Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames re-sign David Rittich to two-year deal ($2.75M AAV)

Good news, everybody! Mere hours after both sides filed their salary arbitration stances, the Calgary Flames have agreed to terms with goaltender David Rittich on a two-year contract with $2.75 million per season.

The deal buys one year of Rittich’s unrestricted free agency eligibility. He’ll have the same cap hit as backup Cam Talbot for the 2019-20 season.

Rittich, 26, joined the Flames as an undrafted free agent just three seasons ago. He had a strong first season in the American Hockey League in 2016-17, out-performing Jon Gillies. Then he took over the Flames’ backup job in 2017-18 for a faltering Eddie Lack. He spent much of 2018-19 as the Flames’ starting goaltender until a knee injury dropped him to backup while Mike Smith started during the stretch drive.

And now? The Flames (and Rittich) get two seasons to figure out if those first three months are what Rittich is truly capable of being.

As their final arbitration case has been settled, the Flames will gain access to the second buyout window beginning in 48 hours and ending on Thursday at 3 p.m. MT.

  • Burnward

    Re; Chucky

    3 year bridge takes him to the end of Gaudreau and Giordano.

    That might be the ticket to get him in at a decent number and not shake up the Salary structure too bad.

    I believe that won’t take him to UFA

    • Seabass

      In this scenario, he would still have a number of RFA years left. Could happen. I don’t think it does though. I would think he would still get 6 – 6.5 in this scenario. I think Tre can get him at 7.5 for 6 years. The cost on him in 3 years would be staggering and we would pay way more in the end. A buy out of Stone and a Frolik move will be enough to sign him long term and get Mangi in. My guess is Mangi comes in around a million. Most other GM’s would be giving 1.3. Gotta love Tre!

  • Getpucksdeep

    I have faith in Rittich. He will mature more as well. He let his emotions get away a couple of times last year. Home grown and developed goalies have won the last 8 Stanley cups. If our window is 3-4 years I think this is our guy.

  • Theo/14

    I wouldn’t trade anyone just to please the Tkachuk family. Make him sit if he doesn’t want the remaining 4.7 million we have left. In Tre we trust.

  • The Red Knight

    See I told ya he wouldn’t get 3 mill ,he’s a backup , I was right and most of you were wrong . Just saying lol ahhh I love being right all the time .

    • Jimmyhaggis

      Could happen, but what kind of offer sheet? Personally I think Tkachuk is worth around 6.5 million, someone goes all in, we’ll let him walk and we’ll take all the first rounders and buy a couple decent players.

    • TheBigChef

      I don’t think so. Less so than before even, in my opinion.

      Buying out Stone leaves us with $8,491,625 in cap space. As it stands, that alone might be enough to squeeze MT on a bridge deal plus Mangiapane at ~$1M.

      Ship Derek Ryan off to the moon for a 7th rd pick and now we’re looking at $11,616,625 in cap space. More than enough to get both guys signed and match any realistic offer sheet.

        • TheBigChef

          Why? Frolik is a year younger, is a better player, and can comfortably play RW ( a position we have holes at). He also only has one year left on his deal. Ryan has two more and is drastically overpaid for a 4th line Center. Ryan is more easily replaced by cheaper players than Frolik is.

          Also wouldn’t make much sense to buy out Frolik. He still has value. Whatever return you could get for Ryan you could get for Frolik.

          • HarveysFleaCollar

            Frolik does not fit into Bill Peter’s plans. That was evident this whole past season. Flopping around the line up and never truly gaining any traction. Most of his points came in bunches of multiple point games. He has served well as a Flame, but time to move on. Dube is more than capable of replacing Frolik on a line with Backlund.

          • WoodrowWilson

            I would have to agree. Frolik is getting paid more than what he should be, but trading him does not make the team better, it just opens up cap space. There are lesser players who can be moved to open up some more cap space whose spots can be filled internally without hurting the team (assuming a Stone buyout–which at this point probably needs to happen).

