89Curtis Lazar Profile
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t expect the Flames to qualify all their restricted free agents

The Calgary Flames have 13 pending restricted free agents on their reserve list. They have until 3 p.m. MT on Tuesday afternoon to tender qualifying offers, but don’t expect them to hand out offers to every pending RFA they have.

Definitely getting qualified

None of these four players should be a big surprise.

Matthew Tkachuk ($874,000 one-way offer) is going to get a hefty contract extension this off-season, potentially boosting him to the biggest cap hit on the team.

Sam Bennett ($1.95 million one-way offer) hasn’t set the world on fire yet, but he’s been a consistently effective and occasionally really good winger. He has arbitration rights.

David Rittich ($840,000 offer) became the team’s de facto starting goalie last season when Mike Smith struggled, only giving that gig up when he suffered a knee injury and the team rode Smith the rest of the way. He has arbitration rights.

Andrew Mangiapane ($715,000 offer) became a fixture on the team’s fourth line down the stretch, scoring the game-winning goal in the Flames’ only playoff win.

Probably getting qualified

Rinat Valiev ($715,000) is one of the few defenders the Flames have in their system that has a decent amount of AHL experience. Given the influx of Russians into the organization – it’s anticipated that Artyom Zagidulin and Alexander Yelesin will be playing in Stockton – it makes sense to have Valiev for his experience and for continuity.

Kerby Rychel ($761,000), Alan Quine ($735,000) and Ryan Lomberg ($715,000) are more toss-ups. All three are useful AHL depth players that can come up onto the NHL roster and help out in a pinch. Quine was very useful at times for the Flames, but probably isn’t in their long-term plans.

All four of these players have arbitration rights. None of them have particularly strong cases for significant raises so the risk of the Flames qualifying them isn’t terribly large.

Coin toss

Spencer Foo has reportedly signed with the KHL for two seasons. The Flames could qualify him ($874,000) to retain his NHL rights, but they would expire when his KHL deal does so there wouldn’t be much of a point. Then again, they qualified Linden Vey in a similar situation years back so they may try to hold onto the asset one way or another.

Likely not getting qualified

Curtis Lazar would get a $1.05 million qualifying offer. If he gets offered that, he would be nuts to turn it down. He likely won’t get offered that. Lazar has arbitration rights.

Josh Healey ($874,000), Mason McDonald ($874,000) and Brett Pollock ($735,000) are coming out of entry level deals that didn’t see them move the needle at all in terms of pushing for NHL jobs. The clock has run out on them making an impression.

    • Jobu

      This is one of the bigger stains on Tre’s resume but moreso on the Flames scouting staff. Was a huge overpay on a huge gamble.

      Its not like there wasn’t any evidence of his struggles to play in the bigs. Like if he played on our 4th line he’d somehow perform better than on Ottawa’s.

      And in Lazar’s defense, he was never really given a chance to grow. By the time he was in the AHL it was too late.

      • freethe flames

        That’s what happens when an organizations rushes a player. That is why it was good for Dube to play in the AHL. Heck he might even start in the AHL again next year depending on what happens with the big club. The question for me is what to with Kylington; he is still waiver exempt but does he learn anything playing the AHL. Does he learn anything being the 7th D on the Flames? Would he and Valimaki be interchangeable? If we only move Stone on D this is a real possibility.

        • SeanCharles

          Brodie will be shipped out, I just dont see how we could keep him unless the plan was to trade at the TDL or re-sign.

          Both seem unlikely given the cap and the fact playoff teams rarely ship out extra dmen before the playoffs.


  • freethe flames

    I was reading an article that directed me to a website that predicts Salaries for players and now I can’t find it. Does anyone know the site that does this this?

    • freethe flames

      I found it again. Evolving wild was it’s name; for me it was interesting to see how close they were on some contracts that have been signed(or rumoured to be signed) and how far off they have been as well. They
      have Tkachuk 6x $7.8 and Bennett at 2x $2.8m.

        • freethe flames

          I could not find any predictions on goalies but other notables for the Flames were Hathaway @$1.3, Mangiapane @$.9m, Fentenberg$.93m.

