91
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk’s contract conundrum hasn’t gotten any easier

Toronto’s Auston Matthews has set the bar and I can’t imagine many agents across the league are too upset about it. Matthews signed a deal worth $11.634 million (get it, he wears #34) over five years on Tuesday, which marks the first of this supergroup of high profile restricted free agents to get paid. Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk makes up part of this 2019 banner class of RFAs and he didn’t get any cheaper after Monday’s news.

COMPARING NUMBERS

We’re talking about anywhere between seven and 10 players on this list, but I’ve narrowed it to the smaller number consisting of the players below. All seven are in their third NHL season and will finish the year with 200 or more NHL games under their belt, barring injury. I’ve excluded the likes of Kyle Connor and Brock Boeser because their workload is one season less, which makes it harder to compare straight across.

Totals below via Corsica; * denotes 5v5 outputs.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Player GP G PTS P/G G/60* P/60* CF% OZS%* Contract
Auston Matthews 182 97 177 0.97 1.54 2.59 50.9 57.0 5 x $11.634 million
Matthew Tkachuk 196 60 153 0.78 0.75 1.95 56.4 44.6 ???
Mikko Rantanen 206 71 194 0.94 0.74 2.07 49.8 56.8 ???
Brayden Point 201 80 170 0.85 1.00 2.26 51.9 53.1 ???
Patrik Laine 207 105 167 0.81 1.20 2.01 48.1 56.6 ???
Sebastian Aho 212 77 172 0.81 0.87 1.96 54.7 55.2 ???
Mitch Marner 211 61 191 0.91 0.85 2.32 51.0 54.2 ???

There’s no question Matthews is, and should be, the high mark in this conversation. Nobody on this list has produced like he has and, most importantly, no one other than Laine has manufactured goals at a comparable rate. This league pays those who score and Matthews does that at a high clip, both on the powerplay and five-on-five.

Where this leaves Tkachuk’s next contract is a little harder to pinpoint. Even with a career season in the works, Tkachuk’s counting numbers are the lowest of the bunch. That puts his camp at a disadvantage when using Matthews et al as comparisons, because goals and points still carry the most weight in negotiations.

What is a whole lot harder to handicap is how much Tkachuk’s significantly superior possession metrics are worth. He’s the only player in this discussion to have shown a consistent ability to drive play at even strength, which carries immense value on the ice but remains difficult to quantify in monetary terms. Tkachuk’s impressive 200-foot game carries clout, but how much remains to be seen.

THE SHORT-TERM DEAL

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There is a vocal group of Flames fans that believes Tkachuk’s cap hit on a new deal can’t exceed that of Johnny Gaudreau or Mark Giordano. Calgary’s two highest paid players just happen to be the team’s two best players, and some worry Tkachuk making more could send the wrong message. Unfortunately, the market dictates what a player gets paid more than any given team’s internal salary structure.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Gaudreau signed his deal before the NHL’s salary paradigm changed; you can thank Leon Draisaitl and Jack Eichel for that. If Gaudreau was coming out of his entry-level deal in this economic climate, $6.75 million over six years wouldn’t cut it. He’s not, though, and Tkachuk is, which makes it difficult to stay accountable to an internal cap on a long-term deal.

For the staunch believers in Calgary’s internal cap, though, there is a solution: a shorter term. The ONLY way the Flames get Tkachuk under $6.75 million per year is on a bridge deal, which would have to be three years. A three-year term would expire while Tkachuk is still RFA eligible, whereas a four-year deal would take him immediately to year one of free agency. Don’t do four years.

I’d also classify five years in the “short-term” category, but it’s unlikely Calgary could get Tkachuk under $6.75 million in that situation. If Matthews is the high bar at $11.634 million over five, is Tkachuk worth $5 million less in this NHL economy? It’s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, but it’s valid to suggest Tkachuk comes in closer to $8 million over five years.

THINKING LONGER TERM

If the Flames are interested in going six years or more with Tkachuk, they’ll have the ability to make it happen. While teams like Toronto and Tampa Bay have extremely tight cap situations, Calgary has a decent amount of flexibility to absorb a deal with max term.

