Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the Calgary Flames, headed into free agency

At 10 a.m. MT, the NHL free agency period opens, and teams can begin signing players.

With all of the moves the Flames have made as of late, here’s a refresher on where they stand, and what they can do with their cap.

Johnny Gaudreau ($6.75 million) Sean Monahan ($6.375 million) Micheal Ferland (?)
Matthew Tkachuk ($925,000) Mikael Backlund ($3.575 million) Michael Frolik ($4.3 million)
Kris Versteeg ($1.75 million) Sam Bennett (?)
Matt Stajan ($3.125 million) Curtis Lazar (?) Troy Brouwer ($4.5 million)
Freddie Hamilton ($612,500)
Mark Giordano ($6.75 million) Dougie Hamilton ($5.75 million)
T.J. Brodie ($4.65 million) Travis Hamonic ($3.857 million)
Michael Stone ($3.5 million)
Matt Bartkowski ($612,500)
Mike Smith ($4.25 million)
Eddie Lack ($1.375 million)

This group, plus buyout penalties from Mason Raymond, Lance Bouma, and Ryan Murphy totals $65,134,210 of cap space spent. The Flames have $9,865,790 left in cap space.

A couple of spaces have been left open, indicating some room the Flames may have to add a player or two. I would expect Brett Kulak to fill the sixth defenceman spot, and Garnet Hathaway could perhaps be an extra forward alongside Freddie Hamilton, but there’s still a spot open in the top nine for somebody – whether it be a free agent, or a graduated prospect. (Also, those are assumptions; we likely won’t have a clearer idea until, well, September, but if the Flames are quiet in free agency then that may answer the question on its own.)

Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland, and Curtis Lazar’s cap hits are still up in the air, but none of these three forwards really have much justification to break the bank, so we can probably still expect the Flames to have a couple of million to spare, whether they want to use it or not.

Let’s ballpark Ferland at Bouma’s old deal, at $2.2 million, Bennett at $3 million, and Lazar at $1 million (and Kulak there as well, if you’re so inclined) – that’s an estimated $7.2 million. Assume Hathaway signs a deal for say $800,000, and the Flames will have just under $2 million left with one roster spot left to fill. (I think I’m overestimating on some of these, so I’d expect them to be able to add someone at $2 million still if they’re so inclined.)

What about 2018-19?

While the Flames may have the space to continue throwing money around for this season, will they for next season?

Expiring contracts include Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg, Eddie Lack, Freddie Hamilton, and Matt Bartkowski, plus the end of Raymond’s buyout, which will see $12.1 million come off the cap. Of those six players, the only one that’s really, really crucial to bring back is Backlund. While he’ll probably be due for a raise, the amount coming off of the cap is more than enough to be able to retain him.

Everyone else – except for perhaps Versteeg and Lack, depending on how their seasons go – can probably be replaced internally or brought back for just as cheap.

The 2019-20 season may be a bit trickier, as Matthew Tkachuk’s entry-level contract will have expired and the Flames will only be losing Mike Smith’s $4.25 million (with a need to have a starting goalie at some point) and just under a $1 million as Lance Bouma and Ryan Muprhy’s buyouts end; however, a lot will likely happen in between now and then, so it’s not worth fretting over at the moment.

  • Ole YELLEr

    I hope the Flames are done signing free agents unless BT can squeeze Justin Williams in under the cap. With Jankowski, Foo, Shinkaruk, Poirier, Klimchuk, Prybll, Mangiapanne, Hathaway, F. Hamilton and Lomberg in the system I’d hope at least one can earn a bottom 6 job this preseason. Kulak and Tspoon can fight over the 6/7 spot.

  • ALowry

    Looks like Williams and Sharp are off to CAR and CHI.
    I would be okay with Jagr or Iginla or Cammaleri. Or even Hemsky.
    For some reason I feel like we’re going to end up with Doan. Alberta boy (correct me if I’m wrong) who is ending his career, could play close to home for a team in playoff contention. I don’t think he’s the best fit. I don’t mind it either but I feel like something will be bad about the deal, whether cap hit or term.

    • Ole YELLEr

      I too would be ok with Jagr, Iggy or Cammaleri on 1 year deals maybe 2 for Cammaleri. I can see Doan as well especially with th BT’s apparent love of ex Coyotes. If they do sign Doan I REALLY hope it’s for 1 year.

  • freethe flames

    Happy Canada Day everyone! If all BT did today was file Foo’s paper work and went golfing I would be okay with that. Don’t sign anyone over 32 for more than year deals. Ideally the day would include getting Bennett/Ferland signed, announce a Backlund extension with a raise @$1.5m x 4 and call it a day.

    I suspect that the man who never rests will sign someone today; Vrbata 1 year x$1m plus bonuses will be my guess.

  • freethe flames

    Alzner to Montreal for more money and term than Stone; this makes the Stone deal even look more reasonable.

    In my mind the holes in this lineup can be filled from within and some shuffling. Janko replaces Tkachuk with the two Mikes, Tkachuk plays with Bennett and Versteeg. 3 solid lines, the 4th line is anyone’s guess. Kulak bumps Bartkowski he might even find himself in the AHL.

