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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The second buyout window is now open

The second buyout window of the 2019 off-season has officially opened for the Calgary Flames. Opened up by virtue of the club having arbitration cases, the window will be open through Friday at 3 p.m. MT.

The timing of the second buyout window was determined by the first business day after David Rittich’s arbitration case was settled.

Since Rittich’s deal was signed and announced on Saturday, the “third day” counts starting Monday. As a result, the buyout period consists of Thursday and Friday. The CBA is a bit unclear on precisely when the buyout period runs, but it’s likely that it runs from the beginning of Thursday (midnight ET) to the end of Friday (midnight ET) given how other deadlines are specified.

Under the terms of the CBA, the Flames can only buy out players with cap hits of $3.455 million or higher who were on their reserve list at trade deadline. Only 10 players fit that description: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Michael Frolik, Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, TJ Brodie, Travis Hamonic and Michael Stone. (They can’t buy out Milan Lucic.)

The general expectation among the FlamesNation braintrust is that the final year of Stone’s contract (with $3.5 million cap hit) will be bought out for the cap relief. If he’s bought out, the Flames would save $2.333 million on their 2019-20 salary cap.

  • Budgie

    A Buy Out of Stone is not enough for Cap Space-that would give Calgary aprox. 7 million. We are waiting for a trade because of needed Cap Space and the team hasn’t been improved, yet. Rolling with the same team that was bounced by Colorado isn’t wise. We are waiting Trev.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      By itself, it would not be enough. But you have to add Gillies $750k which will be 100% off the cap too. That makes closer to $7.75m. Still not enough, but if you don’t buy him out, you hace to hope to save almost all of Frolik’s $4.5m or Brodie’s $4.6m to have any hope of signing Mangiapane and Tkachuk.

    • freethe flames

      But other contracts get buried in the AHL; ie Gilles $.750m will be buried; so you can add at least $1.5m to your total which will make it very close.

      My biggest concern is does this management staff know when the deadline is: the Zucker/Frolik trade, an echl signing that they missed; I’m not sure they get it.

      • freethe flames

        There is little proof of that. Trades require a partner. Buying out a player requires an owner who is willing to do so. I would guess that at the first buyout window the Flames discussed buying out Neal and Stone at that time and the ownership group was not willing to do so. I don’t like dwelling on what should have been done but that would have made more sense than the Lucic trade from a hockey stand point.

        • MDG1600

          Perhaps but I took his underlying point to be that last years playoffs indicated that Calgary really needed to re-tool its roster to be more competitive in the playoffs. And they have been unable to do so primarily on account of salary cap issues.

          • freethe flames

            The problem is that the two points are not related. I think very few of us would disagree that we wanted BT to add something upfront.( we would strongly disagree on who the best who is)

      • Budgie

        Thank you-I think Trevling is trying to make a deal or two-Calgary needs a RW-top 6 that is over 160lbs. There is time still. The Trashes are common but hey its only an opinion, I think Trevling took Calgary to a 2nd. overall finish but Peters had to try and put a checking line on Colorado’s top line, the way Bob Johnson shut Gretzky, Kurri, and Messier down–that was a task. Monahan wasn’t 100% healthy, something was lacking

  • Kzak

    What if he can’t find a buyer for Frolik, any chance he’d be a buyout candidate? I’m not saying I want him gone, but is there anyone actually willing take him and his 4.5 mil this year?

    • freethe flames

      I suggested this the other day that the Flames could buy both Stone and Frolik out and save $4.33 combined. It was harshly criticized.(Which I was okay with) I still wonder about a deal/s moving both Frolik and Stone where we get little back and eat 1/2 of each salary.

      • calgaryfan

        you do know Flames ownership do not like buyouts! Treliving made the Lucic trade to save ownership 10 million dollars on the contract vs Neal’s and probably saved himself from being unemployed.

    • Jobu

      Strong PK players that put up points are a need on every team (including ours). Especially vets that can keep up with playoff experience.

