Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Treliving still has heavy lifting to do this summer

It’s the end of July. The draft is complete. Unrestricted free agency is but a memory. Salary arbitration has been dealt with. But Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving still has the biggest pieces of his summer to-do list yet to deal with.

A new contract for Matthew Tkachuk

Since the draft, Treliving has come to terms with nine players – five re-signings and four UFAs – on new deals. Let’s not diminish the work that’s been done; Sam Bennett’s deal is some tidy work for a player that could be in the top six for the next couple seasons, while Treliving has also locked up a pair of goaltenders for $5.5 million combined.

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But the professed top priority since the end of the regular season has been a new contract for restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk. He hasn’t signed yet. But to be fair, aside from a pact forced by Montreal’s offer sheet to Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, none of the major RFAs have re-signed with their clubs.

At this point, it seems fairly obvious that no team or player wants to the be first to blink and set the market. Deals for Mitch Marner, Brayden Point and Mikko Rantanen will likely set the absolute ceiling for a Tkachuk deal, while Brock Boeser and Kyle Connor set the floor. (Similarly, Tkachuk’s deal would have an impact on everyone else’s deals.) It’s a massive, interconnected game of contractual chicken and it’s hard to say which GM or player will be the first to blink.

But from a team construction standpoint, it sure would be nice if the Flames had a bit of cost certainty heading into the buyout window.

The second buyout window

If you’re Treliving, the good news is you just saved your bosses $9 million of real cash by way of the James Neal for Milan Lucic swap. The bad news is your bosses are about to write a cheque for $275 million for a new arena, and there’s a really good chance that you’re about to ask them to eat some more money. By virtue of having players file for arbitration, the Flames get access to a second buyout window that runs from Tuesday at 3 p.m. MT through Thursday at 3 p.m. MT.

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We’ve gone into this a lot this summer: the Flames could contend for a Stanley Cup this season. To do that, they need to open up some cap space so they can (a) deal with injuries in-season and (b) potentially add some bodies at the trade deadline. Buying out Michael Stone – their probable seventh defenseman with a $3.5 million cap hit – seems like a prudent move. While it would be nice to know Tkachuk’s cap hit before going through the buyout process, Stone’s cap hit is too high for a designated healthy scratch and the Flames would need the space no matter what – even if Tkachuk improbably signs a tiny, tiny deal.

Open up some cap space to optimize the roster

In an ideal world, Dillon Dube and Juuso Valimaki should be on the Flames roster this coming season based on how well they played when they were healthy and their performances in the AHL. (A case can be made for Oliver Kylington, too.)

Ignoring the salary cap, what’s the best Flames roster that can be constructed with the current pieces?

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Mangiapane – Ryan – Frolik
Lucic – Jankowski – Cznarik
Extra: Quine

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Valimaki – Andersson
Extra: Davidson


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Buyouts: Brouwer, Stone

Assuming Tkachuk signs for $7 million and Andrew Mangiapane for $900,000, this roster has a cap hit of about $80.8 million, which would allow just $666,000 for injuries, additions or general tweaking. It also includes no Dube, but it’s unclear where he would fit in (and who he would bump out).

Can the Flames improve on their barely compliant roster by shipping out somebody like Michael Frolik? More importantly, can they do it without losing their cap flexibility going forward? If the deal was a slam-dunk, it would probably have happened by now, so moving out his $4.5 million cap hit might be difficult.

Sign Mangiapane

All due respect, he’s taken this long because they have higher priorities – like signing their starting goaltender and Tkachuk. Mangiapane doesn’t have a ton of leverage, but he was a very useful player for them down the stretch. A one year, one-way show me deal at somewhere around $900,000 sounds like it would be a fit for both sides.

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As painful as it sounds, folks: Treliving’s dealt with the easy stuff. The challenging part of the off-season – signing Tkachuk and trying to fit everybody under the cap – is still to come.

  • PlayitagainSam

    I don’t think Tkachuk will short change himself. 7.5 million per year might be the lowest you see him sign for. I believe it will be a 5 year deal as well.
    It seems five year deals are happening more often, guys don’t want to stick around Canada for any longer than they have to because of the taxes compared to the States.

  • freethe flames

    Using Capfriendly as my source: currently we have $4.673m in cap space; add the $2.333m if we buy Stone out(note IMO if we buy Stone out I am not sure it would be wise to trade TJ), the Gilles contract will be buried $.75m and one of either Quine $.735 or Czarnik @1m will be buried. giving BT between $8.5 and $8.8 to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapane. That should be enough money to get it done. We will know a lot about their plans by next Thursday.

    • CowboyBob

      I respect everyone’s right to an opinion, but I think signing Tkachuk for any where close to $8 to $8.5 is crazy. Given his skill set $5 to $5.5 short term and 6 to $6.5 million long term. He has faded two years in in a row the last 25 games of the season and disappeared ( or couldn’t keep up) in the playoffs. I think his poor skating uses too much energy and he runs out of gas around February. He does bring a lot to the table around net presence, cycling, agitation, but his gaps around skating, defensive zone, and almost invisible forecheck show he is not elite. Poor skaters only get slower with age and every year the league gets faster overall.

      • super6646

        Sure, and Tkachuk well tell Tre where to shove it in that case.

        He got 77 pts this year. He probably would’ve had more pts over the past 2 seasons if he got first line pp minutes and the ice time that he ended up with this year. Skating or not, he’s earned Gaudreau’s cap % (and I thought he was worth about 6 million before this season).

