Waiting for Gaudreau: The biggest contracts in Calgary Flames history

We’re now into World Cup of Hockey season, meaning we may be waiting for a while for news relating to Johnny Gaudreau’s contract extension. With this lull, it’s probably a good time to take a look at some of the richest deals in club history – particularly given Sean Monahan’s recent long-term, big-money extension.

Here’s a brief snapshot of the most expensive deals in Flames history. Where do you think Gaudreau’s deal, whenever it occurs, will fall within these lists?

Active contracts are bolded.

BIGGEST CAP HIT

  • $7 MILLION – JAROME IGINLA (2005-08)
    Coming off of a stretch where he scored 35, 41 and 50 goals and was among the best hockey players on the planet, Darryl Sutter astutely opened the cheque book.
  • $7 MILLION – JAROME IGINLA (2008-13)
    Iginla’s play didn’t deteriorate during his previous contract (above), where he scored 35, 39 and 50 goals. So, he got another, longer, one.
  • $6.75 MILLION – MARK GIORDANO (2016-22)
    Giordano replaced Iginla as captain after the latter’s departure and continued his quiet progression into a Norris-caliber defender.
  • $6.68 MILLION – JAY BOUWMEESTER (2009-14)
    Darryl Sutter traded for Bouwmeester’s rights before the draft and signed him to a big, big money deal.
  • $6.5 MILLION – DION PHANEUF (2008-14)
    Phaneuf’s first contract after his entry-level deal was steep and almost impossible to live up to.
  • $6.375 MILLION – SEAN MONAHAN (2016-23)
  • $5.83 MILLION – MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF (2008-14)
    Kiprusoff put up some gaudy numbers in the first couple of season after the lockout, so he got a hefty raise.
  • $5.75 MILLION – DOUGIE HAMILTON (2015-21)
    The Flames acquired Hamilton with great fanfare at the 2015 NHL Draft and then locked him up long-term, with a cap hit only beaten by Giordano’s.
  • $5.25 MILLION – ALEX TANGUAY (2006-09)
    The Flames traded for Tanguay at the 2016 NHL Draft and signed him to a fairly big-money deal. He was coming off a few really productive seasons and the hope was he’d be a good fit with Jarome Iginla.
  • $5.25 MILLION – DENNIS WIDEMAN (2012-17)
    Jay Feaster traded for Wideman’s rights and signed him long-term to bolster the power-play – ala Sutter with Bouwmeester three seasons prior. It has been… mixed.

BIGGEST TOTAL VALUE

  • $44.625 MILLION – SEAN MONAHAN (2016-23)
    Monahan’s deal is for seven seasons at $6.375 million apiece.
  • $40.5 MILLION – MARK GIORDANO (2016-22)
    Current Flames captain Giordano signed a six-year deal at $6.75 million per season.
  • $39 MILLION – DION PHANEUF (2008-14)
    Back when he was thought to be the answer on the blueline, young Phaneuf signed for six seasons at $6.5 million per season.
  • $35 MILLION – MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF (2008-14)
    Miikka Kiprusoff’s last NHL contract was for six seasons and $5,833,333 (rounded to $5.83 million). He was good for five of those seasons.
  • $35 MILLION – JAROME IGINLA (2008-13)
    Coming off a three-year deal at $7 million apiece, the Flames extended Iginla for five more seasons at the same cap hit.
  • $34.5 MILLION – DOUGIE HAMILTON (2015-21)
    Arguably Brad Treliving’s biggest swing, acquiring Hamilton for picks and signing him for six years (at a hefty $5.75 million cap hit).
  • $33.4 MILLION – JAY BOUWMEESTER (2009-14)
    Compared to some of the deals that came after him, Bouwmeester’s was rather pedestrian: five seasons at $6.68 million. He was the highest-paid Flame (in terms of cap hit) for three days following Iginla’s trade to Pittsburgh.
  • SickFloBro

    Hey, random thought…

    I seem to recall that back when Lidstrom was still playing in Detroit, Holland imposed a “Lidstrom Cap”, in that no player would make more than their captain and best player.

    Any chance that’s happening here with Giordano/Gaudreau?

    • jakethesnail

      Two chances – slim and none. Fans go to games to watch a game breaking forward (as Team Under23 coach Whatshisname? says he is) than D-men with some offensive talent. Both are indeed valuable to the Flames, but Johnny brings the fans off their butts!

      • SickFloBro

        I don’t disagree with you about what fans want, but I’m not sure Treliving is really concerned about selling tickets.

        If I’m Brad Treliving, I’m probably doing whatever I can to keep costs down and create manageable contract situations. Just a thought.

        …also, chances can’t be slim AND none… just saying. 😉

        • piscera.infada

          He may not care about selling tickets, but he probably cares about winning. What does this team look like long-term without Gaudreau?

          We can wax poetic all we want about “must have success in the playoffs, or against team ‘x'”. The simple truth is that not only does he put butts in the seats, Gaudreau wins hockey games. Without him, I’m not sure there is playoff success to worry about.

  • Theo4HoF

    I feel like players should have least won a few playoff rounds before they start earning 7+ million.

    When the flames have to play a heavy team like the ducks again in the playoffs, I’m not sure how Gaudreau will fair when the other team starts targeting him every game. The deeper you go in the playoffs it seems the less penalties are called and Gaudreau has not had the chance to prove he can over come and lead the flames to the promise land.

    I’m crossing my fingers Tre can sign him for under 7 million weather that’s realistic or not, doesn’t sound like it. Billionaires paying millionaires, must be nice.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      I think we saw a little of that in the 2nd round against the Ducks. He managed 3 points in 5 games.
      He’s a game-changer regardless of whether he has played deep in the playoffs or not.

    • Tomas Oppolzer

      Oh boy, this take is hot as the surface of the sun. You pay the player what they’re worth. It’s not Gaudreau’s fault the Flames have been a step above trash during his time with the team so far.

  • reidja

    Darren Haynes wrote a good article with 10 contracts for comparison. Based on my reading of his reasoning, I think we will be looking at around 6y x $7MM or 7y x $7.25MM. I think it will be the former.

    Another interesting piece from Haynes points out the potential impact of the World Cup on contract negotiations. I think that gives me a reason to watch this event.

  • Danomitee

    At this point in time, the only thing I can imagine is that they’re squabbling over term, not price. If that’s the case and Gaudreau ends up getting his way, this deal is probably going to fall into a high average salary, but low term deal and not even make this list.