What makes an eight-year term difficult for some teams is the incremental bump in AAV for each year of UFA eligibility purchased. Take Matthews’ deal for example; the Leafs are buying just one year of unrestricted free agency, which means you can probably add, say, $500k for each additional year. Thus, an eight-year deal for Matthews would probably come in closer to a $13 million AAV.

In Tkachuk’s case, let’s ballpark around $7.5 million on a five-year term. That might be low knowing where Matthews came in, but it gives us a decent jumping off point for this example. To get Tkachuk to the max term of eight at $500k per additional year (I feel like I’m in Math 20), we’re talking about around $9 million per season. The Flames could absorb that cap hit, but do they want to?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

CONCLUSION

I fall in on the side of a long-term deal for Tkachuk, despite the fact it would see him become the team’s highest paid player by a wide margin. It’s the price of doing business in today’s league economy and it gives the Flames cost certainty for Tkachuk’s most productive years; an eight-year deal would expire a few months before he turns 30.

While a three-year bridge deal lowers the cap hit significantly, it also carries with it a ton of team risk. If Tkachuk puts up three more seasons of 80+ points, all of a sudden his leverage is that much stronger going into his second contract negotiation. If we’re talking $9 million on a max term now, think of what it could be in three years’ time.

Regardless of how you see it, though, one thing is for sure: Tkachuk’s camp doesn’t mind what his buddy Matthews signed for on Monday. Brad Treliving and the Flames may feel slightly different.


  • The Sultan

    I feel like the internal cap hit of 6.75 million has worked up until this point, and taking a look at some of the other contracts that have been doled out over that time frame makes you really appreciate the work Treliving has put in to manage our cap situation. That being said, I totally understand that the market has changed and would have no problem paying Tkachuk bank, if he signs for max term. A win here in this situation would be keeping Matthew Tkachuk, who I believe to be the future captain of this franchise after Giordano, would be keeping him in Calagary for as long as possible.

    • Fat Tony

      I have a theory that BT will finally exceed the “Gio” cap with Tkachuk’s upcoming contract and will do so without hesitation. Then the Gio cap with become the Tkachuk cap because hes going to be our next captain.

      • THE WW Bandwagon

        A few things…

        1) I think the 5-year term is good for the team, and inking Tkachuk to 5 years could well be the way they go. I continue to believe it will be what they do.

        2) From a player’s perspective, I understand the allure of a shorter term, and it isn’t about bolting to another destination, it is about being a free agent at 26 and being able to sign a max term, max dollar deal. Being a FA at 26 is completely different than being a FA at 29 or 30. At 30 (and higher) teams are very leery of too much term. But at 26? “Give him what he wants!” Also, there appears to be a strong expectation that contracts will continue to rise rapidly.

        3) Comparing his contract to McDavid’s, McDavid got $100M over 8 years. Matthews is getting $58.17M over 5 years. So to catch up, he needs $41.83M over those final 3 years, or at least $13.95M per, in order to be ahead, which he probably will be able to get as a FA. But that doesn’t factor in that getting money now is much more valuable that getting it 6 years from now. So to factor that in, Matthews probably needs at least $15M per year on his next deal to make the shorter term of this one worthwhile (which is entirely possible).

        Times are changin’

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I would be willing to bet that Johnny’s next contract will be around the 10-11M range especially if the cap keeps going up at the same rate. So while I feel somewhat bad that our best player is not going to be our best paid player he will be just fine. The one player on the list that I would be worried about overpaying is Laine…he appears to be a 1 trick pony. Tkachuk has so many other variables that put him in a unique category. However, I would be leery of locking him for 8 years give how fast the league is getting. All players on this list with the exception of Laine are great skaters.

      • HOCKEY83

        If winnipeg won’t sign him for top dollar another team will. What is he…second to ovechkin over the last 3 years of goal scoring right there with Mcdavid and Kuch. He’ll get paid. Goals are King

  • slyall41

    Beware of the bridge deal, Matthew Tkachuk is a weak skater. A short term deal followed by a long term deal could be a real anchor for this team down the road. I would aim for a 6 year $7.75-8.