        • CowboyBob

          He did get first line powerline time. MT does not run the team, BT does and if the demands are crazy I have no problem trading him away. His poor skating means he will peak out earlier and have a shorter career. Don’t tie an anchor around his franchisee for 8 years. Lindholm also got around 70 points this year, has more of a 200 foot game than MT and makes a lot less than 6million a year. I want a cup.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Roster sure looks similar to the one that got bounced in 5. Ryan and Czarnik are 2 guys that could be replaced with more physical and bigger players, we have to get bigger. Not sure that is going to create more cap space. Sure hope Tkachuk doesn’t get more than 7.5.

    • freethe flames

      I agree. The problem has been we make the playoffs and then management gives them another chance to build on their season and they then miss the playoffs. That has been the pattern and it worries me.

      • Garry T

        The Wheeze . We have to re-supply Stockton and that is where the majority of signees are going unless one or two really stands out in main camp. Looking at the potential roster, it would seem to me that we need to obtain Kreider
        1.0 and 2.0. Otherwise we are in good shape. Tkachuk and the rates of pay suggesting what Mathew wants/expects bothers me. Perhaps we trade him to the Rangers for Buchnevitch and Kreider and maybe do a deal with Vancouver for Boeser who is holding out. According to some on this site, Vancouver is interested in Backlund and possibly Jankowski.
        Maybe offer up those two for Virtanen, Boeser and Goldobin (lw) or a centre from YVR if they do not want to move Goldobin. Currently Vancouver have 33 players on their roster and something has to give.

    • everton fc

      I like Ryan. I wouldn’t move him. In fact, I think he gives us more, than Jankowski.

      I would dump Czarnik. I would move Frolik, for a 3rd, if possible. And I’d buyout Stone. Davidson is an adequate 7th d-man. Kylington in the AHL seems like it might happen, but I still think Oliver can play 5/6 NHL minutes, this season.

      They tried to move Brodie for Kadri. You have to think they are looking for a dance-partner, for both Frolik and Brodie. I’d rather have Quine on the ice, than Czarnik. I’d rather have Lomberg as my extra forward, than Czarnik.

      • TheBigChef

        Jankowski and Czarnik together make $200,000 less than Ryan alone.

        Derek Ryan is a useful player, but he is seriously overpaid. Dumping Frolik for nothing but cap space makes this team worse. Replacing Ryan with Dube is less painful and more beneficial for Dube long term, which should take a higher priority over a 32 year old Ryan with 2 more years left on his bad contract.

      • TheBigChef

        This is all about financial reasons though. Ideally none of these guys would have to leave, but the situation we are in seems to require at least one contract be moved.

        There was a lot of interest in Czarnik before we signed him. It hasn’t worked out well here, but I can’t imagine it would be difficult to offload him for minimal return if we needed to. He is relatively cheap, though.

        Frolik and Ryan are mentioned because they are both bottom 6 guys who are over 30 and getting paid too much money. It would be nice to keep Ryan for faceoffs and the odd special teams assignment, but if I had a choice between one more year of Frolik at $4.3mm, and two more years of Ryan at $3.125, I’m taking the one year of Frolik all day.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    The moronic Lucic trade is precisely why Chucky won’t sell himself short. Why should Chucky leave big money on the table just so Tre can blow it on the likes of the washed-up Lucic?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Furthermore, with all those projections of untold wealth accruing to the club and the city from the new event centre deal, why shouldn’t Chucky get a bigger slice of the pie as he is going to be one of the club’s big wheels over the next few years?

      My advice to Chucky is to make the Flames pay until it hurts and then some. Chucky should not have to fly economy because Tre is inept at managing the payroll. For gosh sakes, how long has the salary cap been in place? How long does it take Tre to figure it out? The current cap crunch the team faces is all on Tre. It isn’t Chucky’s problem. Pay the man or trade him.

      • Oil Spilly

        Montana Man, James Neal went to the Stanley cup the last 2 years in a row. In a important top 6 role for his teams. He’s already come out and said last summer he didn’t get a real chance to train like he normally would. The toll it took on him mentally would have been even harder. He played all that intense hockey and came up short 2 years in a row!! He really wanted to stay in Vegas but couldn’t turn down tres offer. He was one of the only guys who didn’t have any ties to BP. This he also stated.
        Most importantly Montana man, do you think that James Neal scored 20 or more goals in everyone of his seasons by accident? Lol have a good day Montana man. Enjoy lucic and his gross incompetence as a professional. His big lip will fit right in with johnnys. Thanks again BT!!!!

        • freethe flames

          Spilly: I have no idea what Lucic will bring but I know what I saw out of Neal last year and I don’t care that he had two long playoff runs; he has a whole season to get his act together and he just got worse as the season went along. I will say it again; the thing I was least disappointed in with Neal was his scoring but his complete lack of interest in any other parts of the game. Glad he’s gone.

          • TheBigChef

            Lucic had “heart” and “presence” the last two years too. Optimism is nice, but if you think he is all of a sudden going to be an effective player I think you’re going to be disappointed. He was considered one of the worst contracts in the league for a reason.

        • Flint

          Neal didn’t go to the Stanley Cup the last two years… and you know that. He played 4 games for the Flames and was brutal, he didn’t get a goal, he didn’t get an assist. He had 7 shots, none of the dangerous, but he did get scratched.

          Neal was a fine goal scorer, but people get older and the game gets faster. He’s a slower skater than Lucic and worse on his edges. Maybe he can score 20 goals with McDavid because McDavid is good enough that he makes poor players better, but I am confident that by game 30, the Neal on the top line experiment is done… if it lasts that long. He’ll wreck that line. When he’s on the ice it’s like playing 4 on 5 because he can’t exit the zone with speed.

