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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames re-sign Mark Jankowski (two years, $1.675M AAV)

Ladies and gentleman, a Calgary Flames forward has turned one year of National Hockey League duty into a pretty hefty raise. The club announced this morning that they’ve re-signed centre Mark Jankowski to a two-year deal worth $1.675 million per season. The signing allows the club to avoid salary arbitration with Jankowski.

Jankowski, 23, was the Flames’ first round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft. Left a bit in the shadows due to the drafting and immediate NHL success of players like Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk, Jankowski spent four years with Providence College. He won an NCAA Championship and a playoff All-Conference honour. He gradually improved and then he signed his entry-level deal.

His first year pro saw him establish himself as a very solid AHLer. His second year pro saw him establish himself as a pretty solid NHLer, with 17 goals and 25 points as a rookie. As a result, he’ll get a raise from his prior $925,000 salary. Matt Cane’s model predicted that a two-year contract would cost $1.31 million annually, so he gets a bit more than the model predicted.

Jankowski’s signing leaves just Noah Hanifin, Brett Kulak, Garnet Hathaway, Hunter Shinkaruk and David Rittich still unsigned as far as restricted free agents go. Kulak’s arbitration award will be announced later today. They have roughly $6.23 million in remaining cap space to cover two defensemen, one forward, and Tkachuk’s performance bonuses – and it’s likely roughly half of that will go to Hanifin. It’s going to be tight.

  • Joeyhere

    A good bridge contract. By the time this contract is done we should know exactly what kind of player Jankowski is
    I believe he has great potential and has two very solid years ahead of him

  • EhPierre

    Janko’s raise is probably the primary reason why Tre was being extra stingy with Kulak. Seems much more likely that Hanifin will be getting bridged now unless Tre moves out a player via a trade or buyout.

    • Atomic Clown

      Had Poirier and Shinkaruk worked out, I wonder how different the flames roster would be today. There definitely wouldn’t be Lazar, and probably no Lindholm either

      • mrroonie

        I wonder how different the Flames roster would be today had Feaster kept the 14th overall instead of trading down and picking Janko and Sieloff. Names like Hertl, Teravainen and, especially with the current goalie questions going forward, Vasilevskiy, went in between 14 and 21 that year.

        I like Janko and think he’ll have a solid career, but I’ve never understood that move by Feaster.

        • Hockeysense9393

          I think he was drafted so early, because of his name/pedigree and the fact he had real skills when he was a shrimp, then he shot up like 5 inches that year? This kid has a good head in his shoulders who knows the business of hockey very well. I believe this kid is just scratching the surface with what he will be. Once he matures in strength and realizes how big he really is…? He could be a force out there.

          • cjc

            Jankowski is going to be 24 in September, at which point the human body is mostly done maturing in strength. I am not saying he is a bad player, but he was a reach at the 21st spot and Feaster likely could have had him later in the draft.

          • FL?MES

            Janko was ranked in the low 40’s, although the Flames surprised everyone taking him as high as they did at the draft. It was a high risk/high reward gamble by Feaster that is starting to bear fruit. The nice thing is that he is still young compared to others in his draft class. The best is yet to come.

        • LannyMac

          All speculation but I think Jankowski will surpass Bennett this and will be better than the players you mentioned. I see him being Monahan 2.0 he plays similarly. Not flashy not a great skater buts gets to the right places at the right time. I personally project him to be a forty plus pt guy in his career which puts him firmly in a 3C position who could fill 2C if needed from time to time. Just Saying

          • mrroonie

            How is a player you project to be “…a forty plus pt guy in his career which puts him firmly in a 3C position who could fill 2C if needed from time to time.” going to be better than the players I mentioned?

            Teravainen is already a 60+ pt guy, Hertl already has two 40+ point seasons behind him, and Vasilevskiy turns 24 today and is far and away better than any goalie in the Flames system except possibly Parsons who is still a couple of years away from the NHL.

            I’ve seen lots of people praising Feaster for what he did but I see more blunders than anything in his tenure as Flames GM. Monahan was an absolute no-brainer and Tod Button had to almost break his arm to get him to pick Johnny so praising him for those two picks is foolish. None of his other picks are anything special and the majority of his trades left a lot to be desired (especially the Iggy and JBo trades), not to mention the offer sheet fiasco.