          UFA’s that I think the Flames should be interested in “if” the can create cap space: Connolly $3.4 x 3, Donskoi, $2.8 x 3.

          They also had some numbers on some RFA’s that interested me if you compare them to the rumoured signing of Kapenan in Toronto; they were for Konnechny 2x$3.3m.

          • withachance

            Hath at 1.3M is a little much imo. Kapanen was grossly overvalued by the Leafs as that was his first breakout season. Johnsson was fair value as he’s shown he can be a consistent middle 6 winger.

            Interested in Connolly if BT offloads Brodie/Frolik

          • withachance

            define a poor deal?

            Brodie and Frolik both have intrinsic value to get assets back. I think Brodie could fetch at a 2nd + prospect or a middle 6 NHLer. Frolik can at least get some 3rd and 4th picks in return.

            Would you consider those poor deals? I wouldn’t because it allows the team to make upgrades overall while staying cap compliant. And the team is likely going to lose them anyways next season. WPG got a 5th for Hayes, and that was a GOOD deal for the Jets.

  • cjc

    nother thing of note with Kylington is that he has 293 pro games, and will soon play his 320th, whether in the AHL or NHL. The AHL requires at least 12 of the 18 players dressed for a game to have less than 260 pro-games. Bud Robinson already eats one spot up. Kylington could occupy one of the 5 remaining spots. If they re-sign Rychel and Quine that is two more of those spots gone. Nielsen is just short of 260 games (252). Lomberg is also close to 260, so that is another spot gone if he is signed.

    There are a few implications for the AHL in all this. Assuming all of these signings happen (Quine, Lomberg, Rychel), they could still play Kylington in the AHL but wouldn’t be able to play another experienced vet like Graovac (they could still sign them, but they can only ice 5 vets each night).

    The second is that the team will probably need to sign another prospect (i.e. <260 pro games) to fill out the roster. Right now they only have 8 forwards (including Dube, who might make the team), 3 defensemen (assuming they sign Valiev – Lerby will still be in Sweden IIRC), and 4 goalies that have played well under 260 pro games. That will barely reach the requirement for 12 players with less than 260 GP. There needs to be enough inexperienced players in the AHL to ice a compliant roster in the event of injuries and call-ups. That certainly explains Kinnvall's invite to training camp.

      • everton fc

        I agree. This is the “granular” stuff fans like me forget, and/or overlook. Much more to all this trading and moving of personnel, than meets the fans eyes. It’s a business.

        • cjc

          In the end it will all work out, but it makes me wonder who they might try to sign to fill out the AHL roster. With so few picks the last couple years, they could have a hard time finding enough young bodies to fill the team – hence signing guys like Gawdin, Yelesin and Philp.

    • Beer League Coach

      Per AHL web site, 13 of 18 skaters must qualify as development players. 12 of the 13 must have played 260 or fewer pro games and one must have played 320 or fewer pro games. The number of pro games played is based on games played in the NHL, AHL, and European Elite Leagues. All calculations for development status are based on regular season games as of the start of the season. Players who exceed the threshold of 260 games or 320 games during this season will still qualify as development players for this season. Add Neilson and Lomberg to your list of 11 players and Flames have 13 who qualify as development players. And they could also sign one or more overage juniors to go to Stockton so the Heat should not have any problems meeting development status requiresments of the AHL.

      • Beer League Coach

        A little more research and I offer this info. Games played by players who could be on the Heat roster for 2019-20 season.
        Luke Philp, Adam Ruzicka, Martin Pospisil 0 GP in the pros
        Mason Morelli (AHL contract) 9 GP
        Glenn Gawdin 64 GP
        Matt Phillips 66 GP
        Dillon Dube 68 GP
        Brett Pollock 102 GP
        Curtiz Lazar 319 GP
        Corey Schueneman (AHL contract) 6 GP
        Johannis Kinnvall (signed for tryout camp from Sweden) 70 GP
        Josh Healey 107 GP
        Alexander Yelesen 109 GP
        Carl-Johan Lerby 124 GP
        Andrew Nielsen 181 GP
        Rob Hamilton (AHL contract) 134 GP
        Oliver Kylington 293 GP