          • Oil Spilly

            Hey Flint obviously the 2 seasons before he came to Calgary lol 🤦‍♂️
            -Las Vegas
            You keep speaking about how slow Neal is. He wasn’t to slow to play in Vegas and Nashville’s top 6. Here is the real kicker that I can tell you haven’t thought about much… lol ….. Neal is faster than Lucic !!!!! So have fun playing 4 on 5!!! Yes

          • Kevin R

            Dont blame Oiler fans for trying to be optimistic, maybe rein in expectations, Neal is older than Lucic, he’ll be 32 before the start of the season. These guys in their 30’s, if unless they are elite, real show regression. I watched Neal at the Dome last year & there was nothing elite about his game. Nothing.

            Chia felt he needed to protect McDavid & I think he went overboard on that to some extent. That heavy game did payoff to some extent that one year but Chia made too many other bad signings that ate too much cap space. Our expectations with Lucic that many of us are trying to hang our hats on is that we havent had a tank & physically imposing player since the McGratten & to some extent Engelland days. So you say enjoy Lucic & his gross incompetence as a pro, right back at you with Neal.

          • ZZMiddle

            FFS. It’s hard enough to read these comments from people with too much time and too little knowledge, now I gotta sift through the bs of the Oiler trolls? Com’on FN, do some moderating. Wrecks the comments section when these losers are continually allowed to post their nonsense. I have a love/hate relationship with this site. Love the Flames. You figure out the rest.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          By that logic, he should have been crap in Vegas, since he went to the finals the previous year. By all means, buy into him being able to score 20 playing with McD, after all Chaisson was able to. Then again, Chiasson can actually skate. What I don’t get is his shooting percentage last year being considered an aberation. Did his lack of training impact his ability to get a shot away or getting a decent chance at scoring? Watching the puck waffle off his stick and completely miss the net was one thing. Watching his shots go directly into the goalie’s pads and glove is another. You can always hope that he can be in the right position for a tap-in, once McD has skated in circles waiting for him.

          It’s just as likely that Neal has finally hit the wall. His decline is due to his slowing reactions and teams playing more of a speed game. For a guy that played a lot of LW, he sure didn;t look comfortable in the position. Lucic is another story.

        • The Red Knight

          Thx again? Neal’s not gonna save your dismal franchise! He was by far the worst player ?couldnt Train ? But he thought he was a 5.5 million dollar player? Sounds like false advertising to me ,good riddance he was useless and didn’t try or stick up for his teammates,his so called big body and edge was nothing but a stupid grin on his face as he skates away chirping .

        • oilcanboyd

          We got tired of Neal going through the motions on the ice. If anyone can bring McDavid down to his own low level it will be Neal. And you coilers are expecting 25-30 goals from Neal? Addition by subtraction for the Flames. We managed 107 points with no contribution from Neal.

        • Porcupine at a balloon party

          @oilsilly Enjoy Neal dragging down your top lines and finishing every shift in defensive zone. Coaches will be such of him dragging them down really soon and he’ll be in Lucic territory soon enough.

    • Garry T

      Blue Moon Nigel …. because Tkachuk is not worth more than $4.5.to $5.0 mil. From a business perspective the Flames have total control here and now is the time to establish who is the Boss. He is not signing here beyond a new contract. So why handicap your future over paying Tkachuk?

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        This market (lower than anticipated salary cap and big name RFA’s) is making trades with salary hard, but frolik will not have to be paid for. He is legit (albeit in bottom end of spectrum) top 6 forward. At worst a really good 2 way 3rd line winger that can play both wings. There’s always value with those guys. We won’t have to pay to get rid of him. Hoping we can maybe use him as sweetener to get someone to take stone to save us from buyout (Ottawa maybe?? They can get AT LEAST a second founder for frolik at trade deadline and he meets their high cap low salary requirement they’ve been going for).

    • Brian McGrattan's Salute

      K here’s the thing. we have two players that we can shop: Brodie, and Frolik. If we trade Brodie, then we are dealing from a position of strength. We have a plethora of Dmen that can fill in (though in this case we likely keep Stone as our 7th D). With Frolik, however, we are dealing from a position of weakness. Our list of right wingers, ESPECIALLY without Fro, is really not good. So, unless we can find a way to fandangle another top 6 RW (preferably, or at least another top six forward more generally), it would be rather foolish to trade Frolik in my opinion. His positive attributes have already been discussed by me and others. So, count me in to trade Fro if we can get Zucker back, even if we trade our first round pick from next year and second. But really, to just trade Frolik to get some picks?? We will need Frolik if we cannot find a way to get another top six forward.

      And I think it would be unwise to assume that our young guys can just step in an automatically take over (i.e. Dube taking Frolik’s spot). Two reasons for this. (1) That is a big assumption that a rookie can just move up to the middle six/second line. that does not mean this won’t happen, but to actively plan on this would be utterly foolish. (2) I think most folks here seriously underestimate what Frolik brings to the team: i.e. a plethora of the little things he does, forechecking, penalty killing, 15 goals in 30-something games, his ridiculously strong possession game, and relatedly, his participation in our 3M line–which, if we all remember, was probably one of our best lines after Purple Gatorade shut down (other than maybe our forth line).

      If we don’t get another top six back, and we lose Frolik, we will be a worse team next year.

      • Luter 1

        Agree that without something coming back we would be thin without Frolik. I think young players will step up (Mang) that will allow you to move Frolik at the TDL because you do not want to lose him for nothing and he isn’t a player that fits our long term picture.
        So that solidifies that Brodie needs to go and is our better trade prospect. I don’t see the sky falling like some if he goes. Valimaki and Raz will both step up bigtime and Brodie is definitely regressing. His playoff was gawdawful. Stone buyout, don’t pay too much for MT as his skating looked very suspect against the Avs. Playoffs are the ultimate picture of your players, not the soft regular season.
        Guys that came to play: Bennett, Mang, Raz
        Guys that didn’t: Brodie, Neal and unfortunately MT and Mony. Can’t have 15 million for 2 guys with suspect skating and one with suspect toughness in Mony.

