Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames stand pat during first buyout period

The Calgary Flames have allowed the June buyout period to come and go without making a single transaction. Despite experiencing a cap crunch, general manager Brad Treliving opted not to buy out any players.

Heading into the opening of free agency on Monday morning, the Flames have approximately $16.1 million in cap space available to them. But they also have to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich, Andrew Mangiapane and Sam Bennett to new contracts, with Tkachuk’s deal on its own likely eating up half of that available cap space.

But rather than dish out the proverbial big bags of money to depth defender Michael Stone to find work elsewhere, Treliving’s crew seems content to play wait and see – either they’re content to keep Stone around as veteran depth, or they’re waiting to see if other cap space possibilities open up before making decisions. If the Flames have any arbitration cases filed, they gain a second buyout window in mid-August.

League-wide, nine players were bought out in this recent round: Dion Phaneuf (LA), Andrew MacDonald (PHI), Corey Perry (ANA), Patrick Marleau (CAR), Ryan Spooner (VAN), Valeri Nichushkin (DAL), David Schlemko (PHI), Andrej Sekera (EDM) and Scott Darling (FLA). That’s a lot of money being dished out to players to play elsewhere.

Troy Brouwer’s $1.5 million buyout hit remains on the Flames cap for three more seasons. A Stone buyout would add $1.17 million to that amount for another two seasons. Considering that Flames ownership is currently negotiating an arena deal – for which they’ll need to invest considerable capital – and have okayed several buyouts under Treliving already, it makes a lot of sense that the team hasn’t gone to that well right away.

That said, if they can’t find flexibility elsewhere, it wouldn’t be a shocker if Stone was no longer a Flame after the August buyout period.

  • Albertabeef

    If nobody files for arbitration, there will be second buyout window for us. In our cap crunch I’m not sure arbitration is a good thing. Benny could end up with 3+mil through arbitration.

  • super6646

    Where does the 16.1 million come from? Cap friendly says we have 12.2 million, and it’s likely mangiapane, Tkachuk, and Bennett alone eat up most if not all of that.

    • The Beej

      I think because waiver elligible are counted against the cap.

      Totally depends who you see on the roster on day 1.

      They could start Valimaki and Dube in the minors and have them play big minutes then promote them once they have some games under their belts.

      The Flames seem to like this approach. They typically dont like to start the young guys on the opening roster. This approach was used with Jankowski Mangiapane and Anderson. It seems to work and their may be something to it. Get their motor going in the AHL until they are going well and then wait until an opportunity arises to put them in a situation to succeed. For example: waiting to promote Janko to the third line rather than having him start the season on the 4th line. That way they get quality minutes in the AHL and the NHL when they are promoted.

  • buts

    Tre has more than enough nhl ready D, the proper thing do is to address our shortcomings and trade away these D assets for 2 top 6 forwards that can play playoff style hockey.

  • deantheraven

    Nice photo, Pike. Subtle, subliminal.
    Michael Stone, chasing the play from behind the net, and Gillies in there against COL.
    Wonder if we’ll see either this season, or both?

  • freethe flames

    I think you have to go with the capfriendly @$13m; it is highly unlikely they can fill spots cheaper than Dube, Valimaki and Kylington. With @$13m you can sign Tkachuk, one of Rittich or Bennett, 2 of Talbot, Mangiapane and Hathaway and have little change left over. Of the two between Benny and Rittich I would rather see Benny go to arbitration. Rittich will use the Kostegan contract as his comparable and while we believe that contract is a huge over pay the arbitrator would likely see this a comparable one. Bennett’s comparables are likely Johnsson($3.4) and Kapenan($3.2) and their counting numbers are vastly superior to Bennetts 26 points; the intangibles many see with Bennett will not matter much to the arbitrator. That’s my opinion. Here’s hoping BT can pull off a trade today.

  • MDG1600

    I’m starting to get an uneasy feeling about how Tre is handling the cap – if he thinks he is going to low ball Tkachuk and keep Gio as the highest paid Flame I can see a Tkachuk being a training camp holdout.

  • Vernon30

    Why is nobody biting on a Brodie trade? Flames asking too much in return? If they can move both Fro and Brodie, how much cap space is that? 8 mil? Also, does it make them s better team if they get nothing in return?

  • everton fc

    Looks like BT is going to let Hathaway test the open market. I could see in back East. Boston. Philly. Islanders. Devils. Rangers. Toronto. Pittsburgh.

    Too bad. I always liked Hathaway’s game.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      It’s idiotic GMs who overplay the likes of Hathaway who get burned by the cap. At most Hathaway is worth 850K a season. Watch some dope offer him $1.25M a year for 4 years. Love Hathaway, but not for that coin. Good-bye and good luck.

      • MDG1600

        Our GM pays $5.75M for 7 goals out of Neal and you think the problem is guys like Hathaway getting overpaid? I don’t have the stats to do the math but I bet on $ per goal basis Hathaway was one of the lowest paid players in the league last year.

      • Luter 1

        Guys that are willing to go to war – and Hathaway is one of them- are worth more than $850. Without these guys your soft 6 mill players don’t accomplish anything come playoff time. We need a couple more Hathaways with slightly more talent. Tough to find though.