  • Baalzamon

    Come on, sign Jagr for cheap!

    Imagine a Versteeg – Bennett – Jagr line. It would enable the two most effective lines from last season (3M and Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland) to stay intact.

  • Skylardog

    Flames should stay quiet. Gives the young guys a chance and a reason to be a Flame. Might have been a little depressing for some watching the slots go to signings and trades over the last few days. Having said that I am sure they are kept in the loop as to where they stand. But we all need a carrot.
    If they decide they need a forward, we could find a better player through the trade market, where we move out some cap to get a player that can really make a difference. Anything done today is just a stop gap that takes a spot from the prospects.

    • Kevin R

      My thoughts too. I really think that vacant spot should be left open for Janko, Foo & Shink to scrap over. Move Tkachuk with Bennett & Versteeg. Same as that #6 & 7 D positions. Kulak seems to have the inside track & I think he will grow playing with Stone. Would like to see T-Spoon in the #7 & at least get a big league paycheque for his patience.

      Noticed Chad got a 1 year deal at 2.5 mill, that’s a pricey back up. Some of these other older D are getting some pretty good $$$, making Hamonic, Brodie & Stone’s deals look like steals. Not worried about the cap for 2019-20, I am sure younger guys will be ready to move into top 4 spots & Tre will be moving 1 or 2 of our 3,4 or 5 guys (all who are going into their last years) Now try retaining those three guys in 3 years, that will be needing a magic act. Fortunately at age 29-30, they will still have value in the trade market.

  • Newbietwo

    I was worried we would go after Williams or something or even Sharp.. yes his salary is low but he’s gonna kill Chicago with bonusses..

    I was also concerned with these moves that an offer sheet goes out for Bennett given his draft pedigree alone so I hope Tre locks him up asap..

    I’m ok with Jagr or Iggy at $1.2 million for its flexibility but looking at it I say roll with the team

    • Kevin R

      33 year old Daley gets 3 years at 3.1 per from Detroit. Makes Stone look good. How did Girardi get 3 years @ 3.0 mill per. He sucked so bad Ranger fans could hardly wait to buy him out. Now Niemi at a 1 year deal at $700K was a steal of a deal. Williams @ 2 years for 4.5mill per….yikes…. Really glad Tre doesn’t have much money to spend & he has to be darn careful not to max out & attract any offer sheets for Ferly or Benny. Lets get those two inked please.

    • Skylardog

      Either Bennett or Ferland could be offered up to $3.925 mill for up to 5 seasons and all we would get back is a 2nd rounder if we didn’t match. Here we are talking about paying them $2 to $3 for 2 to 3 years. Bennett might have trouble with a 5 year at $3.9, but a 3 year at $3.9 per would be a nice raise.

      Ferland is the one that scares me. He has value for someone. He would be very interested in 5 years at $3.5. I think he has that kind of game and value, we just haven’t figured out how to use it yet.

      What either guy being offer sheeted would do is create havoc for our cap situation. Here we are pencilling in $2.0 to $2.5 for Ferland, and $2.5 to $3.0 for Bennett, with the lower end really matching our cap reality.

      If someone put out a $3.5 for 5 for Ferland, can we keep him?. If it is Bennett at $3.9 for 4, what do we do? We don’t really have the room to sign either without leaving the cap at near zero. What if both get offers?

      And again, only a 2nd coming back if we don’t match.

  • Lucky 13

    Good morning and Happy 150th 🇨🇦
    I thought I would add a little love for Canada today, being born and raised here like many of you are. We are a proud nation but seldom do we ever brag about it.
    That’s just the Canadian way I suppose.

    In fact we’re more apologetic for having the 2nd largest land mass in the world, not to mention the most lakes and fresh air to go with it.

    I don’t know about you but when I travel, I always have that beloved maple leaf surrounding me, whether I’m wearing a shirt that says Canada or sewing a maple leaf on my backpack, luggage or drinking a tall one in my Canadian glass gleaming with our flag. I don’t know why I do it , other than I’m proud to be Canadian! Everyone recognizes the LEAF…

    Oh yah and who can ignore the fact that hockey is Canada’s game?

    Our passion lights up the minute we talk about hockey. I love the Zamboni, the freshly surfaced ice, the atmosphere when being surrounded by die hard fans.. there’s nothing like it.

    I guess that’s why we’re here in the first place, hockey.. it flows in our veins and we can’t get enough.

    So to all FN and subsequent other Canadian hockey nations out there… Happy 150th 🇨🇦🇨🇦

  • cjc

    Looking at the starting goalies signed today, they are all coming in cheaper than Smith: Miller 2 x 2, Bernier 1 x 2.75, Johnson 1 x 2.5, Elliott 2 x 2.75, Mason 2 x 4.1. No reason to think Smith is better than any of those guys, and we gave up a pick to get him.

