Calgary Flames future cap space is tight, but not unmanageable after MacKenzie Weegar extension

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
When you’re building a hockey club and signing players to long term deals, you need to have one eye to the present and one to the future. In the case of the Calgary Flames, MacKenzie Weegar’s long-term extension locks a really good hockey player onto the roster through the 2030-31 season.
From a salary cap perspective, there are a few impacts for the club when the deal kicks in beginning with the 2023-24 season.
The Flames have 16 established NHL players signed for the 2023-24 season.
Here they are, in descending cap hit order:
  1. F Jonathan Huberdeau – $10.5 million
  2. F Nazem Kadri – $7 million
  3. D MacKenzie Weegar – $6.25 million
  4. G Jacob Markstrom – $6 million
  5. F Andrew Mangiapane – $5.8 million
  6. F Mikael Backlund – $5.35 million
  7. D Noah Hanifin – $4.95 million
  8. F Blake Coleman – $4.9 million
  9. F Elias Lindholm – $4.85 million
  10. D Rasmus Andersson – $4.55 million
  11. D Chris Tanev – $4.5 million
  12. F Tyler Toffoli – $4.25 million
  13. D Nikita Zadorov – $3.75 million
  14. D Oliver Kylington – $2.5 million
  15. F Dillon Dube – $2.3 million
  16. F Kevin Rooney – $1.3 million
That’s a goaltender, six defencemen and nine forwards locked in.
These commitments total $78.75 million and with the salary cap expected to rise to $83.5 million for 2023-24, that leaves the Flames about $4.75 million to fill the roster with a backup goalie, three regular forwards, and then a healthy scratch body or two (and injury replacements). With the league minimum salary going up to $775,000 for 2023-24, that means the Flames could fit six players in at that cap hit for the full season without having to make any other moves.
This is to say: the Flames have no need to send anybody under contract out the door to make their cap situation work for 2023-24, because they can back-fill their roster with guys on league minimum deals. (Disclaimer: I don’t see them doing this, but they’re not going to be forced to make any moves by cap necessities.)
And the main highlight here is the fact that the Flames have essentially all their important players – their entire blueline, their Vezina runner-up goalie, their most important forwards – signed through next season. If you were sweating during this off-season when the Flames made changes, and were essentially forced to do so by some contractual realities they were facing, well, next summer is shaping up to be a whole lot more relaxing for all involved.
Weegar is signed for eight seasons starting in 2023-24. His signing does not make the Flames’ cap situation particularly perilous.

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