      Jobu could see him TB or NJ bound (They both need some bottom 6) if he doesn’t stay.

      The salary might be a bit high, but you could retain 1 million to make it work.

      • freethe flames

        NJ would be a good candidate for Frolik as they have the cap space; the problem is they are very bare on draft picks for next year. Most of Tampa’s cap space will be taken up by Point’s contract.

      • Kevin R

        Frolik would be a good candidate for Ottawa as well, his cap is 4.3mill but actual $$$ 3.0 mill & he can actually play hockey & easily fit in their top 9. Why wouldnt Frolik waive to go, it gives him a chance to showcase himself for a new contract as well.

        • freethe flames

          Maybe b/c of the circus that is Ottawa under Gene? I actually agree with you; it would be a good place for both Stone and Frolik even with us eating 1/2 of their salaries for draft picks. That would help the Sen’s at least ice an NHL team; provide good mentors for their young kids and they could likely flip both guys at the TDL if they are healthy.

    • cjc

      Frolik is worth something to someone, even if it is a fourth round pick. Even with injuries, demotions and benching, Frolik still put up 34 points and 16 goals in 65 games last year. Calgary would have to waive him first to buy him out, and he would 100% get claimed.

      Teams I can see making a trade for Frolik (i.e. have cap space, need and assets): San Jose, Detroit, Isles, Devils, Columbus, Winnipeg, Colorado, Philly.

      The Stone buyout needs to happen PLUS moving out salary elsewhere in order to make space to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapane, plus have a bit of wiggle room.

  • redwhiteblack

    GM’s need to be smarter and stop giving out large pay and term. It is a gamble that handcuffs cap space for years when it goes wrong. Trev now has to find workarounds for his bad investments to sign Matt T. and can’t improve the team bounced by Colorado as a result.

    • freethe flames

      Start with my rule of 32; any UFA who is currently not with you team you do not sign beyond the age 32. Players you really know get a little more leeway(maybe 34). It is far better to pay too much over a short term than have a long term dud contract.

    • freethe flames

      Unless they have a trade for him in the next 24 hours I agree; but like many I don’t see what the market would be for him. But I would be surprised that if he bought out if he is not signed elsewhere on a low cost show “us that you still can play contract”. At @1m he could be a good depth defender for some team; which is why I’m surprised that a holding 1/2 his salary for a B prospect or late draft pick has not yet occurred.

      • cjc

        If the Flames retain half they only get 1.75 million in cap relief this year instead of 2.33; the cap space is far more valuable than the late pick or B prospect at this point. That is assuming that a team would go for the deal, but as you suggest teams that might be interested in Stone would be willing to pay about 1 million on the UFA market. If Stone is only worth 1 million, why would a team pay 1.75 million plus a pick or prospect? Better to wait until he is bought out, then make a pitch to sign him. If you miss out, no biggie – he was a bottom pair defender at best anyway. That’s what my thinking would be if I was a GM that was hypothetically interested in Mike Stone.

        • freethe flames

          Who knows what other pieces of a deal might be involved. Maybe it includes a swap of late round picks; you get our 4th and we get your 5th as part of the deal; there have been weird deals like that made this off season. Maybe a team wants Stone and doesn’t want to have to woe him against other teams; I have know idea. Personally I think he will be bought out but that does not mean that BT and his staff are not exploring other ideas.

      • Budgie

        Cap room is to sign Tkachuk and Mangiapanne, first be sure you want to sacrifice several players to make one player happy, and wealthy. What is Tkachuk worth? Realistically maybe the trade talk should be to move a top 6 player rather than hoping for bites on Frolik. Calgary hasn’t acquired anything to be stronger on the puck, smaller players get bounced off the puck by teams like Colorado. Incidentally, Dallas beat Calgary late in last season the same way Colorado did, ferocious fore-checking and slowing up Calgary’s attack. To clear Cap Space it might require looking beyond Frolik or Brodie, you may have to dangle Backlund or Monahan out there, at that point is Tkachuk worth it if you can’t get a younger player on a ELC that has potential to be a top 6, RW being the biggest need.