      • Score When I like Nieuwendyk

        Brodie can play as the right winger. He already plays right defence. With his speed and experience in 3-on-3 overtime it would be a seamless transition for him.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        This here is the truth. Hating on Frolik without going deeper into watching him is silly. Agree Brodie is the one to trade but even losing him means some benefits lost.

      • TheBigChef

        I think we have more players that can be shopped than just these two. Brodie and Frolik are the two names mentioned because (a) Brodie’s minutes should go to our young guys we want to develop, and (b) Frolik’s agent publicly making a fool of himself last year.

        I agree that Brodie should go–although at this point I think a Stone buyout needs to happen so he will not be our 7D.

        I also strongly agree that trading Frolik makes us weaker and does not help our thin RW. *If** Frolik goes, I think Brodie HAS to go and it has to bring back a middle 6 RW in return.

        But with good cap hits to Bennett and Rittich, and a buyout from Stone, we shouldn’t need that much cap space going out the door. We could get away with getting rid of Ryan or Czarnik, which would certainly suck, but would easier for Dube and Mangiapane to fill that void than it would be for Frolik.

        • Luter 1

          Short term maybe but he is a UFA at the end of the year. Let the young guys push hard for icetime and i think you’ll see Mang can fill that Frolik role. He needs to start playing with better players because he has skill and could have a breakout year. Then trading Frolik at the TDL isn’t so painful.

          • TheBigChef

            Mangiapane has never played RW. He was primarily used as a LW, and that’s where he should play. Frolik has proven he is is comfortable and effective on the right side. Now we’re not only expecting a second year player to take a big step and fill in a role Frolik is quite good at, we are also asking him to play his off wing?
            I want Mangiapane to get more ice time and play a bigger role, but I don’t think it should be Frolik’s minutes on the right side. Technically anyone *could* play RW, but I’m of a mind that guys should be slotted into lines based on where they are most effective, not where there are holes in the roster.

            I also think it’s a positive he is a UFA at the end of the year. Squeeze one more year out of him and then get that contract off the books.

  • freethe flames

    There are currently 3 contracts that I think begin the bracket for Tkachuk’s deal and they are Aho’s $8.45m, Nylander’s $6.962m and Meir’s $6m, He should not be paid as much as Aho; sorry for those who think he is that good but as winger he is not as valuable as Aho; he is clearly more valuable than Meir. I personally think he brings a little more than Nylander to the table but not as much as our rose coloured glasses suggest. The other thing is BT’s internal cap $6.75m; I could see him working around that number by going with % of cap space which would put the number around $7.6m. It will likley be front end loaded regardless of the number and that might be a bit of issue(not a $ problem) for this ownership group.

  • Garth

    Fans should relax. Treliving will get both remaining players signed to great deals and will have made a few more significant transactions this summer. Lot’s of time left!

    • Theo/14

      I agree Garth that Tre and his team will get it done. My concern is will this roster be better than the rosters who have only won 1 playoff game the last couple playoff appearances.

      • The Iggy complex

        The roster will be better host with the virtue of players having more playoff experience now. They had a bad playoffs, but Tampa and Pittsburgh were even worse. It was one of those years, just move on and they will rectify that this year

    • freethe flames

      There are @ 7 weeks left before training camp begins so yes lots of time. But there have been how many weeks since our season ended to get things done and the big ones have not been done. I do believe BT will make another trade that will create the space but what I don’t know is whether BT can make a trade that makes the team better between now and then.

      • HOCKEY83

        Tre will get it done. Players will be traded for picks and prospects. If anyone is brought in it won’t be another 5 or 6 mil guy…if anyone extra is brought in it will probably be some guy worth 2 to 4 mil who probably not worth the price of admission. I believe the organization thinks their young guys will take a step forward and feel there’s no need to add any extra big salaried players to start the season and will see what they got as the season moves on and figure out if they need to add anything later.

  • Flint

    I like Tkachuk, I like him a lot, but to me, if you’ve never been an NHL top line player, and you’ve never been a top NHL playoff performer, you can’t demand a contract in line with those things. Gaudreau got 9,25% of the cap, and Monahan got 8,73% of the cap being the Flames first line players. If you’ve been a second line player you shouldn’t be getting more than ~7% of the cap. That’s not going to happen because that’s only 5,67million but that’s how I think it should work.

    Or…. if Tkachuk gets 7-9 million, then he needs to be expected to play wing on the top line and face the oppositions best shut down guys or other teams top lines and dominate.

    Look at it, Monahan is a #1 center, a center! not a winger and he has 172 career goals and is on 24 and he only got 8,7%.

    Fine, give Tkachuk 8,0%…. that’s only 6,5 million. I know it’ll never happen but these contracts are getting ridiculous.

      • Flint

        Exactly, on our team he is, and maybe that’s why his % was lower. He may not be one of the top ten young centers in the league, but you’re telling me there are 30 centers under 25 who are a better #1 center than he is? I don’t know about that.

        Anyway, my point was that centers are always more valuable than wingers if all else is equal. Monahan is a center, chucky isn’t.

          • Flint

            Because Monahan is under 25. Young players may take time to develop and reach their ceiling – especially centers. And I personally think development curve should be a factor in contract negotiations like Tkachuk’s as I think it was in Monahan’s case.
            It used to be players signed a big contract mostly based on what they had already done, and a lot based on what they had already won, and then a bit more based on what they were projected to keep doing.