  • 31 Thoughts With Morgan Freeman

    I see the argument again and again that Tkachuk is a point per game player on the second line. Sure, Matty is on the second line, but almost 40% of his points have come on the PP playing alongside Johnny, Mony, Lindholm, and Gio. Anyone playing with that group is going to prosper. He has 36 points at even strength, Backlund has 28, but the gap in perception between these two players by many on this site is much wider. We all love Matty and are excited about our shiny 1st round steal, but let’s keep some perspective. Matty is a star, but he’s not better than Jonny was when he signed his contract. Johnny was 7th in league scoring in 2015-16. Matty will probably finish this year between 20th and 30th which is still elite but you can’t say his offensive skills match Gaudreau. Arguing intangibles, do we say Matty = Johnny at the same point in their careers? If so, Matty is worth the same cap percentage which equates to about 7.7 million on a six-year term. My bet is that’s how Tre sees it. Whether he can keep him there with the stupidity of other GM’s over-inflating salaries is an open question, but that’s where I’d slot him.

  • cjc

    This wouldn’t be such an issue if they didn’t have some bad contracts on the books (Bryout, Neal, Stone, and even Ryan to some extent). That’s almost 14 million right there. As great as Treliving is with RFAs, he sucks with UFAs.

    That said, look at Gaudreau. 72 goals and 203 points in his first 3 seasons. Tkachuk might get close in goals, but he’s not going to pick up another 50 points this year. Of course Gaudreau only had 2 full seasons under his belt before signing, but still. And it doesn’t account for the increased scoring this year.

    Then look at the list of comparables. He is the lowest scorer of all of them over their careers, and second lowest this season. Nylander, who signed in December and has better counting numbers over his career signed for less than 7 million AAV. Tkachuk’s possession and zone starts should count for something, but it won’t push things up too much.

    Tkachuk’ll exceed the internal cap or he won’t sign, but he’s going to have a tough time arguing more than 8 million on a long term deal. 8 million should be acceptable, particularly if they lockout-proof it by giving a huge amount as signing bonus. Given what they did for Monny and Gaudreau, I think they go 6 or 7 years at something closer to 7.5 AAV.

    There are factors that put upward pressure on Tkachuk’s contract, and factors that put downward pressure on it. I don’t think Matthews’ contract changes the landscape at all.

  • Albertabeef

    I still say no GM would accept comparable numbers from Toronto and Edmonton. These two badly run teams DO NOT set the bar for the league. The GMs from Edmonton and Toronto thankfully do not run the Flames.

  • Honkydonk

    I’d like a 3 year deal but I do not think chucks camp would like that much?!

    Do that leaves me at a 7 year deal for $7.65 a year as he will be next captain that would be our new ceiling

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        I don’t think he’s that far off. Media in Calgary seems to really over blow player values. They were saying Johnny was getting 8m before he signed. 6.75 was probably a little team friendly at time (certainly is now) but based on his comparables it was in line with the range of comparables. Tkachuk will have a new set of comparables to work with, and probably will get more than Johnny/Gio, but all this talk about him getting 8 or 9 is ridiculous. His numbers sadly aren’t even as good as drissle up North, and Tre ain’t giving him a chirelli deal.

        • Porcupine at a balloon party

          Don’t get me wrong, I love Tkachuk, but he doesn’t have the counting numbers to get paid. Had he not been breaking out this season he wouldn’t even be getting Johnny numbers. Also, trust in Tre. He hasn’t really let us down with an internal signing yet I don’t think (did he??). The Gio one looked bad originally, but in hindsight, his creation of internal cap and Gio’s ability to give father time the big F U

  • redhot1

    The internal cap is a myth, its fairy dust, it isn’t real. And Brad is a wizard for wishing that myth into existence. It worked for Gaudreau, but times have changed a lot since then. Any agent worth his salt should laugh at the concept, to be frank.

    If you can sign Tkachuk for less than 9 million on an 8 year deal you do it. If Tkachuk is ever afforded the opportunity to play on the first line, 80 points in a season would be the floor.

    I really see no downside to investing in Tkachuk heavily. Rugged, dependable, durable, skilled, chippy, and a mega pest. He’s the future captain for me, and I’d like to see him stay in Calgary as long as possible.