    • cjc

      I noticed that too, and I wonder if it was intentional or just dumb luck. I wonder where that comes from in the CBA, would be fascinating to know if the team wanted to keep the option of a buyout open in year 3, or if they just got lucky. Presumably that 3.455 number changes depending on the cap ceiling?

      • WoodrowWilson

        It looks like it’s not based on cap ceiling, but on “Average League Salary”:

        11.8 Ordinary Course Buy-outs Outside the Regular Period
        … a Club shall not be entitled to exercise an Ordinary Course Buy-Out outside the regular period for…(ii) any Player with an Average Amount less than $2,750,000. The dollar amount of $2,750,000 set forth in this Section 11.18 shall be increased on an annual basis at the same percentage rate of annual increase as the Average League Salary, with the first such increase occurring based upon a comparison of the 2015/15 Average League Salary to the 2013/14 Average League Salary.

        • cjc

          So Treliving is just lucky and not some evil genius. He couldn’t really know how the league average salary would increase between signing and year 3. Imagine that the league average had been a smidge higher… they couldn’t buy out Stone!

  • The Beej

    Im wondering if Treliving gave Stone 3.5 million just to ensure he could buy him out if he needed to. 3.5 seemed kind of high to me at the time.

    This would make sense as Treliving has shown a pattern of hedging some of his bets. At the time Anderson was tracking as really promising but one thing Treliving has learned from the Oilers is never pencil your prospects into your lineup-they have to take a spot. And that time in the AHL is a good thing for prime development years 19-22.

    When Stone was signed it was obviously predicted that it may be regretful in that Anderson would be taking that spot. But we didnt know for sure. Stone had stabilized the second pair and if we didnt have Stone and Anderson didnt work out or was slow to progress then we would be in a bit of a pickle. Just like Edmonton was when they didnt hedge their bets and make a back up plan for Sekera’s injury.

    Again we see Edmonton not hedge their bets with Puljujarvi and pencil him right in rather than acquire a forward and develop Puljujarvi properly.

    This is why I wouldnt be surprised or upset if Dube and Valimaki start in the AHL. The long term development of the player should outweigh the short term needs of the team because the long term development of the player will be even more beneficial to the team in the long run. We have made this mistake with Bennett as well. A couple years playing a top line roll in the minors at 20min a night might have been a better choice for his development than 13min a night in the 3rd line.

    This is how top 6 potential is stunted into bottom 6 performance.

    If Dube ends up playing 8 minutes a night in a marginal role it might be the best thing for him. Im less concerned with Valimaki as he would probably get 15min plus on the 3rd pair. But still 25min plus in the AHL leading a team, learning to play a top role. I also wonder if a year of that wouldnt be better.

    Hey another point here is that we are likely a playoff team. I dont much care what our lineup looks like on opening night. I care about what it looks like in the playoffs.

    Buying out Stone, Demoting Dube, Valimaki, Gillies, might be enough cap. And it is probably better for their development. Then we are better protected in case of injury as Valimaki and Dube would be more prepared to fill a role higher in the lineup if they have that exp in the A. Bring them up for the playoffs after a good year of development so they can contribute when it matters.

    This is what I expect the Flames to do and at this point I expect Brodie and Frolik to start the season Flames.

    • Budgie

      Good points, alternately, what we have is Bennett and Dube that are natural centers, to clear Cap Space maybe it is time to dangle top 6 player(s) in trades-move Dube into a third line role, he is close-if he plays in Stockton would it be at RW? If Dube comes up the RW slot is all that is availible. Calgary needs a someone at RW, icing the same team that got bounced last year is risky. Dube needs ice time, I’d like to see what he can do at Center as Bennett seems to be fine on RW.

    • WoodrowWilson

      I don’t think so. The $3.455 million figure is not hardwired into the CBA. It is a fluid number that fluctuates based on “Average League Salary”, so there would have been no way Treliving would have known that is what the threshold would be at the time he needed to buy out Stone.