        All of the above info was taken from Hockeydb. Interesting to note that Lazar is still eligible as a development player 1 GP below the 320 GP threshold for regular season games in a pro league. However, Heat would not be able to play both Lazar and Kylington in the same game. I did not include Demetri Zavgorodniy because he was drafted from a CHL team and would be ineligible to play in AHL because of his age. He will only be 19 next season and would need to be 20 by end of December to be eligible. Pollock and Healey may not be tendered a qualifying offer by Flames and would be UFA. Rychel has 332 GP in the pros so he is no longer considered a developmental player.
        20 names on my list. Subtract Rychel (over 320 GP), Kinnvall (on tryout contract, may not be offered a contract), and Healey, Pollock, and Lazar (UFA’s if not tendered a qualifying offer by Flames) and there are still 15 players who meet developmental standards. If both Dube and Kylington make the Flames the Heat will still have 13 players who meet the requirements. And there is still the possibility that Flames or Heat could sign overage juniors to an NHL or AHL contract.

  • freethe flames

    @withachance: at this point if we got a 2nd and real prospect or a solid NHL er I would be okay although I think he is worth more than that; if we got 2 3rd’s for Frolik I could live with that as well but again I think he is worth a 2nd. If the offers are much lower than this I would not bite.

    • withachance

      The thing is you cant look at the deal in a microcosm. You have to look at it in terms of input and output. Frolik and Brodie allows the team to swing for an upgrade in their own areas. Their cap space, if used correctly, is more valuable this season than any assets they would bring back.

      Bringing in a legit top 6 option for Frolik and Brodie is definitely better for the team than keeping them just because they would be selling low. I trust Ras to really take off with Gio next year, and its not hard to find a filler for bottom pairing.

    • freethe flames

      Depending on the Gardenar ask might not TJ be a better option? The thing with the Habs is they have a full squad and $10m to spend if need be. They can afford this year anyways to pursue the best fit.

    • Kevin R

      That was before the draft & possibly they didnt want to give up Tre’s ask (probably the #15) Bergevin had(s) options but they are slowly getting scratched off the list. As teams with needs sort through the Free Agency & players get signed/extended, options & cap space will/can bring them back to Tre. The beauty of waiting until July to trade guys like Frolik & Brodie is that most GM’s are pretty pumped about their teams & are more willing to relinquish a first rounder. Also guys like Hamonic, Brodie & Frolik can be extended after July 1 which gives the shopper to get more comfort in the return they are about to give up. July is going to be an interesting month for the Flames.

  • BendingCorners

    Giordano and Brodie play well together. Maybe, instead of trading Brodie, BT wants to extend him. As a pair they can slide down the lineup slowly over the next three years while the young D continue to improve.
    Stone has only one year left so if BT can create cap space in other ways it might be better to keep him for RD depth for his final year.
    Frolik for pick(s) creates an opening for Donskoi but maybe not enough cap space to sign him.
    Even if Neal bounces back he will be a cap anchor; I’d give up a good asset to get rid of him. The team’s greatest depth is on LD, Hanifin plus Neal for a 1st (since Hanifin is signed for an extra year) means in effect Kylington is a full-time 5D and Valimaki moved to 2nd pair. It is not as strong a defense but it creates enough cap space to sign Duchene and Donskoi.
    Since UFA interviews are this week, BT should have an idea whether those signings are possible.

      • everton fc

        I read about all the tax breaks Duchene would get, playing in Nashville. Why would he sign here – he can make more, there. I also read where Duchene prefered a smaller market team.

        • BendingCorners

          Calgary is a small market team … I doubt Duchene signs here too but with enough cap space it becomes possible to make an offer if he shows interest this week … the real question is that if he pushes Backlund to 3C and Donskoi replaces Frolik, does the top-six improve enough?

          • everton fc

            The Predators can pay him less than we can, and Duchene, due to all the tax breaks – some unique to the state of Tennessee, if my memory serves me – will still make more than any Canadian team can offer.

