Monday, October 10, 2016

Gaudreau Back Into Flames Fold

Do you think the Flames were panicking much?  Their top player still unsigned, only days before the regular season got started.  Sure, their prized restricted free agent had no contractual leverage for a new deal, but he made a good case to be well paid over a long-term deal, but the Flames wanted to reel in that talent within the guidelines of their established contracts, already in-house.

On Monday night, the Flames management came through, signing Johnny Gaudreau to a 6-year, $40.5 million deal, which would work out to be a $6.75 million cap hit over the duration of the deal, bringing him to the dollar level of their captain, Mark Giordano.

There is little doubt that Gaudreau is the most talented offensive player on the team and he will be relied upon heavily to generate that offense on a regular basis and if the World Cup showed us anything, he still had some amazing hands and it really looks unlikely that he will be slowing down any time soon.  My current projection for the 22-year old is only in the 70-point range, but I would admit, the contract holdout did play a part and so does the quality of depth on the team.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Johnny Gaudreau 6.750 Mark Giordano 6.750 Brian Elliott 2.500
Sean Monahan 6.375 Dougie Hamilton 5.750 Chad Johnson 1.700
Troy Brouwer 4.500 Dennis Wideman 5.250
Michael Frolik 4.300 TJ Brodie 4.650
Mikael Backlund 3.575
Sam Bennett 0.925
Matt Stajan 3.125 Deryk Engelland 2.917
Lance Bouma 2.200 Jyrki Jokipakka 0.900
Brandon Bollig 1.250
Alex Chiasson 0.800
Linden Vey 0.700
Matthew Tkachuk 0.925 Brett Kulak 0.657
Micheal Ferland 0.825
Freddie Hamilton 0.613
Daniel Pribyl 0.925 Ladislav Smid 3.500
Nicklas Grossmann PTO

Salary CapThe Flames still have some work to do on their roster, but they do have Brandon Bollig on waivers on Monday and Ladislav Smid will be eligible for the LTIR, as he is not expected to play this season, opening the door for Gaudreau's new deal.  Even with Bollig and Smid on the list, the Flames current roster above is only coming in $1.04 million over the cap ceiling, easily taken care of by the two transactions mentioned in this paragraph.  It looks like the Flames will be okay for the time being.

ImplicationsFor Tony, this comes as a great relief, as he expertly gambled, taking on a ton of risk of Gaudreau signing or not, picking him 7th overall in the draft.  There's hardly any fault in taking a guy worthy of a 1st round pick a little higher, if that's what is going to make you cheer a little harder this season.

With the health of Nick Bjugstad still to come around, Shea Theodore starting the year in the AHL and P-A Parenteau possibly doing the same, it hasn't been a lucky start for Tony and he desperately needed this signing, just to stay afloat n the standings in Week One.
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