    • slapshot444

      Hmmm, your not quite right about the Gio cap myth, it’s very real, it cost Brodie a ton, and it made Johnny miss training camp. The cap will be busted for Tkachuk for sure as the numbers have gone up, that was inevitable and Pat is bang on in his “new math” making the idea length of the new contract 7 years. The number will be what it will be but 9m is out of the question on 7m a bit low. We will likely get to talk about this all summer as Tkachuk’s agent will want to see where the Flames end up before settling.

  • How's She Goin'

    If Treliving can get this kid inked for under $8M per over 5-6 years the guy deserves the key to Lanny’s ranch. This will be interesting to watch for sure. In the past, Tre has been comfortable waiting it out and it’s led to some great deals for the Flames. It will be interesting if the buzz surrounding offer sheets creates any urgency on his part to get this done sooner and at what AAV & term??

    • Kevin R

      This list of players arent about to get offer sheeted. To get these players to sign it would have to be a Matthews type of deal & that would cost 4 or 5 1st rounders. Its the 3-5 million type players that are going to get offer sheeted because these RFAs are going after a way huger piece of the players salary pie.

    • Guest

      People have funny math about term in the NHL and on this site. Would you rather have 6×7.5 or 8×9.0 as a contract? This difference is years 7 and 8 are priced at 13.5(!) per season.

      Now its possible the cap goes up 50% in the next 6 years and MT is worth a cap adjusted 13.5mm (which would be 9mm today plus 50% increase in the cap), but that seems stretch.

  • Richard B. Rittich

    He could get signed for am escalating rate. Be under the internal cap for the balance of Johnny’s contract, then shoot up. The AAV would be higher than Johnny or Gio but technically he’d be under.

    • Crazy Flames

      I think the USD thing is a little over blown. Ticket prices in Canada are easily 30-50% higher then USA markets. Same goes for merchandise and I’m going to assume concessions are similar. Most of the Canadian billionaire owners deal in USD. The owners love it if the dollar is par but I don’t think they are hurting at the current level and even lower.

  • Garry T

    Tkachuk is a great young player. But, he is no Lanny MacDonald , Garry Roberts or Jerome Iginla.
    As an old guy (74) and I have run $ 30,000,000.00 a year corporations, I understand budgets. I understand over-spending places your organization in difficulty and common sense is of the utmost importance. Next year you will
    have an $ 83,000,000.00 USD budget. We do business in Canadian dollars and have to buy USD at a 40% premium.
    The correlation is $ 116, 200,000.00 in Canadian funds. This is before any other expense. We are playing to less than full houses. Support staff, first class travel for the boys, five star hotels, meals, ground transportation, sticks, equipment, and on and on for probably 500 to 1000 cost centers adds up to almost double the player payroll.
    That’s crazy.

    These guys play a game, 18 minutes on average for a star player. That totals 1476 minutes per year or 24.6 hours.
    $ 5,000,000.00 pays a player playing 18 minutes $203252.00 USD per hour. What are you making $ 15.00 to $ 30.00 an hour. The comparative on a 40 hour week is $41,600.00 a year at $ 20.00 an hour.

    Now look at what happens , you have Tkachuk, Gio, Johnny, etc. making more than $ 4.5 million a year taking up 60 to 70 percent of the budget. You have absolutely no future as a team because you are forced to play 14-16 guys at $800,000 to $ 1.5 million a year. To go a step further. Take a look at Edmonton, New York Rangers, Dallas, Toronto,
    Denver, Los Angeles, the Ducks …. Big payrolls to old guys and look what is happening to them ….. Dead in the water,
    totally regressed in capability over the last four years where they have dolled out these huge contracts and have very little for the rest of the guys, who by the way will all, all. all want multi millions.

    Stanley cups for those teams are going to be tough. So if you want the cup, you have to stop with the huge contracts and pay the group well, but keep your costs under control. Support Treliving and allow him to manage the team and stop putting the huge numbers out there for moderately good players who are playing a TEAM game and without the hard work of the remaining players, 15 to 16 of them, where would your top players be? Get a tape of the Edmonton/Chicago game a couple of nights ago and watch what happens when you over pay and cannot field a well rounded squad. Diss away. But for God’s sakes get some reality going. By the way, Edmonton was soooooo outplayed
    that their goaltender had zilch for support. The big boys did not get the job done and the team is in a hell of a mess.

