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.

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!

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


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  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Stajan becomes Ryan? I’ll take it!!

    And I know I don’t like raiding an old coach’s team for players but dammit… it looks all right this time.

    (Don’t get hyped, don’t get hyped, remember what happened last year…)

  • RKD

    I like the right handed shots but 3 years for Derek Ryan north of $3million for a 4th line C seems like an overpayment. Older than Shore younger than Stajan but provide much more offense. I’m more intrigued by 25 year old Czarnik. Austin scored 25 goals in 69 games with Providence. Maybe he didn’t enough of an opportunity in Beantown.

  • 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…

  • smatic10

    Peters influence: Lindholm, Hanifin, Ryan

    Gulutzan’s influence: Bartkowski, Vey, Glass

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • ALowry

    I can live with this… Ideal scenario being that Ryan comes in at maybe 2.75M? Or is that being too hopeful? Czarnik as a lower risk addition makes sense too. Anything else the Flames might be looking at out there, other than a Stone trade?

    • cberg

      Kind of nonsense. They are working to utilize everything they have as insight, as a management team, which I like. You could just as easily infer Ward was the final insight needed on Dougie Hamilton, since he coached DH in Boston before he got traded the first time.

  • MRL

    Ryan puts up decent points considering he plays a bottom six role but more complementary to the Flames will be his right shot and ability to win a FO on a consistent basis. Treliving probably overpayed but it’s that time of year.

  • Pizzaman

    Well at least we can dress Prout against the Oilers and Lucic. Both Prout and Lucic will be behind the play due to foot speed so at least we get a fight. And now Tree will demand Peters dresses Prout for Vegas. I’d bonus Prout for every punch he lands on Reaves.

  • Off the wall

    Derek Ryan- no surprise
    At $3M, he left money on the table?

    Czarnik wass Baalzamon’s choice, so he’ll be happy.
    I don’t mind the idea of Czarnik, he was buried in Boston by their depth. He’ll be cheap, probably 2way contract.

    • FL?MES

      And we have first rounders floundering in Stockton. You win some and lose some. If Lazar ends up as an extra forward that’s ok. Most 2nd rounders never make it that far.

  • 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

  • supra steve

    Well, this id the guy a lot of us wanted (Ryan). $3.125 X 3 is a bit more than we wanted to spend, but it’s July 1…it is absolutely no shock that the dollars and term are just a little more than hoped for. Congrats to Ryan, you’ve set up a financial future for your family.

    How about that JVR contract with Philadelphia? $7million X 5. That one is going to hurt. Comparing that to Ryan…Tre did pretty good.

    • With Respect

      Free agents get more money than they are worth that is just the way it is at least it doesn’t cost assets.
      JVR had one less goal than Tavares last season there is some value there. Over 3 million for a guy that turns 32 and is at best a third liner, this is a lot like the Brouwer contract. Not sure raiding players from a losing organization is the way to go.

      • Honkydonk

        Tell me how paying JVR a second overall pick who has had 3 20 goal seasons and 2 30 goal seasons at $7 million is going to hurt a team when he’s 28 years old?

        Frankly that’s only $3.5 more than what we got Ryan and mr 5.9 for. And frankly trade Stone and it pays for itself.

        JVR is maybe $1 million a year over paid but getting him for nothing more than justifies that.

        • supra steve

          JVR played what, 3rd line in TO? That plus PP.
          $7 million is first line dollars in CGY.
          I believe that Philadelphia will soon regret this signing.
          You believe otherwise.
          Time will tell.

  • freethe flames

    Looking at some of the other deals on Capfriendly these are right in line with the market. I figured Vanek would sign a 1 year deal for around $3m; I still think he would have been a good fit here for 1 year. Perron did not get paid what most people thought he would. The JvR deal is going to look really bad in year 4/5; maybe even earlier I’m glad we stayed away from that.

    • Getpucksdeep

      Agreed. A player who should get 2 mil and 2 years will today get 3 mil and 3 years. It’s fine and good for the 28-34 year old who scores a bonus. Sometimes it even works out well. Remember the moaning and groaning when Calgary signed Engelland for 2.9 and 3 years? Lots of fans wish we still had him. As long as you stay out of the 5-6-7 year high buck stuff today. Trade for that if you need “Star Power”.

  • freethe flames

    Czarnik is here to compete in the same way Foo is. Both RHS who did well in the AHL but have not proven yet to NHL players. If neither of them make the big club then SF should be happy. This still leaves us needing another C for the big club and another top 9 winger IMO. I would not be surprised if they circle around and sign Shore as a 5th center.

      • freethe flames

        True and therefore should be more likely to win the job at camp. I think there are deals still to be made but if BT put his phone away for the rest of the day he may avoid making a costly mistake; I still think there will some more big paydays like JvR signed today.

    • Seabass

      Agreed and I think Foo can push for that spot (with Czarnik).I like his signing, because Foo showed great things in the second half, but I would like to see that continue before anointing him a spot with the big club. I don’t like the third year for Ryan, but the club wanted him and did what they could to get him. I see him 3rd rw (keeping Janks at c) that can take draws when needed. Peters loves having that and now he has it on the 1st and 3rd lines. I agree that Shore can still be signed then to be the 4th c. I would have liked to see Bennett in the top 6, but this looks like it keeps him in the 3 lw.

      Jonny Monny Lindholm
      Byng Backlund FRolik
      Bennett Janks Ryan
      Mang – Shore/Lazar – Brouwer/Hathaway/Czarnik/Lazar

      Or…

      Jonny Monny Byng
      Bennett Backs Lindholm
      Frolik Janks Ryan
      Mangi – Shore/Lazar – Czarnik/Hathaway/Brouwer/Lazar

      I see Foo pushing on that right side by the 20 game mark. Also, I’d MUCH rather have Shore in that 4c spot than Lazar.