124Derek Ryan
Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Flames sign Derek Ryan ($3.125m, three years) and Austin Czarnik ($1.25m, two years)

As the calendar flips over into Canada Day, the free agency courting period turns into the free agency signing period players are beginning to make decisions. The Calgary Flames have reportedly come to terms with two forwards this evening. Per Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman, the Flames have inked center Derek Ryan to a three-year contract and winger Austin Czarnik to a two-year contract.

Cap hits for the two deals aren’t currently available, which makes it a bit of a challenge to judge the moves as of yet.

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In terms of fit, though, it’s hard to argue against either move.

Ryan, 31, broke into the NHL in Carolina under Bill Peters and it’s hard to argue against the fit. He’s a right shot center, something the Flames do not have, and effectively replaces Nick Shore (who replaced Matt Stajan briefly) as the fourth line pivot. A three-year deal brings him until he’s 34. Bob Stauffer tweeted that the cap hit is north of $3 million, but TSN’s Frank Seravalli noted that Ryan left money on the table – it’s a very thin free agent class at center.

Czarnik, 25, is a right-shot winger who broke into the NHL with the Boston Bruins but hasn’t really cemented himself as a regular yet. He had 17 points in 59 NHL games, but at the very least has established himself as a very good AHLer with 155 points over 157 AHL games. We don’t even have idle media speculation about cap hits for him yet.

Update: Cap hits!

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The Flames needed right-shot forward options. Lads and ladies, Brad Treliving has seemingly found right-shot forward options.


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  • Brian Burkee

    Who is the GM again? Peters has made all the off season moves so far. How did it work out in Carolina. Tre has essentially put his job in the hands of Mr Peters.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    As reported, the Ryan contract does not appear a good one for a 31-year old career busher. Czarnik? What we don’t have enough nobodies in Stockton who aren’t good enough to stick in the show, so we have to lasso a Boston castoff. Absolute wasted money on Czarnik unless he is going to take a job from a lifer in Stockton.

    • withachance

      What do you want? A young, RHS, thats not a reclaimation project, history of scoring more than 40pts a season, with short term and low AAV??

      Stop looking for a Goldilocks signing where everything is perfect. This is the real life and you have to compromise on deals. The Flames got a quality bottom 6 player who yes is on the wrong side of 30s but has relatively low numbers of NHL games for his age and is considered a late bloomer. 40pt guy and can win faceoffs, but yeah lets short change the guy with a 1/2 year offer…

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Some guys were making a case a few years ago on 01 July that the Brouwer signing was a quality signing and if the contract was a bit of an overpay, the grit and character Brouwer would bring to the club more than offset the high price tag.

        I accept the Ryan overpay such as it is, but not the Czernik reported contract. Guys like Czernik should not be going off the board on Day 1 of free agency. He should be a late August depth signing. If Tre is focusing his attention on minnows like Czernik now, what whales is he choosing not to watch? Czernik does nothing to help the 2018-19 Flames move a point closer to the playoffs, which defeats the real purpose of signing free agents–to instantly make your club better.

        • withachance

          I disagree. The point of FA signing is to supplement the core, which the team should have drafted or traded for. These depth signings make the entire organization better, from Stockton to the big club. If Czarnik doesnt work out in the NHL, it at least gives the prospects in the AHL a competent linemate to play with. So many people on here just expects every signing to be a blockbuster but thats not how winning teams are made

  • buts

    I like the signings…..I predicted that Hamilton would go ….I’m predicting another veteran D will be moved this week to make room for Anderson and someone else. Either Stone or Brodie is going and I hope we get a good return. A goalie will also be coming here…

    • McRib

      Dwarves that can play Hockey are a lot more effective than tough guys that really can’t. Don’t forget about Gaudreau he’s a major dwarf. How are we even sill having this argument in 2018 after watching teams like Pittsburgh, Vegas, TB, Boston, etc loaded with skilled undersized forwards taking over the league.

      • Mickey O

        Until they hit a wall…deep, deep into the playoffs. You’re still going to need a blend of size and skill when the whistles get put away if you want to win it all.

        Man, Reaves is getting a bad ride in the can’t play hockey dept.

        • Kevin R

          Sometimes the difference in value perception between fans & actual NHL Managers is quite huge. Engellend was described as a complete tire fire on this site for how long. Yet his grit on the blueline looked amazing on Vegas, because he sure is heck wasnt a faster player last year. Reaves is considered a pylon but we saw a Pitt GM give a 1st round pick for him & we saw a team eat a big chunk of salary as part of acquiring him. I for one had no problem finding a spot for McGrattan & he wasnt a possession or offensive juggernaut. Like it or not, our team has gotten smaller with Ferland & Hamilton leaving. Cant wait to read these boards next march when the playoff race gets full speed & nasty seeps into the games & the refs put their whistles in their pockets & allow a lot of dirty crap happen. Can see it happening already.

          • Mickey O

            Yeah, we’re on the same page again. Sure the league is going smaller and faster.

            But you still need that one guy who shuts shyte down when things get out of control. They tried to replace Engelland with Hathaway. That simply is not going to work.

    • cberg

      That actually looks half decent, with Brouwer and Hathaway on the shelf as extras rotating in. If this is it, there will be many options for lines once Peters configures his key pairs. At this point Monahan-Gaudreau and Backlund-Frolik are the only historical pairs of note, and one of the key early decisions that will have ripple effects throughout the line-up is whether Tkachuk can play RW, and especially 1RW or whether Lindholm gets that spot. Once that is settled, most of the rest will fall into place.

      • Mickey O

        Peters might go to Backlund and Lindholm as a new pairing. Can’t see him breaking up Gaudreau and Monahan. That’s until Mony does his two week swoon, where he forgets how to play hockey. He seems to do that every year.

        Tkachuk could likely play defence if Peters gave him a couple of weeks notice. Byng’s hockey IQ is amazing.

  • Jeremy

    Could this be the team?

    Johnny , Money, Lindholm
    Bing, Backs, Frolik
    Benny, Ryan, Brouwer
    Mangy, Jankow, Czarnik
    Lazar, Hathaway

    Gio, Brodie
    Hanafin, Hamonic
    Kulak, Anderson

    Trade Stone to Ottawa for Anderson

    • L.Kolkind

      slight changes, keeping top two lines the same

      Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
      Mangiapane – Ryan – Foo
      Brouwer, Hathway

      Defence keep the same, but swap Prout for T-spoon. Prout we need in the especially with Andersson graduating the RD options in Stockton would be real thin.

  • smatic10

    Peters influence: Lindholm, Hanifin, Ryan

    Gulutzan’s influence: Bartkowski, Vey, Glass

    Clear difference. I don’t mind these recent acquisitions, they fill needs.