FlamesNation mailbag: the home stretch

Ryan Pike
2 years ago
With the Calgary Flames off, we all enjoyed a very Calgary weekend: a gorgeous sunny Saturday and a snowy, blustery Sunday. In-between, we sent the call out for sweet, sweet questions for the mailbag.
Let’s dive in!
The challenge for the Flames is this: they don’t have a ton of cap space to devote to a backup, and that backup won’t play a ton given Darryl Sutter’s history (and Jacob Markstrom’s, for that matter) of riding his top goalie a ton.
Among potential UFAs, Airdrie product Aaron Dell might be an option. But the guy with the inside track may be current backup, and ace baker, Louis Domingue. He gets the role, he’d be inexpensive, and he seems to be a competent, confident veteran who’s fine with not playing for a few weeks at a time.
Check out Domingue”s YouTube feed, by the way. There’s great recipes on there.

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If I’m Johnny Gaudreau’s agent, even if he wants to stay in Calgary (and is willing to take a discount) and even if the cap eventually moves, the discussion for even a short-term deal has to begin with $8 million – call it the Taylor Hall precedent. A realistic three to four year deal would probably be around $8.5-9 million and include some kind of no-trade or no-move protection.
The Flames aren’t spending the kind of money it takes to lure Darryl Sutter off his ranch to coach again to tank. Expect the Flames to dress a lineup chock full of NHLers and to give it their all until it’s mathematically impossible to make the playoffs. They want to set a baseline so they don’t have to start from scratch at training camp in September.
That said: once they cannot make the playoffs, it seems likely that they would cut their losses, rest some players dealing with injuries, and try out some kids for a few games.
Their tragic number is 9.5. If the Flames lose out and Montreal goes on a heater, the absolute earliest the Flames can be mathematically eliminated is April 28. The more realistic ballpark figure would be sometime in early May.
We’ll go into more detail later this week, but right now two names come to mind: Oliver Kylington and Derek Ryan.
Kylington is still very young and has made a ton of progress in the Flames system. For Seattle, he could be found money. Ryan is not very young, but he’s just good. He’s been great for the Flames and is from Spokane, Washington. For building a good locker room culture and a local appeal, Ryan could be a really nice fit for the Kraken.
The comparison isn’t perfect, but Alex Iafallo just signed a four year deal with Los Angeles worth $4 million per season. Iafallo has 127 points in 268 games (for 0.474 points-per-game).
Mangiapane has 67 points in 166 games (for .404 points per game). Considering Mangiapane is an even strength beast, if I’m the Flames I’m getting the conversation going at around $3.5-3.75 million per year over four seasons and seeing where it goes.
For the sake of argument, let’s run down the six players who’ve had the highest average game scores since Sutter took over on March 11:
  • Elias Lindholm (.793)
  • Matthew Tkachuk (.718)
  • Mikael Backlund (.681)
  • Josh Leivo (.588)
  • Andrew Mangiapane (.584)
  • Chris Tanev (.561)
Mangiapane was a given: he’s excellent. But conspicuous by their absences are Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano, Rasmus Andersson and Jacob Markstrom.
The short answer is “Yes, but…”
The contract is really, really clear about added costs occurring because the city or the Flames want something added. It’s much less clear about escalations like they’re experiencing right now, which are more because of structural economic factors arising because of supply shocks due to a once-in-100-years pandemic rather than either side being particularly bad at planning an arena.

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