          • SGRietzey

            I would guess Duchene preferring a “smaller market” is more an implication of preferring somewhere he won’t be under extreme scrutiny at all times, e.g. a Canadian team. Hockey’s gotten big in Nashville but I doubt he’d be under the microscope to the extent that he would be in Canada.

            I think it would improve the top-6 enough for a couple years – a combination of Gaudreau/Monahan/Lindholm/Duchene/Tkachuk is a pretty solid lineup – but the price and term he probably wants should give pause. Rumours are suggesting he could get $9M, which is probably a $2M overpay, and what are the odds he signs for less than say, 5 years? Even after 2-3 years I’d expect that contract starts to look suspect.

            The Athletic has a really good piece on this (paywall obviously): https://theathletic.com/1033210/2019/06/24/by-the-numbers-evaluating-the-2019-free-agency-class/

    • Kevin R

      Gio plays well with most. Brodie doesnt bring anything of need to our backend. Extending him will be at the cost of one of our young guys. Gio is a Norris D & I want him to start tutoring Ras to be a top pairing stat!!!!!

      • everton fc

        We have Andersson, Hanifin, Valimaki, Kylington, some of the Europeans signed for this next season coming… Gio will retire here, I think… I definitely like Gio with Andersson. So Brodie is the odd guy out. What will happen with Hamonic, hard to say. Stone will be gone either this year, via buyout, or next. Valiev may prove a replacement for a guy like Fantenberg – and, “on the cheap”. We have some flexibility, on the backend, I think.

        With regards to Brodie going to the Habs; one reason I like Shaw, is he’s got playoff experience. He’s been a good playoff performer. He’s a “giver”. I wouldn’t do the deal straight up, and might take Juulsen and a pick, for Brodie, if that deal were available. But I can’t see Brodie here, next season. Nor Stone.

        • Kevin R

          Once Myers & Gardiner get picked off quick next week, there isnt much left out there. Barrie &Sakic is going to want an arm & a leg & a left nyt too boot for just 1 more year left on his deal & then you can go after Zhaitsev. Once Leafs trade Zhaitsev they will be a buyer for one of Brodie or Hamonic. July both Brodie & Frolik will be strong options for teams that missed out. Even Stone with50% paid by Flames becomes an option for some lower tier teams.

        • freethe flames

          Shaw in many ways fits what the Flames need, a RHF who can take faceoffs, plays with certain amount of grit, has playoff experience, caphit is doable yet many on this site hate the idea.

  • Pietro

    I don’t see how the team can improve and at the same time free cap space. I think that Tre has made some monumental mistakes in the past and now we are stuck in purgatory.
    I don’t see us improving the team for next season, or the one after. We have a young core, let’s be patient then: trade Frolik and TJ for picks (or rookie prospects). Let’s wait for Stone’s outrageous contract to end, possibly trade Ryan for size and/or picks (I like him, but he is too expensive as a 3rd line C).
    We need to give Tkachuk a bridge contract (so we really assess the player he is).
    Hopefully we can make the playoffs every year and get experience. When we get some cap space in a few years we can go for a big sign, hoping that in the meantime we hit the jackpot with one or two prospects..

  • Cheeky

    Keeping on subject, if we didn’t add any forwards via free agency/trades, I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back Lazar to be our 13th forward. Hear me out first – don’t qualify him and resign him as free agent for around $800,000 on 1 yr (show me). Cant see any other team offering more. He sits and eats popcorn unless injury, which doesn’t stunt his growth (as it’s already stunted) like a prospect. He can fit in well on most lines without looking bad (unlike the Peluso’s and Glass’) bringing speed and forechecking.
    This also would be dependant on moving Frolik and Czarnik with Dube having a full time spot…

    • Beer League Coach

      Lazar could also be sent back to Stockton and still qualify as a development player with 319 GP in pro leagues in regular season. He could be the veteran on the AHL squad while still leaving room for 1 more vet to show the kids the ropes. See my post above replying to a post by cjc.

