A snapshot of the Flames organizational depth chart

The Calgary Flames have done some moving and/or shaking over the past week, adding and subtracting a few players from the organization. With a bit of a brief lull before Friday’s free agent insanity (at least for the Flames, so far…), we felt it would be helpful to present a brief overview of the organization’s assets as of right now.

All tables below are sorted by age.

Under Team Control (Signed or RFA)

Left Wing Age Centre Age Right Wing Age
Brandon Bollig 29 Matt Stajan 32 Michael Frolik 28
Lance Bouma 26 Mikael Backlund 27 Alex Chiasson 25
Micheal Ferland 24 Freddie Hamilton 24 Garnet Hathaway 24
Johnny Gaudreau 21 Sean Monahan 21 Daniel Pribyl 23
Hunter Shinkaruk 21 Mark Jankowski 21 Austin Carroll 22
Morgan Klimchuk 21 Sam Bennett 20 Emile Poirier 21
Andrew Mangiapane 20 Brett Pollock 20 Hunter Smith 20

The Flames are reportedly negotiating with RW Joe Colborne and RW Josh Jooris. Most likely leaving the organization are wingers Drew Shore, Kenny Agostino and Bryce van Brabant, and centers Derek Grant, Turner Elson and Bill Arnold. Four of the six jettisoned players got NHL time in 2015-16, which may have been one last audition for them. Fundamentally-speaking, Pollock and Jankowski joining the pro side of the organization pushed out Elson and Arnold. Mason Raymond’s exit leaves the Flames with just one forward over the age of 30.

The right side is still pretty gnarly, even with the Flames adding Chiasson and Pribyl since the end of the regular season. If they try to do anything in free agency, the goal will probably be to beef up that right wing depth.

Left Defense Age Right Defense Age Goaltenders Age
Mark Giordano 32 Deryk Engelland 34 Brian Elliott 31
Ladislav Smid 30 Dennis Wideman 33 David Rittich 23
Jyrki Jokipakka 24 T.J. Brodie 26 Jon Gillies 22
Tyler Wotherspoon 23 Kenney Morrison 24 Mason McDonald 20
Ryan Culkin 22 Dougie Hamilton 23 Nick Schneider 18
Brett Kulak 22 Rasmus Andersson 19
Keegan Kanzig 21
Oliver Kylington 19

The Flames are reportedly still negotiating with Jakub Nakladal and Joni Ortio. But aside from that, the primary change for the Flames has been in goal. Of the five goalies under NHL deals last season that the Flames and Heat used, four of them (Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, Kevin Poulin and Niklas Backstrom) are likely done with the organization. And possibly Ortio as well.

I guess that’s what happens when both the NHL and AHL clubs have rough goaltending.

Smid, Engelland and Wideman have contracts that expire following the 2016-17 season, and then the team’s defense gets quite young in a hurry (and if you compare the blueline group to basically every other position, it’s markedly older). Presumably, the goal for the developmental side of the organization will be to get some of those younger defenders ready for NHL duty by the time they get rid of that 30+ trio.

Unsigned Draft Picks

Left Wing Age Centre Age Right Wing Age
Matthew Tkachuk 18 Pavel Karnaukhov 19 Tim Harrison 22
Matthew Phillips 18 Eetu Tuulola 18
Linus Lindstrom 18
Mitchell Mattson 18
Dillon Dube 17

The Flames have many, many unsigned centers. It’s unclear precisely what Karnaukhov’s return to Europe does in terms of his progression. Harrison probably isn’t a prospect of note anymore. Matthew DeBlouw is most likely leaving the organization, as he’s aged out of the NCAA and won’t be offered a contract.

Left Defense Age Right Defense Age Goaltenders Age
Rushan Rafikov 21 Stepan Falkovsky 19 Tyler Parsons 18
Brandon Hickey 20 Riley Bruce 18
Adam Ollas Mattsson 19 Adam Fox 18

Rafikov’s likely not a prospect of note anymore. Hickey and Fox are generally the standouts in this group – one good college player on either side. Ollas Mattsson is a wild-card, as he was quite good in SHL and at the World Juniors but might be a victim of the organizational defensive depth, particularly on the left side. John Gilmour may be going down the same path as DeBlouw.

Sum It Up

The Flames have 35 contracts on the books for 2016-17 out of their 50 contract limit, though Schneider will almost definitely be in the WHL and so his contract won’t count against the limit. In terms of the salary cap, the Flames have committed $52.7 million (including bonuses) on a goalie, seven defensemen and eight forwards.

So the Flames have roughly $20.3 million to re-sign Gaudreau and Monahan, secure a back-up goalie, and then add four other forwards.

  • beloch

    If I’m not mistaken, the buyout window closes at 5 PM EST today. So, in a little under three hours we’ll know if Wideman is still a Flame.

    I must admit, if I were Treliving I’d be sorely tempted to buy Wideman out. It might give the team the cap space it needs to bring Nakladal back.