          • TheBigChef

            That’s not the point. The point is that Frolik is a better player than Ryan. Both guys are overpaid. The roster should be constructed by taking the best players possible within the cap constraints. A worse player with two more years left on his bad deal should not be kept over the better player simply because the coach likes the worse player.

            And I hope Dube gets a lot of ice this year. But he should be playing on the RW. He could more easily replace Ryan than Frolik.

          • The Red Knight

            Ryan did play up the lineup at times too and looked decent, he seems to have chemistry with everyone and can play any role , if there’s injuries he can help out , pp,pk ,face offs and I thought he just kept getting better ,Even though at first I thought he was weak and a bit useless,but need to have more patience with new players sometimes , is like to see another year of him ,or at least till trade deadline lol , he’s got skill and smart player ,I don’t think he’s payed to be just a 4rth line centre, he gives up more depth and options.

          • TheBigChef

            Yea, that’s fair. I’m just not as high on Ryan as you are I guess. Not sure how much patience I have with a 32 year old who was only played three seasons in the NHL and his 38 points last was his best year, despite being on the second pp unit. I think he is going to be on the decline, and given how much Peters is in love with him, is going to key minutes away from guys I’d prefer to get a crack at, like Dube or Mangiapane.

          • Jobu

            Frolik was pushed down the lineup in order to get the real congeal James Neal a shot in the top 6. He went right back there and stayed there when it didn’t work out.

          • flames2015

            I don’t think Peter has over used Ryan in anyway, he was even benched at one point. I like what he brings, and his salary quite frankly is a result of getting UFAs. The second unit pp was crap as whole, and they barely get much playing time compared to the first unit. Frolik will be on the one to leave, not Ryan.

        • TheBigChef


          GP: Frolik 65/Ryan 81

          All Strengths:
          Goals: Frolik 16/Ryan 13
          Assists: Frolik 18/ Ryan 25
          G/60: Frolik 1.11/Ryan 0.70
          Assists/60: Frolik 1.24/Ryan 1.34
          Pts/60: Frolik 2.35/Ryan 2.04
          CF%: Frolik 54.5 / Ryan 52.15

          5v5 (ignoring boosts in production from Ryan’s 140 mins PP time)
          Goals: Frolik 12/Ryan 10
          Assists: Frolik 15/ Ryan 14
          G/60: Frolik 0.89/Ryan 0.76
          Assists/60: Frolik 1.11/Ryan 1.06
          Pts/60: Frolik 1.99/Ryan 1.82
          CF%: Frolik 56.27 / Ryan 54.60

          I would take Frolik over Ryan any day of the week. Ryan was handed significant time on the second PP unit, despite being pretty ineffective offensively—-probably because he is a right handed shot and good at face offs. But he shouldn’t be given those minutes again next year and at 5v5 he is a clearly inferior player to Frolik.

          Losing Frolik for nothing leaves a hole in the roster that will be difficult to replace with little cap space to play with. Ryan is a year older, is overpaid, has an extra year on his deal, and is more easily replaced within the organization through internal promotions. If we were to keep Frolik and get rid of Ryan now, after next year we would rid ourselves of both guys’ unfavourable contacts (rather than just losing Frolik now) and would still be able to open up enough cap space to keep MT and Mangiapane.

          • TheBigChef

            Yea…showing that one player is superior to another usually involves statistical comparisons. If anything the fact that Frolik is a winger should buttress the argument he is more valuable because Flames are thin on RW and have an abundance of guys who can play down the middle. Monahan, Lindholm, Backlund, Bennett, Jankowski, Dube, Quine could all play Center if needed.

            The only other guys who have played regular RW shifts besides Frolik are Lindholm and Czarnik (and maybe Bennett).

            The extra year of being overpaid on Ryan’s deal is also a big sticking point for me.

          • TheBigChef

            I am earnestly open to hearing you out if you think Ryan is better than Frolik but it is ridiculous to think comparing stats of a defenseman with a forward is the same thing as comparing the stats of a winger and a centreman? Come on now.

            Statistically Frolik is a better player and can play the RW. We are thin at RW.
            Ryan is worse. We have many players who can play Center, including Dube, who I would like to see take a full time spot next year. Ryan also has two years left on his deal where he is getting overpaid. Frolik only has one.