      • cjc

        Bernier just signed to play backup in the tire fire that is Colorado, would he not jump at the chance to start in Calgary? Miller will play backup in Anaheim. Johnson was a 1b here last year, and I’m not so fickle that I’d shun a goalie (Elliott) after one bad playoff series in which he had no goal support. Save last year, Mason has had better numbers than Smith over the last 4 seasons. I don’t think ther is a lot separating these six goalies, my point is that an equivalent goalie could be had for cheaper (even if the list is limited to Miller and Bernier).

        • TheoForever

          I’m not in love with a 35 year old Smith, but I think he is a more steady option, if we went with some of the guys you mentioned I would be ok with it as well. Exception Elliott, he had a terrible start to the season, once he got hot he made up for it. That series against Ducks that was one of the worst performances ever. How could the team have confidence in him going into the next playoffs? He had to go, nice guy and all.

  • Skylardog

    Got to give BT a ton of credit for what he has accomplished in the past 15 days. 10 days ago I believed he was letting it all slide by without being an active participant. How things changed.

    I am not saying I am 100% happy with all the deals. We have given away a pile, but seem to have laid out a great roster. Some of the guys come with a history that says we will be fine, but they also bring questions from the past year that raise some flags. Time will tell.

    BT has gone form a D to an A- in my book. Pretty good last 2 weeks.

    So now it falls on GG to use the assets BT has given him. At one time, I believed BTs future here was linked to GGs success. I don’t feel that is the case today. BT has earned his pay and term regardless of what happens on the ice. He has laid in the best possible roster for the next 2 years ahead.

  • Drewski

    Haven’t commented in a while, but wanted to say the content in the last few months has been absolutely great. Keep it up, FN writing staff

    On all the recent moves, my biggest worry is we are locking up vets long term in spots where we have the greatest orgainizational depth. In three years we want at least 2 (if not 3?) of kylington, andersson, fox and kulak having roster spots. With the recent moves that is going to be tough.

    For signings today, let’s hope we can get Vrbata on a highly incentivized one year deal.

    Oh and stop feeding the trolls! Oilers will be good, flames will be good. The best Battle of AB won’t be in the WHL for the first time in a long time. Something that we can all look forward to.

  • freethe flames

    As I watch all the depth defencemen sign today: Folin Clandening, Wiercoich, Potsma ect,(I would take all of them ahead of Bart) the message is clear to the Flames AHLer’s is that there is room for you to make the big club. it’s a shame about the big Belerussian but you have to think the Flames feel there other prospects are ahead of him.

  • OYYC

    Happy Canada day to all…Treliving has done a very good job in my estimation getting the Flames sorted out in the short and medium term. Looking at his style, and his statement that the, “term is the noose” I’m pretty confident that he would never have done that Brouwer signing.

    That one is on Burke playing video games and plugging in a big right winger to play on the top line. Now that Treliving has full reign as part of his new deal, just let the man do his thing. I highly doubt he’ll be looking to add any outside player, the Flames are (and should be) happy to have the pieces that they have. Another roster player would just be plugging up a spot in the line up.

  • OYYC

    Bennett, Ferland, Lazar and Kulak need to be signed obviously.

    Bennett: He figures to be looking at a 3 year deal with a chance at the big money down the road.

    Ferland: I think they have to go 4 years with him at more money than he “should” be getting based on past stats. Lock him up, he’s still only 25. He’s way more skilled than Bouma, and has already shown he can play on the top line. Ferland is a Wayne Simmonds like player to me. Even if he ends up on the 3rd line, $2.75 – 3M is not unreasonable, and is still a contract that can be moved.

    Lazar: They have a chance to sign him for peanuts. Make it a big bag of gourmet peanuts please. Don’t forget, the Sens were asking for a first rounder back when the Flames got him for an eventual second rounder. The Senators really screwed up his development.

    He needs to be given a shot. Tkachuk – Bennett – Lazar on a 2B line looks good to me. Three or 4 years down the road his $1.75 – 2M year contract will look like a steal. If things don’t work out for some reason, another team will take a chance on a former first rounder at a cheap cap hit.

    For the love of all things holy, don’t put this guy with Brouwer on the 4th line – that is the Ottawa situation all over again, and does his confidence no good whatsoever.

    Kulak: As the left-handed D on the bottom pairing, he should be getting a two year deal maximum at minimal cost. From what I’ve seen of Valimaki, barring any setbacks he’ll be ready in less than 2 years. He said himself that he expects to make the team sooner than later, and I tend to believe him.

    Jankowski, Foo, and Andersson could likely all play on the big club tomorrow. Andersson figures to be the 7D, and he looks to be in better condition. But the Flames are in a potentially really great spot of not having to rush anybody. The future looks pretty bright to be honest.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    So pumped about the moves that Tre did not make. The Sharp contract was palatable at $800,000 + 200,000 but the Williams contract of 4.1M for 2 years would have been a disaster. This is Tre’s commitment to letting the kids fight for a spot. Unlike the defenders the door os wide open for the forwards….Janko, Lazar, Foo, Klim, Mangi, and Shink have the window that the covet.