Mason Raymond on waivers, to be bought out

Mason Raymond’s time in Calgary appears to be officially over. Well, it effectively has been since Feb. 3, when he was waived for the second time in the 2015-16 season and subsequently sent down to the Stockton Heat – but now, it’s over.

This marks the third time in one calendar year Raymond has been on waivers. It’s over.

On July 1, 2014, Brad Treliving was at the general manager’s helm for his first free agency opening period. He didn’t have the best day, just as he didn’t have the best draft the week before; on that day, the Flames signed Raymond, Jonas Hiller, and Deryk Engelland all to rather large contracts. Hiller’s officially expires in two days’ time, while Engelland and Raymond still have another year each on theirs.

Or, in Raymond’s case, had. His three-year deal, worth an annual average value of $3.15 million, is being cut short a year early. The Flames will save $2.1 million on the cap this year – enough to re-sign Joe Colborne? – and will have $1.05 million in dead cap for the 2017-18 season.

This is the season the Flames need to save cap, though. With too many awful contracts all set to expire after this season, and taking up valuable cap space throughout it, Calgary was always going to have to get creative. Utilizing the buyout window was one way of doing it.

Keep in mind, the Flames may not be done yet. Because Dennis Wideman has a no movement clause, he doesn’t have to be waived before being bought out. The Flames can simply do that before the buyout period expires at 3 p.m. MT June 30. 

Buying out Wideman would save the Flames an additional $4 million on their cap this season, while costing them another $2 million for 2017-18. The difference between Wideman and Raymond, though? Wideman still has some NHL value – Raymond’s was clearly gone.

As for Ladislav Smid? As an injured player, he has to agree to be bought out, and it doesn’t look like that’s happening. He has one year at $3.5 million remaining on his deal.

  • Denscafon

    I actually was curious to see Raymond play under Gulutzan to see if it was Hartley that was killing him but due to cap issues, we don’t have that luxury. I’m perfectly fine with this. Now just trade Wideman for whatever.

  • Stan

    Okay so on yesterday’s Colborne article we estimated the following:

    $52.55 million already committed (AFTER Raymond buyout) and $14 million to Monahan and Gaudreau (higher end estimate).

    That leaves the Flames cap at $66.55 million, giving us $6.45 million to work with until we hit the $73 million cap, which likely means that we can now afford Colborne (~2.5-3.0 mill), Nakladal (~1.5 mill), Ortio (~1.0 mill), and Jooris (~1.0 mill).

    Another option would be resigning only Ortio for cheap, and dipping into the free agent market. Exciting couple days ahead!!!

    • Kevin R

      Gotta wonder if Tre is eyeballing some RFA’s that have been qualified but may be difficult to sign that might be able to plug into the top 6.

      So lets say for example Nichushkin & Stars aren’t really on the same page (hence talk of Nichushkin going back to KHL) maybe Tre can get him for reasonable cost & throw a 3.0 to 4.0 mill shorter term deal to him. I would rather allocate Big Joes $$$ to a guy like Nichushkin.

    • jakethesnail

      He is 30 years old….Flames should be acquiring a younger player as a backup or signing Ortio to an extension (which they will attempt to do according to Tre.

  • PrairieStew

    “Enough to resign Colborne” – only if you are signing Joe to a one year deal! Whatever you sign Monahan, Gaudreau and Colborne to has to fit into this year’s cap and next year’s; when this extra $1m will be charged with no player to show for it. I recognize that a couple of big contracts come off next year in Wideman and Engelland but you also have to get new deals for Bennett, Ferland and probably Brian Elliot. The $2m in savings is really only just over a million since you have to replace the roster spot this year. Assuming its Chiasson @ $800, means you save $1.2 this year to cost you $1 next year.

    • Stan

      The cap won’t be an issue next year. The Flames have Wideman (5.25), Engelland (2.9), Bollig (1.25) and Smid (3.5) off the books after this year. That gives them at least 13 mill to resign Bennett, Elliott and Ferland.

  • mattyc

    Sad to hear it didn’t work out for Raymond in Calgary. Was one of my fav Canucks when they went to the finals. Thought he was a really solid middle six option.

  • beloch

    Raymond’s point production probably wasn’t an issue. He was still getting a decent number of shots per game as a bottom sixer. His shooting percentage just dipped last season. It probably would have come up eventually if he’d stayed in the NHL. Raymond’s AHL results indicate he can still produce points.