            Tell me what part you disagree with and I am happy to discuss any argument you have to support that claim. Simply saying that you cannot compare a winger and a centreman as any sort of argument for keeping Ryan over Frolik does not make sense.

          • HarveysFleaCollar

            You’re right..I exaggerated, but comparing a winger to a center man is still different. Different responsibilities, also being on different lines they have different match ups, minutes and linemates. Frolik, for the most part of the season go t a sweetheart of a deal and got to play with Backlund and Tkchuck. Ryan, got to play with Hathaway and Mangiapane. Very different. I do believe Frolik still is of some use, just not at 4.3 million here, not when guys like Dube can replace him on the wing. Frolik could NOT replace Ryan at center, but Ryan could replace Frolik at center.

          • TheBigChef

            I would disagree. I don’t think Frolik got a sweetheart deal playing with Backlund–I think he is a good pairing with Backlund. The problem is he doesn’t have the offense anymore to justify second line minutes, so fits more as a good 3RW. If we had the luxury of having good right wingers, my preference would be to have Lindholm play C and slide Backlund down to 3C so they could play together again with someone like Mangiapane on the left. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury, and Frolik is certainly expensive at 4.3 for a third liner, but he is still useful.

            If anything, I think Ryan got the sweetheart deal. He was handed powerplay time I don’t think he deserved because the coach loved him and he is really good at winning faceoffs.

            And as I mentioned above, Dube should not be playing RW, and thus would not be replacing Frolik. Dube would ideally be at center or on the left side. I think he more easily replaces Ryan at Center–otherwise you would have to have Dube at Center and Ryan replacing Frolik on the right side. I don’t like Ryan more than frolik as a 3RW. Frolik has also shown he can play with Backlund and Tkachuk, so in the event of injuries he can slide up to second line if needed.

          • Budgie

            Ryan is a Face-off specialists, if he was used on a third line he would get more points, if you spend all your time on the 4th line your points total suffers. Reality is we have both Dube and Bennett who are natural centre-men Too many centres, not enough RW-s I’d love to see Bennett at Centre-with Tkachuk and Frolik-if Frolik stays

          • TheBigChef

            @Budgie And if Frolik played on the power play he would get more points too. But I don’t think either of those guys deserve to be on the PP. You can make the case that any player would get more points if they were given more ice time on a better line. That doesn’t mean they deserve those minutes.

            Ryan plays 4C because he was the fourth best center. If he played up a spot he might get more points–but that doesn’t mean he should. As you said, there are more players who can play center. That makes him more easily replaceable than Frolik.

            I don’t think Ryan is garabage and needs to be run out of town. But I do think he is overpaid and if we need to lose a body to clear cap space I would rather lose the guy with two more years left on his bad deal and is more easily replaceable.

          • BendingCorners

            @Chef – Frolik may be slightly better than Ryan but he is also paid more. Looking at Ryan, 38 points, positive possession stats, 3.25MM seems like the going rate. Frolik (if he played all 82 games) would probably come out ahead but not hugely, and costs about $1MM more. Ryan can play RW, and has. Deciding which one to keep comes down to expected usage, expected decline and the importance of that extra $1MM this year. Ryan can always be traded next summer, so keeping him this year has no necessary impact on next year’s cap space. They are both useful and both replaceable but that extra $1MM tips the balance toward moving Frolik, for me.

          • TheBigChef

            @corners I can respect that point of view and it may very well be how it plays out given Frolik’s public airing of grievances. It’s certainly a valid opinion–just not one that I share. I am of the view that Frolik is the better player and should be slotted into the 3RW spot, with Dube slotting in at Center.

            With solid deals to Bennett and Rittich (and hopefully Mangiapane), I don’t think we will need that extra $1mm in cap space to get Tkachuk signed. Trading Ryan now gives us enough cap room to get our business taken care of this year, and gives more flexibility next year because neither of them will be on the books. I don’t think Ryan will ever be worth his cap hit–he will be 34 by the time his deal expires and seems more easily replaceable with cheaper money in my opinion. I’d also be skeptical of the “we can always trade him next summer” mentality. We probably thought the same thing about Stone and Brouwer and Bouma. Who knows what happens in a year. If there is a market for Ryan, it probably won’t be better than it is now.