    Also, to close out, look at Tkachuk’s production since they moved him away from capable players 10 games ago!

    • Rocket66

      I totally agree with you
      The money spent in mcdavid is almost comparable to having two Johnny’s
      I would rather have a team full of Johnny’s than mcdavids
      Mcdavid gets hurt your team is in trouble
      A team full of Johnny’s will be ok if one of them goes down

    • MDG1600

      I agree with what you say which is why the Neal contract is an epic fail and a far bigger problem for this team than most appreciate. Treliving has done a real good job getting us where we are today but my worry is that the Neal contract is so bad it may be what ultimately prevents us from being able to add that last piece or two that can get this team to Stanley Cup.

    • Kevin R

      I think the league has a dollar equalization provision for Canadian teams, they used to anyway. This argument isnt about the team being able to afford the cap, as the cap is totally based on profit sharing & escrows ensure the salaries are adjusted accordingly. This is about the players that want a bigger piece of the limited players portion of revenue’s. I think they forget sometimes that that extra $$$ they want will diminish their chance to win a cup.
      That is where we will see where Chucky is. Monahan, Gio & Gaudreau took team friendly contracts. The reward is that they are now part of something special that gives them a chance to win a Cup & allows the GM the budget to build a team of better players around them. I think Chucky wants to win. I think he wants to win in Calgary & I can truly see him taking a 7 year deal at around 8.0 mill per. That would be a very team friendly contract based on what Dumbass just did.

      For the record, yes Matthews scores goals, very very good at it. He hasnt won anything for the Leafs yet, he hasnt won an Art Ross yet. Where in God’s green Earth he gets comparable to McDavid is beyond me. I hate anything Oiler but no way Matthews is in his pay stratus sphere. I got heartburn listening to Matthews & Dumbass rationale of his salary being adjusted to the inflation expected (ie. cap going up every year). I have yet to see too many players performance & results go up every year. If Matthews scores 25 goals & 35 assists next year, will he give back any of that inflationary adjusted salary. If contracts werent guaranteed , I would have no problem with this stuff. I have an extreme issue with the likes of players paid big money but perform at a fraction of expectations. I gotta say, this trend is going to cause a huge rift & fracture the players union if they dont start implementing their own structure of how the money pie is being split amongst themselves.

      • HAL MacInnis

        I wish hockey salaries worked on performance bonuses. Like, half was guaranteed, but the rest is based on the success of the player and more importantly the team. Win the cup, and everybody gets the full amount. Miss the playoffs and everyone gets 15% less, or some such thing, and the rest is sorted out on individual stats, stats with linemates and their performance numbers factored in, etc. I haven’t worked it all out entirely yet, but in my head it makes perfect sense! Okay?!

        If all the salaries in the world worked like pro-sports, I think we’d be in deeper sh!t that we already are.

    • HAL MacInnis

      Great post, Garry.

      I’m good if Treliving doesn’t fold and sticks to his guns. Brad has been fair with his negotiations so far. I love Tkachuk, but if Matthew is unwilling to settle for a reasonable salary and continue to play on a great team with top talent, that’s his decision.

      I still got a good feeling though. I like Tkachuk’s attitude and he seems like a really great guy. I don’t sense a prima-donna complex in him at all. Let’s see if I’m right. 😉

      • Rocket66

        So let’s just say he says I know I can get 9. But I’ll take 7.5 to help the team and my chances to win a cup
        In the eyes of the media and the hockey world is he looked at as a good man or a fool for doing it

        • HAL MacInnis

          An interesting question of ethics/morality, Rocket66. I’d argue that people who value money over loyalty will think of him as a fool… and people who value loyalty over money will think of him as a hero. There’s your answer. Also, the responses he gets from people will show what they value most.