    The real issue with Raymond is that, over his entire time in Calgary, he was sheltered like a rookie and was still a possession sinkhole. WOWY analysis shows that, on average, he made his linemates worse. If the goal is for the Flames to become a better possession team, getting rid of Raymond is one way to work towards that goal.

    This buyout gives the Flames cap space right when they need it, and the dead-space comes next season when they have multiple bad contracts coming off the books. Another smart move.

  • Backburner

    This had to be done; and I’m almost positive if Widemand does not get traded in the next 24 hours, He WILL be bought out also.

    This should give the Flames a little breathing room, and hopefully sign a free agent forward.

    • jakethesnail

      buying out a player that has some value in the trade market before the TDL and keeping him on your cap for an extra year, even if it is reduced, is not good cap management.

      • ApolloRising

        While you do make a very valid point, I think people are undervaluing the roster spot and development opportunities the buyout brings. We play better without Wideman and have several rookies that are much better. Without that open spot their development could start to slow. We are basically paying for opportunity.

        If Wideman does get bought out, it means Treliving couldn’t find a buyer. The one thing Treliving does is his due diligence. A buyout would be the last resort and an indication that there is no interest in the market.

        • mattyc

          I’m not sure I buy this. First of all, you’d have to assume Wideman is replaced with a rookie (and not, say, Engelland moving up the depth chart). Then you’d have to assume that developmentally, playing 12-15 minutes in the NHL is better than playing 20 minutes in Stockton.

          Finally, just because no one wants Wideman now doesn’t mean he won’t have trade value before the deadline. In my opinion, Wideman’s probably a good bet to have an OK year – maybe he ends up 25-30pts by the TDL. In that case, there’s probably a few teams that would take him as a rental. In this scenario, the only reason you buy him out now is if you *need* the money for another player, and have decided that [new player] + [wideman cap penalty] > [wideman] + [potential deadline return].

          • Greg

            Wish I could give that multiple props.

            Pplz need to give the Wideman buyout idea a rest. Raymond was waived several times, healthy scratched, demoted, and left to play in the minors. His buyout was telegraphed for months.

            Wideman was never waived, never demoted, and when he was suspended, BT and BB were flying all over the continent to go to bat for him. Even the new coach seems to be including him when he talks about “the 4 horses” on our backend. The team has given absolutely no indications they view him as a buyout candidate, so why do so many people keep thinking they might?

          • ApolloRising

            I agree that Wideman probably has value come the trade deadline. I can’t see Engelland moving up into Wideman’s spot. Id like to see Engelland go too. I cringe watching Engelland on the ice. Nakladal, Wotherspoon, Jokipakka all played better than Wideman and Engelland. We have some incredible talent in Stockton I think are ready to make the jump. The reason I would want a buyout (prefer a trade though) is to let our youth continue to develop. I think Wideman and Engelland hold the team back. I’m sure both could be traded at the deadline, but I’d rather see our youth developing.

            Honestly I think the flames are further along in development than everyone realizes. I think Hartley and Hiller were major reasons for our terrible season. He didn’t trust our defensive youth, even when they played better. Maybe waiting a year isn’t the worst thing to happen. But when Engelland and Wideman were injured/suspended the Flames played much better. Wotherspoon/Nakladal were a great bottom pairing. I saw fewer mistakes and the Flames started winning more games. That’s my sole goal in my suggestion.

      • Backburner

        So good cap management is keeping a 5.25 cap hit on a third pairing defenseman?

        Flames plan on resigning Nakladal with T spoon, Kulak and maybe even Andersson knocking on the door.. not too mention they still need to sign a top 6 forward to replace Hudler.

        They have two options: trade him and retain salary, or buy him out.

        Don’t forget they have been trying to trade him for the last year.

      • Trevy

        Would love to see Matt Martin as well and the Flames are in on him, but his asking price is $3-4 million… Seems a bit steep for a player that led the league in hits and played on the 4th line with 10 goals.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        No I think a couple scenarios could be at play:

        1. Flames trade Wideman for very little and savings are used to sign Okposo

        2. Flames trade Wideman to Pitt (who has cap issues) and take back Hornqvist to be RW1 and Daley on D (one year left), then flip Daley to Edmonton (who could still use him after Larsson trade) for a draft pick

    • ApolloRising

      Apparently there are a bunch of people that don’t want the Flames to get better with a guy from FA or a trade? FA could help the Flames with guys like Okposo, Eriksson, Brouwer, Backes, ect. Or a trade like Kevin Hayes.