            Time will tell! At least the pieces are falling into place and we have a better idea of what the roster is going to look like.

            (and for the record, I would actually rather trade Brodie than either Frolik or Ryan so that our young D can take those minutes–I just think a Brodie trade probably involves players coming back and might not clear enough cap on its own)

          • Seabass

            very good points all around. I don’t think Ryan gets traded though in the end because he is a personal favorite of Peters. So our franchise values him more than others might. Havign said that though, his faceoff prowess (and being a righty to boot) is huge. he can play the right wing on the thrid line except when the draw is on his side. Very valuable and something that Frolik doesn’t bring. Should be interesting to see what happens though for sure.

        • The Red Knight

          I think your mistaking Backlunds (lack of offence) for responsible defending against top lines , he plays the way he’s likely told to play ,and he’s very effective at it,one of the best , another 5-10 points and he’d have likely more than the league average of secondline centres ,

    • Porcupine at a balloon party

      We can go over cap by 10% during off season. So if the offer sheet is big enough it Nets us 4 first rounders, think we have to say bye bye, but we would’ve done that anyway I think

  • freethe flames

    So I am back. General comment on the trade; happy to be rid of Neal; he may go to Edmonton and score 20 with McD but he was not going to score 20 here. Lucic might score 10 but what he can bring is a better nightly effort.
    Arena: I would still like to see a plan for the city to raise more revenue to pay for it and other professional/corporate entities.
    Bennett got a 33% pay raise for basically producing the same amount. He got paid what the market suggested.

    This deal with Rittcih is also right around what is justified based on the market. Maybe on the low side.

    Now the key how/what does BT doe now.

      • Albertabeef

        See now that’s the crappy thing, we need to actually cheer for an Oiler’s player this year if we want that third rounder. This totally sucks, worst trade EVER! Personally I only wanted Neal traded because I’m sick of people talking about him in every thread on FN. We traded him to about the only team that would ensure we would NEVER stop talking about him. Just freaking great! 🙁

  • Off the wall

    Today I was watching skydivers from my balcony. There was 4 of them, launching within seconds of each other.

    3 of them had the chutes deployed and were gracefully circling the skies.

    One of them scared the living daylights outta me, it appeared as if the chute wasn’t opening. I was gripped in fear. At the last minute it seemed, the chute opened up on the 4th one, and they made it safely to land.

    I really gotta stop watching them. Cuz it gives me chills.

    I think Treliving is gonna be using this late chute method with Tkachuk. He’ll sign him when he realizes that he’s going to have to pull the chute cord, and that might be just before training camp.

    Sam Bennett, Rittich.. now Mangiapane will be next. The 3 circling the skies waiting for Tkachuk to pull the cord next.

    Don’t panic, if we don’t hear much from Tkachuk until later.

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    Brilliant dollar amount signing by Treliving.

    At camp…Coach Rebar: “Hey fellas. Who’s the go to goalie again? You are both making the same amount of scratch. Show me that you want the freakin’ job more than the other guy.”

  • Chucky

    By nickles and dimes Treliving is keeping the salary total down but there needs to be a change in personnel. It would seem that a Stone buyout opens up $7,173,292 to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapane. There is no doubt that this is a little short even with a bridge deal for Tkachuk.
    It may be possible to free up enough by exchanging Czarnik for a league minimum, but I think this requires a trade or someone picking Czarnik off waivers. I think they can’t get cap space by simply sending him to Stockton. but even that is going to be very close.
    Maybe they figure a way to have Tkachuk to hold out for the first 20 games and then they could sign him for $8 million. They will be good enough to win without Tkachuk until teams get a little serious and that happens about 30 games into the season.