    • Derzie

      What’s implied by this (underpaying guys) is that you will have a more frequent turnover. Most guys will only take a hit for the team once. For example, if healthy, Johnny will get paid next contract. If Tre is here and plays hardball, he’ll have to factor in a trade of Johnny before he walks for nothing. The cap is intended to spread the wealth of players. Blowing and money up front or being cheap with good players both result in the same thing: having to lose good players to other teams. Toronto is about to find that out with Marner (unless the league cheats and bumps the cap up for the Leafs as it seems they do). Edmonton, gord willing, will lose McDavid due to a lack of supporting player cap.
      Pat has wedged Chucky into this list of comparables but is at the bottom of the list, production wise. But he IS a two way and that has value, as Pat states. I’d do comparables on the next 10 players for a more realistic perspective

    • Honkydonk

      Your per hour payable comparison is completely wrong. What about the training hour? Practice? Travel? You would need to take all that into consideration as well.

      I have said for years athletes are overpaid because that is the way of the world now. It’s ludicrous but it’s here to stay unfortunately because egg heads continue to go to games at $150 a pop.

      And now with the US markets Canadian markets can’t afford to sell tickets for less no matter what which puts you in a lose lose situation.

      Lastly paying Johnny $6.75 and chuck $7.6 million isn’t 60 plus percent of the team cap hit. And if you look at that cost per point average compared to the rest of the team it’s fairly balanced.

      When you look at the flames our second line centre is $5 and a bit million. Our top two centres are $12 million. Toronto $22million, Edmonton $21 million, Penguins $18 million.

      Our team payables are far more balanced that affords is the ability to be smart and have many avenues.

    • HOCKEY83

      It’s a nice thought but the NHL ain’t reading this and the Salaries are only going to get worse before they get better. No matter what thought or ideas are broadcasted today in this blog, teams are going to pay as much as they need to to get a player and drive up those salaries. 11 to 13 mil will be common place soon. you don’t have to agree with it but it’s going to happen.

    • Captain Ron

      One of my favorite comments ever on this site. I’m not quite as old as you are but I am involved in operating two small business’s at much smaller numbers. My thought process and analysis is very similar to yours where a team’s salaries are concerned. If you want to win Cups there has to be some restraint from players and management. Common sense has to prevail if winning is the truly end goal.
      Great comment Garry T.

  • wot96

    I look at this the other way. There are now six young stars that are going to get paid and the club that drafted them is going to want to keep them, but maybe can’t. How will Point fit into Tampa’s salary structure and will Carolina open the wallet vault for Aho?

    I think Tkachuk’s contract will depend at least in part on what BT thinks other teams will do with their young stars and who has cap room to take a run at Matty. It isn’t just whether Calgary can afford to re-sign him, it is about the market out there. In other words, Calgary will have their cap guy run everyone else’s cap through whatever algorithm they are using and see what exactly other teams can do easily and what they might do if they really want Matty.

    Yes, yes, Peters said there were only a handful of players like him. But maybe BT plays hardball and, if required, lets someone offer sheet him. If the offer sheet fits into BT’s idea of what he should pay, but won’t or didn’t offer, well then he probably matches and figures out what else he has to do.

    And if BT doesn’t match, seems to me that is a whole lot of first round draft picks Calgary just picked up, albeit with a big a$$ hole on the left side of the line up. Don’t misunderstand, I think that’s the least desirable choice, but I think, this year, if there are this many young “stars” that are holding out for big bucks, then GM’s can maybe hold out a bit longer thinking that maybe they can substitute someone else’s star for the one they just lost.

    In any event, I do not see how the Flames can possibly maintain that internal cap.

  • Toofun

    I don’t like the list of comparables that Pat has chosen. Matthews is the only one of the group that has a new salary. Is there a list of actual new contracts, that have been signed since Drai and McDavid, that reflect RFAs with similar stats to Tkachuk?

  • BlueMoonNigel

    With all this gobble-gobble about loot, a break from it.

    I am keen to know how the Flames intend to celebrate Black History Month.

