After playing a long waiting game, the Calgary Flames (finally) have a deal with Matthew Tkachuk. With the winger making $7 million against the cap for the next three seasons, what implications does that have for the club’s 2019-20 salary cap?
Here’s how the roster might look, with all the guys on one-way deal or who require waivers to go down to the American Hockey League.
On Oct. 1, Juuso Valimaki will also count against the cap prior to going on LTIR.
What’s that look like?
Who needs coffee when a Matthew Tkachuk contract can give you the energy boost you need for today?
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) September 25, 2019
Between the key deals and the buyouts to Michael Stone and Troy Brouwer, the Flames would have around $1.55 million in cap space to use on extra bodies and to replace injured players – prior to Valimaki’s LTIR benefit.
To maximize the benefit of Valimaki’s LTIR, the club could start the season with Alan Quine ($735,000) and Luke Philp ($817,500) on the roster as extra for cap purposes, then move bodies around to maximize things. Michael Stone ($700,000) would seem like the ideal seventh defender, while Quine or Dillon Dube ($778,333) could be useful depth. Keep an eye on Czarnik, as if he struggles early in the season the club could try to bury him in the AHL (or trade him) and save a few hundred thousand dollars replacing him with Dube or Quine in the starting forward group.
In short: the Flames still don’t have very much cap flexibility at all. They don’t need to move anybody to be cap compliant on Oct. 1, but their wiggle room is virtually non-existent – less than $500,000, even if they get extremely creative with their LTIR space – and they flat-out cannot afford to carry a 23-man roster. Heck, they can barely afford to carry a 22-man roster and have space to replace injured players.
It will be fascinating to see how Brad Treliving manages the cap on an ongoing basis this season.