    • TheBigChef

      MInd sharing how you got that number? When I run ArmChair GM on CF I get cap space of $8,491,625 after buying out Stone and demoting Quine and Gillies. Not a huge difference but certainly helps, especially if like you said we can send Czarnik off somewhere for another 1.25.

      Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I also believe Tkachuk sitting out 20 games would actually be disastrous to our cap problems because his cap hit would be prorated. So last year when Nylander sat out he eventually signed a deal with a $6.9AAV . But that was prorated based on the number of days left in the season, so his AAV for the first year of the deal ended up being about $10.3 mm. Not to mention it would really suck to not have Tkachuk in the line up for the 1st quarter of a season.

      • Chucky

        Hockeybuzz has the current space at $4673292, Gillies is $750000 and the Stone buyout is a savings of $1750000. That totals 7173292, for some reason Armchair GM has a cap hit of 7145291 for the same lineup. I did not calculate sending down Quine which adds another $735000 but takes them to 22 on the roster.
        There may be another problem with Gillies because he may be on a one way for this year and they can’t get full cap relief from sending him to Stockton.
        Anyway you cut it this is a mess.

        • Chucky

          After another read of the Buried Contract section they can get full relief with Gillies and would also get full relief from Czarnik. If they start the season with 20 players and they may be able to have enough room but there is a real problem Treliving and a medium to big contract needs to go.

      • BendingCorners

        I think the cap issue only arose with Nylander because they paid him his entire salary for the year. If his salary in 2018-19 had been prorated to match the remaining games then the cap hit last year would not have been so high. I think.

      • TheBigChef

        If he were willing to take a bridge it would be because he could get way more after 2-3 years. With the new US TV deal coming, the cap is expected to be raised significantly around that time. He could sign long term here for 8+ per year, or he could sign for less now, and hope that his value continues to increase and he can get an every bigger pay day on the next contract. It would be gambling on himself but also would give him a lot more freedom and upside on the next deal if he continues to progress.

        I doubt that’s what he wants, but he wouldn’t be passing up money, he would be passing up security.

  • everton fc

    On Frolik vs. Ryan:

    How can one compare them? I’d say Ryan earned his pay, last season. He seems to be improving, with age. I like him. Miles better than Stajan, who I also liked. He also seems a good guy to have, around the younger guys.

    Frolik’s agent, and Peters not having a role for Frolik, make him fodder, for a draft pick. But I still like Frolik, on our team. Buyout Stone, move Czarnik… But one of Brodie/Frolik – or both – will be gone, when the season commences.

    • Luter 1

      Sorry just lost some respect for you as Stajan was one of those useless vets that sucked up good icetime that younger players could have utilized. If I’m not mistaken a guy like Byron might have suffered because Stajan was out there doing nothing. And yes, Ryan does have a little Stajan in him which is not a good thing.

      • Albertabeef

        Stajan was under rated but still over paid. Ryan I believe is a slightly better player with a slightly better contract. I was quite impressed with his leadership of Mange and Hath last season. He had a rough start but looked good from Xmas onward.

    • TheBigChef

      Interested to know why you think two forward on the same team, of a similar age, who are both overpaid can’t be compared? If you don’t think you can compare the difference in value between your 3RW and your 4C you’re going to have a pretty tough time assembling a roster.

      Nobody improves with age. Ryan is a smart player who does things his coach loves and is therefore going to continue get minutes well past his prime. But he is not immune from the steep age decline that most players get when they are in their 30s. He is not Gio–he is 32 years old, has only played three NHL seasons, and despite being very good at faceoffs and a responsible player, has never been more than a bottom 6 player at any time.

      With the tricky cap situation, if this team is going to want to do better than a 5-game first round loss this year, there is going to need to be internal improvement. If we are looking at a 32-year old 4th liner to fill that need, we are in trouble. Dube, Mangiapane, Bennett, Janko are the guys we should be looking at to take a step forward. In my opinion Ryan’s minutes are better suited for those guys to take a step forward than Frolik’s.

      I don’t really care about the agent nonsense. Relationships can be fixed. The fundamental job of a GM is to build a roster with the best players possible. Not to pick the coaches favourite players and trade the ones he doesn’t like.