            Now, all the young players seem to sign mostly based on how great they think they will be and a bit based on what they’ve actually accomplished.

      • canadian1967

        But he is.
        Simple equation is that there’s not more than 30 Centers we would trade him for in the League.
        Therefore he is by definition one of the top 31 C in the league, so a top line C.

    • PlayitagainSam

      How can you Justify giving him more than Gaudreau just because of the percentage? He will probably make more but no way he should. Gaudreau is league elite . Tkachuk is not.

  • Herringchoker1971

    Here’s my thought on Chucky’s contract. Chucky’s agent will hold on as close to the season hoping Boeser, Rantanen, Conner, or Laine will sign a stupid contract that drives up his value. Based on Tre’s history….whatever we realistically think he will get…..I would expect it to be less. Tre has proven to be very tough at the table.

  • Zorn

    In my ideal world (pipe dream) I would like to see Frolik and Czarnik moved for draft picks while a trade of Brodie and Janko to Philly for Konecny and Provorov would not hurt my feelings. Solves the cap crunch, strengthens the forward group and does not damage the D side.

  • Off the wall

    It would be nice if we could stop buying out players. That’s money flushed down the toilet, I don’t care how you try and make it sound.

    We’re on the hook for $1.5 M on Brouwer for 3 more years. If we buyout Stone, sure it saves us $2.3 M this season, however next season we’re on the hook for $3.1 M with the two buyouts.

    $3.1M gets you a decent player
    ( see Rittich, Bennett)

    If I traded my truck in every few years, that would be a horrible business decision. Yes, I get to write off a percentage of my business use, but I’m paying more for a newer truck, which translates into more expense and not getting the value out of my current one, plus I’m losing money on my trade-in.

    It’s simple economics. We’re basically leasing these players, when we decide to buy them out. No value whatsoever, unless you enjoy having something shiny every few years. And I don’t think it’s a good way to operate a NHL team.

    GM’s have to learn to be smarter with their decisions. Plain and simple. We’re not playing for charity, we’re playing to win the Silver Chalice!

    • Chucky

      It is more a matter of stop signing bad contracts. The Brouwer was over payment right off the bat. When they signed Stone for over 3 and still had Brodie and Hamonic on the right side it seemed a lot to pay for a third pairing guy. Whether it is Neal or Lucic it was hard to see how these guys could make a strong contribution for 4 more years.
      I would like to see the Flames stop signing UFAs past the time they are 31.

      • freethe flames

        I explained the rule of 32 a long time ago. You take the number of years that a UFA has until they are 32 and that is a maximum you sign them for. The caveat is that you can add another year or two if they are your own(you know them better than UFA’s elsewhere). Guys over 32 with few exceptions should be signed to one year deals; pay them a little more but don’t sign them to term. Just don’t.

        • Beer League Coach

          Agree with you 100% on that ftf. I have also said that we should not sign any UFA who is 29 or older for a term longer than 2 years. And have been trashed many times for saying it. If these vets can still perform at age 32 or + they can always sign another contract for 1 year at a time and do this for several years. People who say you need the long term contracts for stability need to go back and look at a baseball manager from years gone by. Walter Alston managed the Dodgers in Brooklyn and then Los Angeles for 35 years in a row and never had a multi year contract in any of the first 30 years. He finally did have a 2 year contract before he retired. Just do the job that you are paid to do each year and everything will work out in the end.

      • Luter 1

        Bang on, Stone played a few tough games in the playoffs and Tre opened up the bank vault for no reason. Brouwer and Neal followed as he still struggled to find some truculence. Very poor pre-scouting as none of the three were ever that rugged. That’s why I’m not really upset about Lucic, he is a bonfide tough guy and has a surprising number of yearly hits.

      • TheBigChef

        It really is strange how good Treliving has been at re-signing RFAs, and how terrible he has been with UFA deals.

        Those buyouts and wasted cap space (and draft picks when you consider we had to give one up to re-sign Stone) are painful as hell right now. It’s a self made mess for sure.

        • Luter 1

          I truly believe he knows this team has not been physically or emotionally tough enough to go deep. He chose very poor vets with supposed resumes of playoff winning, that showed no signs of being winners or leaders or truculence (Brouwer and Neal) and just goes to show these GMs are half as smart as people think they are. Especially with the ridiculous salary and term he threw their way.
          After the Avs took it to us I think he was really struggling to figure out what to do, lost Hathaway our only real “ get your nose dirty guy” and maybe pulled one out of the hat with Lucic. Time will tell but I had nausea every time Neal stepped on the ice last year, don’t think I’ll feel the same with Lucic especially if you pounds a few guys. I predict a 100 plus points for Johnny just having him on the bench.

    • Kevin R

      LOL OTW. We were discussing that the other day. I think I would prefer to trade Frolik for picks & not get head up on value. Cap space is the target. Then package Brodie & Janko for a top 6 forward, may have to add something. Keep Stone as the RS 3rd pairing with Valamaki. Kyllington or Benning as the #7. Really would like to try & weather this last year of Stone on the bottom pairing for this last year. Having a vet with Vali may not be a bad thing.

      I mentioned on a different thread, I would love to see us try to sneak Boeser out of Benning. Wisebrod loves Janko, he found him maybe he values him more than maybe other teams would. I know Im just a pie in the sky daydreamer but crap it’s end of July & I feel like being unrealistic :-<

    • canadian1967

      Actually, as far as your truck goes, any business grad knows that you should “pay Cash for appreciating assets and Finance or Lease depreciating assets”.
      Vehicles don’t appreciate.