          • LannyMac

            Should have done some more research the equivalent of Teravainaen would be better than what I predicted. In regards to Feaster anything was going to be an upgrade from Sutter. He really did, in my opinion, start to clean the wreckage that Sutter piled up rather quickly. And believe me that was a major pile up of crap.

        • Bawcos

          I think they were sold on Janko (in a bad draft year) they traded up/down to get the long term project guy that, might still be good bang for your buck. If you want to play the “I wonder if” game, how about picking Demko over Mason McDonald even though every scout not in CGY had Demko as #1G available. Goalie situation would look a lot different.

    • cjc

      They qualified both, so that is doubtful. They will likely sign them both, Shinkaruk in the AHL and Hathaway as an extra forward in the NHL. Shinkaruk will get league minimum, Hathaway slightly above that.

  • Afterburn

    I like this player but the AAV is a few hundred thousand on the high side. A strong finish to the season (game 82) made this kid some extra dough. Good on him.
    Curious to hear the Kulak ruling this morning.

    • Cheeky

      Czarnik’s contract dictated this contract (and Kulak’s ask). Czarnik hopefully will work out and be the player we and BT are hoping he is, but Janko (and Kulak) isn’t taking less than him. If it’s just business for Flames brass then it’s just business for players too…

    • The Fall

      I love his reach and willingness to shoot. With 12-13mins a night on a young 3rd-4th line he could put up some decent points and have a positive goal diff.

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        Hes also shown some great hands, and like you said, isn’t afraid to shoot–which is good because he has a pretty dang good shot, too.

        I find that he also kind of looks like Marleau, so hopefully that means he’ll be as prolific

  • BlueMoonNigel

    How much did Janko’s salary increase because of his 4 goals against Vegas in the last game of the year? Big difference between a 13-goal guy and a 17-goal guy.

    Moral of the story: Never quit until the final bell ding dongs.

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        Really looking forward to some Winnepeg-like offense this season where we have like 6-7 guys with 20+ goals, and quite a few 50-6p pt players outside of JG and SM. One can hope!

        • LannyMac

          Yes it certainly has that potential it all comes down to chemistry if strong divisions stay out of the dressing room and there is a strong belief in the coaches then they will play for each other and that makes all the difference in how much success they will have

  • FL?MES

    Janko is a great example of the Flames commitment to Janko and a players commitment to the organization. It’s been a long road traveled but worth the wait.

    Congrats Janko.

  • Boring Flames Fan

    $6.23 M minus
    Hanifin- $2.85 x2 (bridge deal)
    Kulak- $ 750,000
    Hathaway- $750,000
    Tkachuk bonus- $ 450,000
    (4.8M total)

    Leaves us $1.43M left in the Treliving trust fund.

  • oilcanboyd

    Good deal for both sides. I do not consider the contract exorbitant. Would be interesting how the Flames valued a promising forward, albeit a centre, as opposed to a promising d-man (Kulak).

  • Hockeysense9393

    Just by following this kid for all these years…you appreciate how smart he is and impressed on how he was a sponge for all these years. The Flames cultivated this kid on every aspect of his game for what seemed like forever. He’s got size, weight, and skill to go with that. He’s been trained to be a 2-way centre from the first day the Flames called his name. He progresses and gets better, every single year he plays the game of hockey. I have a feeling that the Flames are very serious about this kid moving forward.

    • Jobu

      Jobu recalls how mad he was when GG benched him last year. This is a good sign… someone who really wants to be in there and make a difference. Janko will shine this year either with new linemates (as a 3rd line center) or playing against weaker opposition (as a 4th line center).

  • Bob Hartley

    How are we in the same cap trouble as EDM? Doesn’t everyone on here make fun of the fact they are in cap trouble??? Well here we are and we don’t have a generational player including goalies to worry about paying. So how are we out of money??? We gave away a premiere scoring d man in return for a lesser player. How does this improve the team?

    • Searsy

      It’s called depth – and we now have it. Also, when looking at the cap, you don’t count Shinakruk, one of Rittich or Gillies and at least one (if not both) of Lazar and Hathaway as they’ll be down in the A. For cap purposes, remember to only count 23 (max) and possibly 22 (min) contracts. Anyone with an AAV of no greater than right around 1 mil can be wiped off the cap dollar for dollar if they’re sent down.

