Michael Stone (and two-thirds of his cap hit) are on longer on the books for the Calgary Flames. The move has been predicted by many for weeks, and gives the Flames a tiny bit of wiggle room as they seek to finish off their summer re-signings.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how things look cap-wise after the Stone buyout.
The roster locks
Due to waiver status, contractual status or just excellence on the ice, the following 20 players are functionally locks to be on the Flames roster (barring trade) when camp breaks on Oct. 1.
Gaudreau ($6.750m) – Monahan ($6.375m) – Lindholm ($4.850m)
Tkachuk (RFA) – Backlund ($5.350m) – Frolik ($4.300m)
Bennett ($2.550m) – Jankowski ($1.950m) – Czarnik ($1.250m)
Mangiapane (RFA) – Ryan ($3.125m) – Lucic ($5.250m)
Giordano ($6.750m) – Brodie ($4.650m)
Hanifin ($4.950m) – Hamonic ($3.857m)
Valimaki ($0.894m) – Andersson ($0.756m)
Buyouts: Brouwer ($1.500m), Stone ($1.167m)
The combined cap hit of the roster locks, and the two buyouts, is $71.5 million. That leaves them with $10 million to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and fill out the roster whatever extra bodies they want to carry. For argument’s sake, let’s go with $7.5 million for Tkachuk and $1 million for Mangiapane. That leaves just $1.5 million to cover the extra roster spots.
Alright, the Flames have about $1.5 million to cover their extra bodies. Typically, teams carry three extras – two forwards and a defenseman – though they’re not required to carry any. At the very least, you can expect the Flames to carry one of each.
The most likely forwards to fill out the roster include Dillon Dube ($778,333), Alan Quine ($735,000), Buddy Robinson ($700,000) and Ryan Lomberg ($700,000), though it’s unlikely the Flames will go out of their way to keep the waiver-exempt Dube on the roster unless he’s playing every day
The most likely defensemen to fill out the roster include Oliver Kylington ($730,833), Brandon Davidson ($700,000) and Rinat Valiev ($700,000). As with Dube, Kylington is waiver exempt and so it doesn’t make any sense to keep him on the roster if he’s not going to be playing regularly.
Ignoring cap implications, logistically the two players that make the most sense to fill out the roster are Quine and Davidson – it doesn’t matter if they don’t play a ton, as they have likely topped out developmentally. Combined, their cap hits are $1.435 million and keeping both of them without making other moves would give the Flames just $65,000 in cap space.
$65,000 of cap space… for the whole season. For reference, Rasmus Andersson gets a $57,500 bonus if he makes games-played thresholds.
In other words
If Brad Treliving signed his restricted free agents and decided that he was done, the Flames would be cap compliant after the Stone buyout. They wouldn’t need to do anything drastic to meet the basic requirements under the CBA.
But if anybody got injured during the season, or earned a performance bonus, they’d be pretty screwed. There have to be more moves coming before training camp because it is simply unfathomable that Treliving would afford his team that little wiggle room heading into the season.