  • drogon

    The next month or so will define our 2019-20 season. Nothing is impossible as the Blues showed us from January to the Cup. Sometimes it takes big trades like in 1988-89 to kick start the process. We never had a stronger middle since then. Strong chemistry is the key, no distraction, sorry Frolik.
    And you need a wall in net.
    The thing is that we’ve been talking about the same players for months, Brodie, Frolik, Stone…, but we’ve only got 2 untouchables on the team: Tkachuk & Valimaki.
    If our roster is the one mentioned in the article, we’re not going anywhere in the playoffs.
    We’ve been going nowhere for decades due to poor management. But, now, we have a good management team in place.
    It’s up to us, trade possibilities are endless to make it happen.

    • Luter 1

      And the way to do it is give the young guys a chance. Mang and Bennett looked like St Louis type players in the playoffs but Matty better get it in gear come playoff time if he wants the big bucks because he was rather underwhelming on the big stage where in fact it should be his bread and butter. Be careful saying he’s an untouchable because his skating is suspect, seems to have a bit of the family attitude and is not quite as rugged as many Flames fans think. I see him throw a lot of hits that look more aggressive than they really are, much like his fisticuffs antics which I have yet to see him throw any real decent punches.

  • Score When I like Nieuwendyk

    If we cannot trade Brodie maybe he becomes our forward acquisition. He has the speed and hands to play as a forward and up front his defensive miscues can’t hurt us as much.

    • Theo/14


      Fair enough I agree with that. I ask you. Do you think Monohan can take us to the promise land? You think of all the top Center men in the league Tavares, Getzlaf, Mallkin, Scheffilie, Bergeron, Kuznetsov etc Can Mony out smart, out work or out will those players? I’ve said it for awhile. Mony is a regular season guy all day. Playoffs he looks so uncomfortable out there. Doesn’t create and stays on the outside. I don’t think Mony has what it takes to lead this team to a Stanley cup. You can’t have a Mony and Johnny on the same team going into the playoffs imo. Opposing Teams know exactly what they have to do and they do it.

      • Vinnsanity0412

        Agree on Mony. He’d need a heart transplant to be considered in the same breath as those you mentioned. Maybe Gaudreau needs a center with a little grit, such as Lindholm? I still think Gaudreau for Hall and a pick would be a great deal. One more playoff fizzle and I’m sure a few more may agree. Then Hall can drive the play and a tougher center may not be required?

  • Vinnsanity0412

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…as long as Backlund is the second line center on this team, they will not get to the promised land. Mony first line, Lindholm second, Backs third…now we’re talking!

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I still find it strange why people want to give up on some players and make wholesale changes after 4 bad playoff games. If we back up to the last regular season, the Flames dominated the Avs and were most people’s choice as a playoff dance partner. We lost because our top line was struggling going into the playoffs and McKinnon was All-World in the playoffs and we had no answer. If we go back to game 5 the best player on the ice was Johnny not Nathan, Johnny has 2 breakaways and controlled the game but his frustration took over and we never recovered. Nathan scored we had the chances While Johnny didn’t. Colorado scored when the had the chances and Calgary didn’t.

    The Flames will handle the Avs and other contending teams again next year but may need more grit at the trade deadline. It may be cliche to say the playoffs are different season but the Flames learned this the hard way.

    We may not be be better than we were last year but we are definitely not worse than the team that finished second in the league. Neal was painful to watch last year and what is funny is that when I watched him play in the playoffs for Vegas you could already see him sliding. To me getting rid of players like Janko and Bennett who were forced to play in cement because of Neal, makes no sense.

    As stated Janko may not have shown as much as we had hoped but he continues to increase his point totals every year starting from college. The truth is that the best player that Janko has ever had on his line for more than a game is Sam Bennett or old Jaromir Jagr….that is not saying much. Now people are penciling Janko to be on the fourth line with Lucic. We know what he can do with slugs but do we know what he can do playing with talent. He showed good chemistry with Lindholm maybe it is worth a try.

    Finally, as I end this rant I continue to read articles about teams that are expected to contend for the cup next year and not many are picking the Flames likely because of the small 5 game playoff sample size. As well, experts are picking the top players they expect to see breakout next year and again no Flames. So I guess the Flames managed to finish 2nd in the league with smoke and mirrors. The team and players continue to be overlooked even after a great season…and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • Honkydonk

      You might want to look at what has happened to teams in our division alone. You talked about Colorado well they got Kadri so now they are better down the middle. They solidified their back end better, and they also have som pretty good young kids playing. Vancouver has gotten better,

      All around teams seem to have gotten a little better.

      The truth is and after some solid evidence now it is clear what our problems are. Johnny cannot be Johnny in play off games and unfortunately this team is effectively built around him. Mony same thing he doesn’t drive play and McKinnon walked all over them and our back end. Don’t forget how Colorado eventually did exit the race for the cup. It was with grit and a mean forecheck and I just don’t see our team doing that other than Bennett.

      Time will tell all we can do is be optimistic. If I had a vote however it would be that the likes of Brodie and Frolik at least fetches us a top 6 winger with some nose to his game

      • Albertabeef

        Sorry I gotta squash your post. According to NHL.com stats Monahan was only on the ice for 2 goals against the entire playoffs. TWO!!!! Team on ice Goals against list for 2018-19 playoffs(highest/worst 10 players)
        Giordano 10
        Hamonic 10
        Lindholm 9
        Backlund 7
        Tkachuk 6
        Jankowsi 6
        Hanifin 5
        Gaudreau 4
        Brodie 4

        • Albertabeef

          I should have posted the top 10 on ice goals for from that playoffs too
          Brodie 6
          Bennett 6
          Andersson 5
          Monahan 5
          Backlund 4
          Tkachuk 4
          Giordano 4
          Gaudreau 4
          Neal 3
          Lindholm 2

          • Luter 1

            Beef you just refuse to believe what you see on the ice. Mony was very very poor in the playoffs and did nothing to help Johnny who was definitely trying. I don’t care about the stats the number 1 Center was completely outplayed throughout the series and our supposed number 2 D Brodie was gawdawful.