      • Searsy

        The way I see it is that we have 12 signed guaranteed forwards for a total of $46,800,000 (Johnny, Monny, Neal, Backs, Lindholm, Brouwer, Frolik, Ryan, Bennett, Czarnik and Tkachuk), 5 guaranteed SIGNED D for a total of $19,557,542 (Gio, Brodie, Hamonic, Stone and Prout) and 2 signed goalies for a total of $5 million (Smith and Gillies).

        That’s a total cap hit of $71,357,543 for 19 players. That leaves us with $8,142,457 for the remaining 4 active NHL roster spots (2 F and 2D).

        The only unsigned player left I feel is guaranteed a roster spot is Hanifin. Let’s set him aside for a minute. For the remaining 2 forward spots, the signed options are Lazar (950K), Quine (700K), Foo (925K), Mangiapane (725K), Dube (778K) etc etc. PLUS Hathaway (currently unsigned, but should not exceed $1mil). Choosing any two of those will not exceed $2mil and they can be interchanged throughout the season. While some on that list are waiver eligible, if they’re sent down you remove their cap hits for cap purposes whether they’re on one way deals or not.

        So, of the remaining $8,142, 457 I’ve now spent $2,000,000 max on the final two forwards.

        One of the final 2 D will be Hanifin, but let’s do the other D first. The options will be Kulak (arb award later today – will not exceed $1 mil and likely more like 750K), Andersson (756K), Valimaki (894K), and Kylington (731K). In all cases, the cap hit of whoever wins the roster spot will be less than 900K.

        So let’s take our remaining cap space of $6,142,457 and spend 900K on one of the two D we’re missing.

        That leaves $5,242,000 roughly to deal with Hanifin. This does not take into account any bonuses. The point is we have loads of room for a Montour like bridge deal for Hanifin here without having to make any other roster adjustments.

        I think a lot of times, people just look at the available cap space on Capfriendly and then look at who is left to sign and freak out without remembering that Capfriendly is counting players who are signed to one way NHL contracts, but who may not play in the NHL this season.

    • Brian McGrattan's Salute

      Lol……okay bahd.

      The difference is we made so many off season moves this year, and Tre essentially made our roster better without having much of anything to work with. He’s gunna come in just below cap, and we will have a cap raise, and players leaving next season.

      I would say that Tre has played this pretty dang perfectly.

    • LannyMac

      Really Bob Really which team would you have up against even with the best or close to best player in the world I know which way I’m going. And yes yes yes Dougie was good from the offensive in but in the rest of the ice he was as useless as any defenceman I have ever seen put on the C and I watched Calgary play it’s first game against Le Nordique. It’s an exaggeration but not far of the mark. Just Saying

      • Oil Spilly

        @LannyMac
        A year ago everyone on here was complimenting treliving about bringing Dougie here. What an amazing d man he is and how lucky we are to have him. Now that he doesn’t wear our jersey all of a sudden he’s considered useless?

    • MDG1600

      Flames are up against the cap mostly because they couldn’t develop enough forwards internally and had to pay up for Neal and Czarnik as UFA’s. If any of Poirer/Klimchuk/Shinkaruk panned out as a legit 20 goal scorer in the NHL the Flames probably don’t sign Neal and the conversation would be about spending Neals salary on a goalie.

      • Still no edit button?

        So like every single other team in the nhl they still need talent and get it through the free agency. Most the cup winners had spent money on free agents.

      • LannyMac

        No argument there. I cringe when this franchise signs 30 yr olds to medium or long term contracts. All good if it works out but trying to trade old junk ie. Brouwer is impossible. If they are junk and young you have a chance.

  • buts

    Good signing…..I’m hoping there is some movement still to come to open up cap space and roster spots. Don’t be surprised if Gillies or Rittich don’t shine that a goalie gets picked up off waivers just before the season starts.

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    Anthony Cook has just put out another great video, this one for Mark Jankowski:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfeWHmicSws

    Overall impressions are how Janko really progressed through the year, he was definitely more physical when he knew he belonged. Too bad Father Time eventually caught up to Jagr.

    Bennett is obviously going to be in the highlight reels as Janko’s linemate all year, but man if some of those pucks went in early Bennett, Janko and Lazar’s confidence could have soared.

    Janko should be killing penalties, and 2PP with Bennett. You don’t break up that pairing…12:42 on the video says it all, and they even went on vacation together.