      Also, there is no way any competent GM is signing players with the intention of buying them out later. Any GM doing that won’t last very long.

    • cjc

      If the Flames make the moves you suggest then it will leave them with about 8.7 million in cap space with 20 players on the roster (I also promote Davidson/Valiev and stash Kylington in the minors as well to maximize space). Assuming that Tkachuk signs for 7.5, Mangiapane for 0.9 that eats up pretty much all of your remaining space and leaves a hole for another extra forward on the roster. So it’s pretty much guaranteed that somebody is getting shipped out. Most of the focus has been on Brodie and Frolik, but I kinda think they’re looking at Jankowski and Czarnik, too. Depends on how much Tkachuk signs for really. If it’s a bridge deal then it probably keeps the cap down significantly and maybe they can move out Jankowski or Czarnik. If it’s long term, then they probably need to move out Brodie or Frolik (my money would be on Frolik). The issue is that many other teams are waiting to sign their RFAs, and the trade dominoes won’t start falling until that happens

      • WoodrowWilson

        I think it is based on NHL Minimum Salary, so because the minimum goes up next year to $700k, it would be $1.075mm in savings.

        Not much a difference, but a little better I guess. Couple more rolls of tape.

    • cjc

      They would not be on the NHL roster (or available to it), so it wouldn’t count against the cap. This usually happens with prospects on two-way contracts (such as Carl-Johan Lerby, who will be playing in Sweden this year). There have been cases where players on one-way contracts get loaned, I think, but they are not available to the NHL roster (they can’t be called back from the loan). I believe this happened with Cristobal Huet – the Blackhawks loaned him to a Swiss team for the final two seasons of his contract. 0$ of his salary counted toward the cap.

      • cjc

        From the Calgary Herald, August 24, 2010

        “The Hawks owe the native of St Martin d’Heres, France, more than $11 million US over the next two seasons. If he is loaned to the Swiss league, Chicago will still need to pay his salary, but his $5.6 million dollar cap figure will come off the books.”

        • freethe flames

          I just read an article from the Vancouver Courier on Erickson and it pretty much said what Bendingcorners added; the same as an AHL buried contract. (that’s if the reporter got it right and I assume they did)

          • cjc

            I don’t think the Courier article is right. Unless something changed in the CBA after the 2012-2013 lockout, the cap hit shouldn’t count. Teams can throw money away on players that won’t play for them if they want.

            If you are managing a European team, you don’t want player X for part of a year, you want the whole season (even if the NHL team is footing the bill). That means the player is not available to the NHL team, therefore no cap hit. I can see that the NHL may have tried to close the loophole to prevent teams doing what Chicago did with Huet, but they still allow teams to pass around LTIR players like a blunt, so…. If a team wants to drop millions on a player to play for another team, it’s no skin of the NHL’s back (The player would also need to agree to the loan of course).

        • cjc

          ETA – looks like the CBA was changed in 2012-2013 to make the rules for Europe the same as if it was the AHL (based on the answer to a question posted at PuckPedia).

      • WoodrowWilson

        My reading of the CBA is that they would be on the hook for the regular cap hit, less $1,075,000.

        The CBA isn’t particularly clear, and I’m certainly no cap expert, but to me it looks like the team would still be on the hook for an amount that is their normal cap hit, less the sum of (i) whatever the Minimum NHL Salary is (for next year, US$700,000) plus (ii) $375,000.
        So if the player was loaned for the entire year, we would be on the hook for the usual cap hit, less $1,075,000?
        Section 11.19 of the CBA – Loans to Clubs Outside North America–Team does not have to pay “Paragraph 1 Salary” for the duration of the loan *if that provision is included in the player’s contract*, but the team has to pay the player all other payments due pursuant to the contract (looks like bonuses, deferred salary, and buy-out amounts).
        Articl 50.5(d) –”Average Club Salary” is determined by calculating—from the last day of Training Camp until June 30 of each Year, the sum of a number of amounts, including under clause (6), for a player on a *one-way* contract loaned to *another professional league*, the Averaged Amount of the contract less the sum of the Minimum Paragraph 1 Salary and $375,000 for that Year for the period during which such player is loaned.