          • Albertabeef

            Luter the ENTIRE team was bad. As bad as Mony might have been he was not on the ice for very many goals against and second for team goals for among forwards. Goals against are what knock you out of the playoffs. All these people saying how soft the Flames are and that the refs put their whistles away, but the Flames were the highest penalized team in the playoffs. Team discipline was one of the major factors in the Flames early out from the playoffs. Mony’s biggest problem is Johnny not keeping it simple and trying to do too Feuking much with the puck. This team needs to evolve as a whole.

          • Albertabeef

            Oh and can anyone remind me how many surgeries Mony had last summer that kept him from training properly? The guy was a goal per game last playoffs before this one, I haven’t lost faith in him.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        There is no doubt about the fact that Colorado is among the teams that are most improved. We were better on paper than them last year and in the regular season, now they look like they may be better than us on paper…but we know that means nothing. Remember their fearless leader McKinnon has shown he can have melt downs just like Johnny.

        • cberg

          Not sure why people believe Colorado has made huge improvements this off-season. They traded their top D, who drove play and was a key cog in their win over the Flames, getting back Kadri (plus other parts, not improving them either) who is an upgrade at Centre but overall I’d say the trade is a wash.

    • Albertabeef

      Yes it was Smoke(December) and Mirrors(January) that had the team claim 2nd(tied) place in the NHL. However Oct-Nov we were 8th in the NHL, and From Feb 1st till the end of the season we were a 16th place team(18th place from the TDL on). Flames are almost impossible to predict this upcoming season. Which Flames team will we see this season, Jekyll or Hide(spelled on purpose).

      • Albertabeef

        Flames were 15-9-2 from Oct 1st to Nov 30th.18-4-3 from Dec first to January 31st. After Feb 1st Flames were 17-12-2. From the TDL on the Flames were 11-9-0. Which one is the REAL Flames team we will see heading forward?

        • Jumping Jack Flash

          We went into the playoffs cold and we let our best player dictate how much playing time he would get to chase personal goals….that is on Peters. Johnny and Monny may not be the players to lead us in the playoffs but how many teams have these players? How many teams have players that they don’t know can be a difference maker in the playoffs. Nobody believed O’Reilly was that guy. Bennett appears to be a guy that steps it up in the playoffs but does he do enough to get us in the playoffs?

          • Luter 1

            Johnny is a playoff player just needs more support. Mony, I would say the jury is out on him because he is big enough to look after himself but seems easily intimidated and beaten down. Lucic will help that situation but we could sure use another top 6 truculent forward. There is got to be someone out there that sees value in Frolik and Brodie – even packages together.

        • HOCKEY83

          From March 1st to April 6th they were 9-9…so the last month of the season they were 500. Every other month they had a winning record. There’s absolutely no reason to think that this still isn’t that same great team moving forward. They’re better in goal having Talbot on the team over 38 year old Smith and they have Lucic instead of Hathaway who is just 3 years older than Hathaway…has way more experience will get more points than Hathaway is capable of and will be a way more of a physical player.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Lucic also gets paid how much more than Hathaway?

            Paying bottom 6 as if they are top 6 is never a good thing, especially when the bad contract is longer than the GM’s.

          • HOCKEY83

            Who cares. It has no baring on how the team will be playing this season. We were talking about which team will show up this season. Use your brain for once.

          • HOCKEY83

            Lucic is getting paid what he’s getting paid. He’s playing for the team until his contract runs or he gets bought out or he gets traded. Get the F over it….it’s done ya broken record

    • buts

      We lost because our top line struggled? Or because Zadorov punished JG and no one did squat? Yes the aves outplayed us it when liberties happen the refs tuck there whistles then you need a deterrent which we didn’t have.

      • Albertabeef

        There is something I am getting tired of hearing, “oh so ‘n so punished Johnny and nobody came to help”. I think of Micheal Jordan and the late 80’s early 90’s Bulls that got punished by the Pistons in back to back playoffs. Pippen and Jordan spent the entire off season basically training harder than ever before. They came back the next season and knocked off the Piston’s on their way to their first championship together. I hate to put it this way but Johnny needs get passed this and basically “Man the Feuk up!”. No excuses. Otherwise the guy needs to find a different sport to play. Honestly Lucic will most likely never be on the ice with anyone who takes liberties on Johnny anyways so it’s not much of a deterrent. Fourth line guys don’t tend to play against first and second line guys.

      • Albertabeef

        If the refs put their whistles away, how in hell did the Flames end up with over 2 minutes more average per game in the playoffs than the next ranked team? Flames averaged over 18 minutes in penalties per game, no other team had more than 16 average. Do’t blame the refs or the opponents, Flames players need to learn how to play through that crap without getting overly frustrated.