    My suggestion is that the team finally honours bar none the greatest power forward to ever play the game. With a lethal combination of size, speed, finesse and grit, this superstar beat opponents in any number of ways. Likened to Mike Bossy for being a pure goal scorer and Mark Messier for aggressiveness and leadership, this world-class talent has thrilled and inspired many, and though retired as a player, continues to have a strong influence on the development of hockey in Canada.

    Don’t know why the Flames haven’t honoured this African-American legend of the game yet, but this month would be as fitting as it would be well past due to formally pay tribute to one of the elites of the game.

    Get’er done, Kinger!

    • Albertabeef

      “bar none the greatest power forward to ever play the game”.
      With all due respect to Iggy, he is not, was not, and will never be. He sucked on breakaways and could only score on a one-timer. IMO that title of greatest power forward most likely belongs to Super Mario or Mr Hockey(Howe). Goalies in 1994ish(yes before Iggy played in the NHL) were asked who they feared most on a breakaway and they all said Mario. He was a very big boy at 6’4″ and 230 lbs.
      Besides I do believe I heard the Flames are retiring his jersey in March so………….

      Ceremony for legendary player will be held March 2 before game against Minnesota Wild https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-jarome-iginla-jersey-retire-1.4982454

  • oilcanboyd

    I hate these breaks in game days. It seems that there is nothing to talk about except what players are worth, what trades can we make, what we can give up, blah, blah. If it needs to get done Tre will get it done! Until that point I sit back and just enjoy the Flames play their game – provided one is schedulesd!

    • Jourflamesfan

      Me too @Oilcanboyd
      Too much blah blah for a player who has yet to prove his REAL worth and that is Playoffs.
      You can have a guy who scores 90 pts a year but if he does Jack in PO I dont want him!
      I suspect MT will do quite well THIS playoffs. Hopefully better than his last 4 games of PO hockey.

  • Getpucksdeep

    Treliving has done a superb job signing players. I simply don’t care and will spend zero time worrying about it. Treliving has managed the cap very well and expect nothing different regardless if Tkachuk sets a new standard for the team.

  • Flamesforever

    Off topic here. But it sounds like the Sharks can’t let go of the beat down we gave them on NYE, I expect Kane to run around trying to hurt our guys. Man I hope Benny cleans his clock, never been a fan of that whiner.

  • Spider you muda&@#ker

    Matty is going to be the highest paid flame of all time the question is by how much. Love all of Tres contract negotiations but I cant help think that maybe he should of gave JG that extra mill or so a season and signed him for 7-8 year contract. That extra money that he played hard ball with JG for all but ensures that Johnny will have a new area code in a couple years when his contract is up. I hope the cap goes up substantially in the next few years because if we are sweating what Mattys going to get paid now with the way salarys are skyrocketing Johnny is going to get paid in a huge way. All the more reasons for flames org to go all in here the next coulle years GFG

    • Cfan in Van

      I don’t get that reasoning at all. If Johnny really wants to play somewhere else, he’d do that regardless. He signed a contract for many millions, and because he’s providing value doesn’t mean he should be thrown a few more mill to make him stay. That’s what the next contract is for, whether it’s here or elsewhere, his 6.75 will have nothing to do with it. If he didn’t want to agree to 6.75, he wouldn’t have.

  • Skylardog

    Stockton

    I am in tomorrow. Will be at Nainas kitchen around 5. There will likely be 2 of us then, although my kid may be late and just meet me at the game.

    If anyone sees Stockton on here could you pass him the message.
    Thanks.

  • Puck Head

    I’m probably oversimplifying the way I look at this but I like to group the players in tiers. For example, I think Gio and Johnny are in the top (elite) tier. The very good tier is comprised of Mony, Lindholm, Tkachuk etc.

    I don’t think he deserves to be the highest paid player on the team but expect he will, although not by much.

    • The GREAT WW

      Backlund is not a finisher; for every beautiful goal he scores he missed 100 open nets set up perfectly by Byng.
      (Not bashing Backlund; he brings other skills to the team)
      Imagine if Byng had a world class sniper on his line…..he would be 100 points plus every year…..

      WW

      • someone

        Possibly. But also imagine if he doesn’t have a world class sniper OR a Backlund bump. Then how much does he produce? Just a caution/question to ask when trying to figure out a contract value.