      • Baalzamon

        Okposo, Eriksson, Brouwer, Backes

        All of these guys are going to get ridiculously overpaid in FA, and none will help the Flames long term. If the Flames sign Okposo people will complain about him being an expensive bum and blocking guys like Tkachuk, Shinkaruk, and Poirier within two years. Mark me.

        • kittensandcookies

          I dunno.

          I think the window for playoff success is right now.

          Yup, this season.

          BT is dumping all the dead weight. If you’re a player on the margin, buh bye. The Flames have no use for you, not even on the farm team.

          I think we have a really good chance of going deep in the playoffs this season. BT is clearly trying to make a top 9 forward group.

          The rebuild is over. This group needs to perform now or else even more players will be moved. Mercy is over.

          • Baalzamon

            Even if that’s all true, none of that means Okposo is a good fit. His production riding shotgun with Tavares is no better than PA Parenteau and Matt Moulson got in the same company. Would you sign them to long deals worth 6+ million per? I didn’t think so.

        • everton fc

          Eriksson was in Dallas under Gulutzan. He’d be a nice complimentary piece on RW w/Gaudreau and Monahan. But what’s the price? Ditto Okposo, who I thibnk the Isles will somehow find a way to bring back, even if eh does go UFA. Unless he’s already said, “No thanks.”

          I read a quote yesterday that Brouwer is a glorified Bouma. He’s not what we need. Backes is too old.

          Comes down to loonies and “toonies”, really. This move helps.

          As for Ferland, if he playes LW w/Backlund and Frolik, he’ll score double-digit goals. In a 4th line role, he’s a vast improvement over both Bouma and Bollig. Ferland will figure it out. He’s been used on so men ay lines, with so many different players, different roles… Plug him in w/Backlund and Frolik, and we may find he becomes Colborne’s replacement, in terms of production.

  • Danomitee

    So burying him in the minors would have saved us 1 mil, buying him out saves us 2 mil this year but then we pay 1 mil next year. So pretty much the 2 million dollar salary has been slated over two years, instead of just this year.

    I hope this is money shifted for picking up another player and isn’t relocated to the JoMo contracts.

  • Pizzaman

    I wouldn’t worry about Ferland for next year. His roster spot is up for grabs this year. They gave him all sorts of chance this past season and he flunked. I hope his demons are fixed.

    • Baalzamon

      Ferland only “flunked” as a scoring line player (and that only because he somehow had a 3% shooting percentage. That’s low for a shutdown defenseman, and clearly an aberration). As a bottom sixer, he was an effective all-around player who added grit and drove play. The Flames need more Ferlands and fewer Bolligs.

    • KACaribou

      Huge Ferly fan here. Sorry, I disagree with extreme prejudice.

      To me he seemed confused. Fans wanted him to hit everything that moves, which he can… but don’t take a penalty. Coach Bob too.

      Then it seemed like, you have some skills “lets see those too.” You can’t use your skills when you are hitting everything that moves.

      I think it was all a little confusing to Ferly. We have a talent here people. Give him a break. Everyone learns at a different pace.

      But I hope Ferly takes the off-season seriously and comes back in Iggy-shape. I still see him in a top 2 role.

  • KACaribou

    I don’t get the blame Coach Bob theories. Anyone ever watch Raymond play last year? But I digress.

    My theory is that the speed of the game has caught up to a lot of guys. Some who were too slow it passed. Guys like Raymond who got by on their speed more than anything else, now look like everyone else… fast.

    Guys who could once get by being fast even though they had perimeter game deficiencies – like Mason Raymond – now just have deficiencies because everyone else is fast too. Speed can no longer be enough, when once it was.

    Mason seems like a good guy, and he had a good career when the league was just a little bit slower.

    • Baalzamon

      Guys who could once get by being fast even though they had perimeter game deficiencies – like Mason Raymond – now just have deficiencies because everyone else is fast too. Speed can no longer be enough, when once it was.

      Maybe Matt Lombardi too.

      I think another factor is that back injury from the playoff series against Boston. Remember that? Before the injury, Raymond didn’t have any difficulty getting to some of the tough areas on the ice. After? He became even more of a perimeter player than before.

      At least, that was how I saw it.

    • mattyc

      @ Baalzamon

      My unscientific opinion is Raymond’s back injury probably had something to do with it too. Similar to Matt Lombardi’s career with concussion (thanks Hatcher).

  • freethe flames

    Obviously BT was unable to trade Raymond and this was a move predicted long ago; it just took until now for it to be done. What BT does next is anyone’s guess but having this money available provides options. What would be best is a trade for Wideman even eating salary or retirement of Smid. That would give even more flexibility.