  • Skylardog

    Why buy out Stone if you still need to move an asset to get all the deals done? This is especially true if you end up moving Brodie, because that makes Stone valuable now on the roster, and later at the TDL.

    No moves through the first 2/3 of the summer is starting to hurt the team. Other teams have traded away cap and assets, why are the Flames so slow at getting the job done?

    • freethe flames

      If you trade TJ you almost have to keep Stone; if you buyout Stone you almost have to keep TJ. There is no other D depth in this organization beyond the guys at the NHL level and Davidson.

      • cjc

        I think the plan would clearly be to play one of Hanifin, Valimaki or Kylington on the right side; but this is precisely why Frolik makes more sense as a trade option than TJ.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Well, if you trade TJ and Frolik and maybe even Janko for a center, then you have to also get back a 3rd pairing RD in the deal. Maybe I’m in a minority, but I think even a guy like Folin in MTL would be an improvement over Stone. You then have Folin or Kylington or Valimaki as the 7th D-man. If Stone stays on the payroll, he plays regardless of how bad he is.

    • Off the wall

      I’m wondering if we go with a full 23 man roster?

      You just might see Treliving go with 13 forwards, 7 defence and 2 goalies for a total of a 22 man roster.

      What a cluster right now. $4.6M Cap with two important players to sign. And if we buyout Stone, next years (buyout) costs are over $3M. I’d love to piss away that kind of money…

      • cjc

        Problem is injuries and flexibility. If you don’t have extra space, you can’t back fill spots when there are short or medium-term injuries (there is no cap relief for day-to-day or IR, only LTIR). The team should really keep close to 1.5-2 million in cap space for injury call-ups. As for flexibility, you have fewer options in your lineup, can’t explore different player combos to find chemistry.

    • HarveysFleaCollar

      Because stone is not a legitimate top 6 dman on this roster, even if the Flames move out Hamonic or Brodie. He is holding up space for a younger, better, cheaper candidate.

      • freethe flames

        There a number of teams that Stone would be able to play for; even as a 5/6 D and some maybe even higher. He is not a bad as many here suggest. He is a bad contract at $3.5m, I doubt there would be as much complaining about him at $1.75m. Even less at $1m which is probably the high end he signs for if he is bought out.

    • TheBigChef

      You buy out Stone because the cap space is more valuable than whatever he can provide. He is a 6th/7th D.

      The $2.333mm in savings is more valuable than Stone, regardless of what happens to Brodie. If you were to attach a dollar figure on Stone’s value as a 6/7D, and we assume it would be around $1mm, a cost-benefit says a buyout is the better option, regardless of Brodie. I don’t think Stone is worth $2.333m, so buy him out, use the space, find depth elsewhere if needed–like another Fantenburg type.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      It’s Chucky’s fault. He has been holding Tre and the Flames hostage since 01 July. He is waiting on what happens to the likes of Marner and Laine. Tre has been paralyzed into inactivity because of this generational punk. Funny how Dubas, who was in a worse cap crunch than Tre, has been one of the most active GMs this summer and he still hasn’t made his biggest offseason move.

      • TheBigChef

        Yes how dare Tkachuk not take a huge pay cut from what the market says he is worth! Truly selfish that he has not helped Treliving get out of the cap mess he created for himself with terrible signings and poor asset management.

        What a ridiculous mentality. If anything, Tkachuk has been more accommodating than he needs to be by essentially making it publicly known he had no interest in signing an offer sheet. It’s not his fault we can afford to pay him yet. And if you haven’t noticed, Brayden Point, Mitch Marner, Mikko Rantanen, Brock Boeser, Charlie McAvoy, Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine, Zach Werenski, Travis Konecny, Brandon Carlo, Ivan Provorov are all still unsigned. Are these all generational punks? If so, give me a team filled with generational punks!