    • Mickey O'Reaves

      Other highlights within the video:

      3:48 Rocket shot of a rolling puck
      8:03 The nifty through the legs goal
      12:46 Bennett and Janko feeling the love on the bench
      15:20 Nice hand-eye sacrifice bunt
      16:09 Showing great strength against Minnesota
      17:09 Really sweet toe-drag goal vs Tampa
      20:26 Fantastic tic-tac-toe goal with Byng on the ice
      21:58 Sparring stick-whacks with Malkin

      The last bit is Janko’s 4 goal game in the last meaningless game of the year against Vegas. Just thought I’d time tag some points in the video if you aren’t into watching it all.

      But the kid has talent and smarts and should be able to grow, now that he’s had (almost) a full year under his belt in the NHL. He looks to be a true centre, Bennett is the digger/bulldog on that line.

      • Just.Visiting

        The goal with Byng and Bennett had me shaking my head as to why GG didn’t try to put them together as a test drive. I wanted them as a 2A line before we acquired Neal, and now would like to have a test drive of Janko with Byng and Neal and Bennett with Backlund and Frolik (possibly Ryan). Playing with Byng and Neal would force bring more consistency to his intensity, which was my biggest problem with him last year. As noted in one of the earlier comments, it was great to see him become more physically engaged later in the season.

    • Kevin R

      Yeah I really want to see Bennett have a year where everything goes for him. I think once that happens we are going to see the player we all expected. Janko has a lot of skills & potential, they just really need a real good RW & that could be a rocking 3rd line.

      • Mickey O'Reaves

        Sam Bennett puts too much pressure on himself, just because of where he was drafted and the ensuing expectations. Now he’s the 3LW, that’s his role. Bennett and Janko (like you said with a decent RW) could make an excellent 3rd line. Bennett has got to stay out of Rebar’s doghouse to be effective though.

        Ryan is that 3RW for me to start, so no clue where Frolik ends up – maybe off the team. Ryan gives that line the lefty/lefty/righty centreman combos that Peters covets so much. Czarnik is a natural centre, I’d give him the 4C job as it stands as of now.

    • Getpucksdeep

      Great video. He skates tall with his head up. His puck handling with that long reach is exceptional. We’ve all seen him shoot. As that video also demonstrates, he’s a big guy and getting bigger and he’s hard to knock off the puck along the walls. Feasters revenge is going to be a good one. Ridiculous to think he’d be 4th line all regardless what Darren Haynes the Flames from 80 feet guy thinks.

  • Korcan

    Darren Haynes (ff80f) doesn’t seem concerned about Jankowski possibly starting the season as 4C.

    “Will Ryan’s presence block Jankowski from establishing himself in that role? Not a chance. The multi-faceted Ryan is on this roster for many reasons, just one of them being to make Jankowski fight for that third line role and win it back. Ryan can play right wing too and the club would be more than delighted to be forced to shift Ryan into that spot to keep Jankowski in the top nine, or to later in the season do that to re-open that spot at 3C.”

    • Just.Visiting

      I guess it depends on your aspiration. If Janko clicked with Byng and Neal and the notional 2B line were Backlund, Bennett, Frolik (Ryan?), the Flames would be rolling three strong lines and a vastly improved fourth line. That is a serious contender. A Janko/Ryan-Bennett-Frolik line is a much safer option that makes the Flames much easier to defend or, in other words, a team built to edge into the playoffs.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Janko has all the tools. Instead of burying him on the 4th line they need to move him up to the top 2 lines even as a winger if need be. Janko showed what he is capable of doing with top line minutes and linemates. People continue to doubt the kid but he has continued to improve every year.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am excited that a Janko got a bump like that, it shows that the organization sees his value and won’t try and move him to the fourth line. If he starts to finish off more breakaways he should easily hit 25 goals. Other than his first goal that went off his pants…he showed some scoring ability that is not often seen on this team.

  • Chucky

    I notice that Jankowski now is showing up as 6′ 4″, 215 lbs, that is pretty close to Joel Otto’s numbers. Maybe he can develop a little bit more meanness and use that body to have more than 50 points for the next 4 seasons. We can always hope.

    • everton fc

      I can’t see Jankowski ever developing a “meanness” like Otto. Simply not who he is. Which is okay by me.

      This is a good contract. If Jankowski has the right linemates, he’ll score 20 goals. And he’s a good two-way centre. Probably the only thing Feaster did right here.