  • MDG1600

    Wish I had $10 for every time someone posted that a BT signing was “fantastic” or “another great deal for the Flames”. It must have been posted 12 times on the Rittich and Benny contracts alone. My question is that if BT is such a contracts genius why are we in cap hell and why do we have so many overpaid players? (overpaid being Stone, Frolik, Ryan, Neal/Lucic, Czarnik and probably others I am foregetting)

    • HOCKEY83

      The flames are nowhere near cap hell. They have to trade a 4 mil player to get done what they need to get done. That’s a cake walk compared to some of the teams in the NHL be cause tre is great at contracts. There are teams in real cap hell right now than your extreme exaggeration of where the flames are sitting right now in regards to the cap. It’s going to be even worse next season for some teams as well. It could be far worse…We could all be Oiler fans and For some reason that team has cap problem and 90% of the team is just AHL quality players.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Ever since those idiotic signings of Draisaital and Eichel, GMs should have been vigilante with the cap as they watched the likes of Matthews, Aho, Liane, Chuckey et al play like seasoned vets at age 19 and 20. No excuses for GMs getting caught short.

        It’s a cake walk to drop a $4M player? Sure it is. Tre just sent a $5.75M player packing and it cost him what? Trading Brodie or Frolik will cost Tre what? Tre has mismanaged the cap. He ain’t alone among his peers but let’s dial back the hero worship for him.

        • HOCKEY83

          It cost him less than keeping Neal…what’s your point. I like the move very interested in seeing Lucic play. Hero worship??? Now we all think tre is a hero because he signed some decent contracts. Over the top much? It doesn’t cost tre anything by the way…he’s not an owner and I don’t care what he gets for Frolik. All that matters is if he has the space to sign Tkachuk before the season starts. It’s not my problem it the flames organizations problem but I am confident they will do whatever it takes whether they get a 7th round pick for Frolik or a third or whatever. Maybe tomorrow you can comment 20 times again about how the sky is falling and the flames have over paid someone and how the flames are getting nothing for Frolik and how the Lucic trade was bad.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Tre took on the worst contract in the NHL at essentially face value. He might have to trade Frolik or Brodie for pennies on the dollar just to pay Chucky. He might have another buyout on his hands with Stone–a bad contract right from the get go. The cap squeeze facing the club is Tre’s doing as virtually every player on the roster was brought her during his time as GM. What I don’t get is if Tre is doing such a great job giving contract extensions to the help that is here, why is the team so cap-strapped?

    • everton fc

      Frolik was a Feaster signing, no?

      Czarnik wasn’t. “bad” signing. He simply isn’t needed anymore – he should be easy to move.

      Ryan, Brouwer… Stone… “Real bad”, to “bad”, signings…

      • Albertabeef

        I don’t think Ryan was a bad signing, he’s a reliable 4th line center and PK role player at a reasonable 3.125mil. Czar is a decent signing too and I think we still need him and his cap hit of 1.25 is minuscule in the grand scheme of things..

  • Garry T

    Improving your club. Vancouver currently has 33 guys on hand prior to the season starting. So here is a deal I propose between YVR and YYC. They are having trouble signing Boeser. We have Tkachuk. They are interested in Jankowski. To YVR Tkachuk, Jankowski and Czarnik. To YYC Boeser, Virtanen both RW and Goldobin. LW. Our guys improve YVR and fill a need.
    The YVR guys give us some bite and skill. And give us some help on right wing. Good hockey deal.

    • DJ_44

      Vancouver is having trouble signing Boeser? No big RFAs around the league has signed. There certainly is not reported acrimony between the camps …. quite the opposite.

      Boeser may command less than Tkachuk simply because of lower point production due to injury (Vancouver is fortunate in this respect). He played against top shutdown pairs on a top line, Tkachuk got his points on the third line — big difference.

      Where do you get the interest in Jankowski? If it is one thing Vancouver has in abundance, it is bottom six forwards, not to mention big young centers/wings ready to step up from Utica (Gaudette, MacEwen).

  • Rocket66

    Out coached in playoffs
    Since when do you pay 5 mil for a goon/Lucic
    So far this team is identical to the same as last year if not worse
    I have no faith in bt.
    I have no faith in coaching staff
    I have been a fan for a lot of years and so far this summer I am not excited about this current year

    • BlueMoonNigel

      A lot of folks here would be thrilled for a replication of last season as 8 months of fun regular season hockey trumps a couple of months of playoffs. For many here winning the President’s trophy means even more than the Stanley Cup.

    • Kevin R

      Yup…Cup or bust…may as well let them head to Quebec instead of building a new building cause they didnt win it all. Who cares if they had their best season since 1989. That Peter’s is a bum. Cant coach diddly squat. Better become a Leaf fan, quick.

      • Albertabeef

        The only thing you can say that was consistent for the Flames last season was their inconsistency. That Flames team in 1989 was a freaking powerhouse that won consistently all throughout the season. Points are easier to get in this loser point era as well. Without ignoring the last 32 games of the season can you say the Flames were consistently good all season let alone great? I think not, and that is why our placing and point total is tainted.

  • super6646

    If Brodie is being moved (which I don’t think he should be), we NEED a top 6 forward coming back. I’m not convinced Andy-Hammer-Stone is anywhere close to a good enough right side without a beefed up forward group. The team is essentially counting on Andy to suddenly play 4-5 minutes extra per night, Hammer to stay healthy through a full season (hasn’t done that through his career in the NHL) and not start to decline like defensive dman usually do around his age, and Stone to be capable 3rd pairing dman after missing most of the year.

    The other issue is that we’ve lost 2/4 RWers from last year. Czarnik can fill a spot, but having to replace 3/4 of our RW seems like a recipe for trouble. Tre is going to have to get very creative in maneuvering these next few months.

  • Derzie

    It doesn’t get discussed much but Tre whiffing on Kadri and Zucker are a big deal. They shifted the reality of this offseason from ‘getting better’ to ‘staying afloat.’