    • Albertabeef

      Ok so Lazar played 66 games in 2017-18 had 2 goals 10 assists for 12 points. Czar played 54 games had 6 goals 12 assists for 18 points. Lazar requested being sent to the AHL, but he never played his way out. I’d rather give an opportunity to Phillips or Tuulola.

      • Cheeky

        Albertabeef, I don’t like idea of Czarnik being 13th forward sitting and eating popcorn. Rather see him reg duty, hence my point with him traded (I’m still not sold on him yet, if he played like he did during that scoring spel, where he actually went to the hard areas, I’d be a fan). As for the last 2 mentioned, my point regarding prospects sitting…

        • everton fc

          My comment wasn’t for you – but fir Skylar. I think Skylar – like me – likes what Lazar brings to the lineup. Lazar is an ideal extra forward, in my eyes…

        • Albertabeef

          I said give a chance, not sit and eat popcorn. And I never said Czar should be our 13th player, I prefer him in the lineup over Lazar. However at his age and contract if someone has to sit, sitting Czar isn’t the end of the world. Unless Neal continues to $hit the bed.

      • Skylardog

        Lazar never got a shift on the PP, was a fourth liner with stajan and brouwer. Czar gets PP, 2nd and third line time with backs and tkachuk. Lazar was top 10 in the NHL on the PK. Just saying

          • Cheeky

            Everton, was this for me? Not both, I wouldn’t have Lazar in starting line up, and I don’t really see a fit with Czar (my point with being reg is he needs to get into rhythm rather than being in and out of line up)…

        • Albertabeef

          Lazar never earned PP minutes. Saying Lazar was top 10 on PK is insanely stupid. You do realize he played a total of 27:59 on the PK in 2017-18? With that little amount of time I wouldn’t even put him in rankings.

      • HOCKEY83

        Keeping in mind of course Czarnik played more minutes a night with better players on a better flames team. Lazar played on the 4th line with brouwer and stajan during a season where the entire Flames team was garbage. If you’re gonna lay it out there you should fairly lay it out there. Dube could also not play his way out last season as there were no spots for anyone to come up but nice try on the could not play his way out.

        • Albertabeef

          Well Dube got his spot out of camp, he was sent down more for conditioning after his injuries. Mangiapane and Quine(both twice) were sent up instead of Lazar. So please don’t try the “no spots for anyone” BS.

  • Garry T

    OK did some research. Tkachuk is finished his ELC and this last season he earned $1,775,000.00 based on his negotiated contract. As an RFA the Flames have a window to sign him. First they have to qualify him at $ 1,775,000.00 and then if no team offer sheets him during that restricted period, the Flames can negotiate with him up to December first 2019 at which time if he has not signed, he sits the rest of the season and loses an entire season’s financial position, that being a minimum of $1,775,000.00
    Or if they qualified him for say4-7 years at $ 5.5 million per, he loses the $5.5 on December 1, 2019. Rumour is he wants $10,000,000 per USD or CAD $ 14,000,000.00 per year. $ 10 mil is 10 % of the $ 81.5 mil Cap. Other than our top4 D and our top 6 forwards, we have no worries having to pay the lower scale of players anywhere from $1-$2 mil per year. But, TJ is going to want $7-10 mil next year. Giordano is coming up, Hamonic is coming up
    Shortly, then you get into Johnny, Monny, Lindholm, Bennett, Backlund, Frolik etc. All wanting $7-10 mil. The cap was supposed to reward all players. That ain’t happening. The GMS are all old hockey guys who will spend to hold onto their jobs. So reality is going to have to come from the Players Association laying down a formula that works for everybody or there is going to be a palace revolt there. And if I am an Owner, I haul in my financial people and tell them to set up a formula that works with a maximum payroll cost of $6 mil for a unique player or a franchise player
    Scenario. The way it shakes out right now if I am an owner and someone offers Tkachuk $7 mil plus I take the 4 first round picks and run. I still unload Frolik and Brodie, keep Stone and play him this year, then he is done.
    I then sit back and cherry pick players having been released because of mis management, a la Carolina and win that way. I do like Jersey and Ottawa and keep a big surplus to build a super team, patiently. What a bloody mess.