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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  • 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.

    • 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.

  • MontanaMan

    Happy Canada Day to my friends in the great white north! The Flames clearly needed a shake up and Tre has informally said he questioned the character on the team, so the changes were necessary. I’m looking forward to seeing a quicker, higher skilled, albeit smaller team.

  • 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…)

  • 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

    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


      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.

  • T&A4Flames

    These are 2 decent moves. Low cost,low term on players that will push the young guys.
    There was no magical signing of James Neil at 3 years $5 mil per that was going to happen.

  • L.Kolkind

    I prefered Shore over Ryan and believe 3 years is 1 year too many, but not nearly as bad as other years and Ryan does seem like a right shot Stajan so not muvh to really complain about. The Czarnik signing seems to be a great bet and a good signing.

    As far as Shore is concerned I think Calgary should still sign him. Canucks army did a great article showing how he could be a hidden gem. https://canucksarmy.com/2018/06/27/analyzing-four-centres-the-canucks-could-target/

    • L.Kolkind

      I’m not sure the rules of posting inks but it is a nation network site so I think it should be good.

      Also the more I read about Czarnik the more I like the signing, could turn out to be among the best value contracts of free agency this year. I guess he is essentially a replacement for Shore so no longer need to resign hm, I think Treliving might be done as the team is looking quite full, also we the influx of right shots I have a feeling Lazar might end up down in Stockton if he makes it through waivers. Going to the AHL could be just what Lazar always needed instead of being put in the NHL before he was ready.

      Looks like Brouwer won’t be bought out, but that’s not the worst decision Calgary has no cap problem this year and can afford to have his cap hit this year. I would waive him as this team is simply better without him.

  • redwhiteblack

    Still need a top line RW. Goal is still huge ? mark also. Ryan does not help with youth movement. Like him but 3 yrs to Brouwer like. FA Day often bad in long run to all orgs.

  • 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.

  • 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”.

  • MDG1600

    My concern now is how small our bottom six just got. I guess Brouwer and Hathaway have pretty well defined roles. If they want to play they need to provide some grit and physical presence.