-move clause is such that it only prohibits “involuntary movement” of the player. As such, if a player voluntarily moves (by waiving their no-trade/move clause), that doesn’t void that term of the contract (because as referenced above, it can’t).

  • Baalzamon

    Ortio is not in danger of being picked in an expansion draft. I’d be more worried about Gillies.

    Besides, players with NMCs can be asked to waive for the expansion draft. Not that I think Fleury would, but it’s possible.

  • Bananaberg

    As CGY fans, we can feel relieved that we don’t have to worry about how our GM would navigate the Dustin Brown situation in LA…

    I bring it up because there are plenty of articles/talk out there about Lombardi considering buying out Brown after stripping the captaincy. His contract is monstrous relative to production/defense/intangibles. Possibly one of the tougher contracts out there to buyout…since it would be a cap hit for the next 12 years! (gulp)

    Here’s the cap hit breakdown by year:

    Year 1: $680,555
    Year 2: $1,180,555
    Year 3-4: $2,180,555
    Year 5-6: $3,680,555
    Year 7-12: $1,805,555

    Talk about a tough situation either way. Brown is a $5,875,000 cap hit for 6 years if he stays on the roster. The obvious takeaway here is that GM’s should never “fall in love” with a player. He was integral to them hoisting a couple Cups, but man…

    Source: http://www.generalfanager.com/buyouts/959

  • Greatsave

    One name I haven’t seen mentioned in terms of trading salary for salary while finding a goalie for next season is Ryan Miller. Anyone have thoughts or insights on his situation with the Canucks? 1 year left at $6m. I suppose his 5-team trade list wouldn’t include the Flames…