    • DoubleDIon

      Even if you have to eat 2 million of it, I agree. July 4th is the day I think. Teams with cap space could use him, but are probably prioritizing other players.

      • mk

        Even if you have to eat half ($2.625M cap hit w/ $3M in salary), it still works out better than a buy-out (where you’d have $1.25M cap hit this year and $2M next year AND have to pay $4M total). Is there really no one that would take him for that price, even for ‘future considerations’?

  • wot96

    I don’t see Wideman getting bought out, or traded, I’m afraid.

    As Smid will come off the cap after the opening day roster, perhaps Tre will be patient and pick up someone useful that didn’t get picked up at the outset of the free agent frenzy. We saw how the asking price and term on some players fell significantly last year when their initial ask was too high.

    Maybe the really useful player will be a goalie. To avoid the three headed monster issue, I assume the Flames will start the season with Elliott and the best of whomever is currently under contract – Gillies or Rittich or maybe they sign Ortio – and then pick up someone else if the best of the rest don’t cut it.

    Or maybe there won’t be anyone useful and the Flames have to play with a lot of young or inexpensive (or both) players to fit under the cap with the result that these players get a lot of development time. There are worse things that could happen.

  • freethe flames

    When I look at the lists I recognize how much more there is to be done. We badly need 2 or 3 skilled forwards to help get us into contention. I do believe that some of the young guys will get there but their impact is a few years away.

  • everton fc

    Scary-thin on the right wing. Pelly-Smith looking more and more enticing, “cheap”. Ditto Yakupov for Wideman. But Brouwer seems more “trucluent”, and interested in coming here. This from Pierre Le Brun, on Brouwer; perhaps he takes a discount to “come home”?

    “The Vancouver native has plans to build a house in Calgary, which he wants to make his offseason and retirement home. That’s why he’s there this week meeting with builders. But it just so happens that a source says the Flames are among the teams with interest in the winger and that Brouwer — since he was in Calgary anyway — met with the Flames in person this week. But, again, there are other teams interested. So who knows?”

    If they can get him cheaper than market value…. ??? (Still like Pelly-Smith, as well)

    • wot96

      Well, is Brouwer prepared to take about $1m? ‘Cause that’s about all the team can afford, assuming they want him.

      I mean really, assuming they can resign Jooris at $800k and, oh I don’t know, Grant…that gets them to $1.25 for Brouwer assuming they can resign everyone else that they want for under $900k. It’s just not very likely.

      • Abbyfan

        the guy would have very likely led the AHL in goals last year if he didn’t get a broken jaw, and Tre can’t find a million for Grant? He’ll go somewhere and score 4 or 5 times the goals Stajan will next year for a third of the price. I like Tre’s moves, but he is blowing this one big time.

  • freethe flames

    Let’s take an honest look at these forwards:

    LW: Johnny a star, Ferland a project, Bouma disappointing season, Bollog not good enough, Shinkaruk promising/unproven, Mangiapane promising unproven, Tkachuk promising/unproven, Klimchuk uninspiring after last year.

    Center: Monahan star, Bennett star in the making, Backlund solid player, Stajan game passing him by, Jankowski unproven, Hamilton unproven, Pollock unproven and a bunch of kids going back to the CHL.

    RW: Frolik solid player, Chiasson reclamation project, Hathaway meh, Pribyl recovering from an injury unproven/unknown, Poirier disappointing progress last year, Carroll meh, Smith meh and kids going back to the CHL.

    I look at this list and I go who do I really trust playing in the NHL next year: Johnny, Ferland, Monahan, Bennett, Backs, Frolik, and Chiasson; that is it. Bouma(Im hoping he has at bounce back year) and Stajan but their stock has fallen significantly IMO.

    On the back end we are deep no doubt. I have heard over and over again form BT,BB and fans here that you can acquire wingers; I am waiting and it needs to be done.

    • piscera.infada

      As I said on an earlier post. Winger depth would be awesome, however how much has really changed on the offensive side of the roster from a team that finished tenth in goals for last season, and sixth in goals for in 2014/15? Hudler and Jones? That’s basically it.

      The order of importance for the Flames right now is:

      Johnny/Monny contracts

      Create some flexibility on defense

      Further shore up the goaltending

      Flesh out the coaching staff

      Poop, probably…

      Worry about where the offense is going to come from.

      The forwards will be filled, but it’s not as pressing a need as you seem to think it is. I have no doubt we’ll see Treliving sign a winger or two in free agency (hopefully Connelly–I also want Jooris resigned), but they’ll be the cheaper, “less sexy” variety. I have no problem with that, if they can play. Take a deep breath and let it happen.

      • freethe flames

        Fortunately for us a large part of our offense is generated from the back end. I have no problem with the “less sexy” options as you put it (and the names you suggest are fine) but to be more competitive we need better complimentary pieces. I’ve seldom thrown out the big names with maybe the exception of Nichushkyn or Kevin Hayes and neither of them are true stars. I am also all for giving the kids; Shinkaruk, Mangiapane, and Poirier a shot but then we need to curb expectations.