Mason Raymond officially bought out

Mason Raymond had one year left of carrying a $3.15 million cap hit. With his buyout, he now only counts for $1.05 million on the cap this year, saving the Flames $2.1 million in cap space. He will also count for $1.05 million on the cap in 2017-18.

This is the first time the Flames have executed a buyout since using a compliance one on Shane O’Brien, and the first time since Nigel Dawes was bought out after the 2009-10 season.

The current cap situation

The Flames have $2.5 million committed to a goalie with another still to sign; roughly $29.7 million committed to seven defencemen, possibly with another to sign or promote; and roughly $20.35 million committed to eight forwards, including Raymond’s buyout hit and Sam Bennett’s bonuses, with another six to sign or promote.

That puts them at having roughly $52.65 million committed to the cap, giving them $20.35 million to spend on seven or eight more players. Two players will be Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, who could take up to two thirds of that available cap space, leaving maybe $6.35 million or so for five or six players.

Even with Raymond’s buyout, which helps, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for the Flames to spend when free agency opens.

The Smid factor

If Ladislav Smid’s injury remains serious, and his career is done, the Flames can put him on the long-term injured reserve, and his $3.5 million cap hit will essentially not count. (He’s not going to voluntarily retire to allow the Flames to buy him out for less money. Nobody would do that. There’s still Marc Savard, Chris Pronger, Pascal Dupuis now…) However, it still has to fit under the cap before the season starts.

The Flames could use some creative maneuvering to get under it. For example, Sam Bennett doesn’t require waivers, so he could be transferred to start the season in the AHL on paper, and be brought back up once Smid is on LTIR. The same could be true of any other waiver-ineligible rookies who make the team; however, the Flames still have to announce an actual opening roster.

Then, there’s the risk that Smid is healthy enough to play once again. It happened last year. If that ends up being the case, you don’t want to have put yourself in a corner by leaving yourself with no cap room.

Remaining buyouts

No new Flames have appeared on waivers. Dennis Wideman is the only Flame with a no movement clause, so he’s the only one who can still be bought out. The deadline is 3 p.m. MT, but at this point, it doesn’t look likely. Buying out Wideman would have him count for $1.25 million on the cap this season, and $2 million in 2017-18. 

The Flames would save an additional $4 million on the cap this season, which would give them roughly $10.35 million in cap space to work with after Monahan and Gaudreau’s extensions; they would have to carry $3.05 million in dead cap space in 2017-18 if they did, however. (Hey, still less than Smid!)

What about Joe Colborne?

Does Raymond’s buyout allow the Flames to retain Joe Colborne?

Let’s go back to his estimated ask, and take the lower end $3.5 million figure. That would leave the Flames with roughly $2.8 million in cap space to sign or promote another five forwards, a goalie, and maybe a defenceman.

So yeah, if Colborne sticks to his guns about his current reported ask, it’s not happening in Calgary. Even if he drops down to $2 million, that still leaves the Flames with only $4.35 million in cap space to sign six or seven players, which is basically an impossible task.

The Flames could still go over by $3.2 million, as the cap will transfer any bonuses Bennett reaches into next season; however, that’s then more dead space for 2017-18. So some of these extensions are possible – if the Flames want to continue to handcuff themselves with dead cap space.

But when there are rumours about the Flames kicking tires on Matt Martin or Troy Brouwer, you have to ask: with what cap space?

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    If Tre can trade Wideman for literally anything the CBA will allow, even while keeping half the cap hit, would be a major success.

    It makes room for a younger, better, cheaper guy. It clears almost as much cap this year, with none next year, as compared to a buyout. What’s not to like about that?

    • Sanintarious

      I suspect BT will wait right up until the moment before the buy out window closes, to decide on Wideman. Try up until the last moment to trade him.

      I don’t think they buy him out unless they feel pretty confident they will need that cap space.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    NJD have 4 forwards (6 is you count Clowe and Savard) and 3 defenders signed for the upcoming season. Maybe they’re a candidate for a Wideman trade.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I hope Tre doesn’t sign Colbort for more than $2M, regardless or any further buyouts or cap-saving trades. He’s only worth more if he plays with Backlund, and I’d rather put a good player with Backlund so he can look great, instead of Backlund making a mediocre player look good.

  • Sanintarious

    1 year to the date that Dougie got his extension. Could this be Gaudreau/Monahan day? No real whispers of it, so its looking more and more like it’ll happen after free agency….

      • Sanintarious

        BT is very good at keeping things quiet. Media is usually only aware moments before something goes down.

        Hamilton trade happened moments after it got heard about on twitter
        Extension was signed very shortly after hearing about it on twitter as well.

        It would be nice to know their extensions and AAV before going in to FA tomorrow.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    This is what you do with Smid. (if he is injured and not going to play again)

    Work out a back room deal with him where he retires, and is hired as a European scout. Offer to continue his medical care, and while he is in the meeting leave a paper bag with $3.5M less tax on the seat of his Mercedes.

    Done and done.

    If he is going to play again, trade him with a 3rd for a 6th rounder.

    • wot96

      So let me get this straight. You do a “deal” with a guy, a deal you know doesn’t pass the sniff test, a deal that shouldn’t actually be done, a deal that might be illegal – but you consider the tax consequences?

      Kool. Sounds legit.

          • everton fc

            Yakupov on Bennett’s RW.

            If you could get Yakupov and Connolly cheap, short term-contracts… Gives us a year of breathing room to get the players we need to sign, signed. Either re-sign Ortio or go after Johnson and our goaltending seems secure for one more year. Maybe even sneak Jooris and Colborne under the cap somehow (Jooris is probably looking for 2 yrs minumum), and/or move Bouma (though I like a 4th line of Bouma/Stajan/Chiasson, again, for one year…)

            I’d also kick some tires w/Pelly-Smith’s agent.

          • Matty Franchise Jr

            Although, considering what EDM just paid to get a 2nd pairing D, for Wideman we should probably get Yak and RNH and have EDM retain half of RNH salary.

          • everton fc

            RNH w/Bennett at LW.

            Eberle on RW with Gaudreau and Monahan.

            Both attractive. But I can’t see Chiarelli helping us out, though he has made some bizarre moves, in the past, and of late.