As I had mentioned before it was no surprise that the Flames signed Alex Tanguay to a 1 year $1.7M contract. Pretty good contract and cap hit for the Flames for a top 6 forward who showed chemistry with Jarome Iginla in the past.
Tanguay also had his best seasons as a member of the Calgary Flames putting up 81 points in 06-07 and 58 points in 07-08. However in that second season the Calgary Flames brought in Mike Keenan as the head coach. Keenan and Tanguay did not get along at all and resulted in Tanguay asking for a trade. Keenan is now gone and Tanguay will get the opportunity to play his style of game.
Now the shocker of the day is the re-signing of Olli Jokinen. I’ll be honest I was laughing in the midst of my shock after I had posted on twitter and facebook a couple days earlier asking what people thought of bringing back Olli at about half his cap hit. So it happened and he signed a 2 year $6M contract with Calgary. And cap friendly at $3M per season.
Olli just never worked in Calgary before because he was expected to be a play making center working with Iginla, and of course that is not Jokinen’s game. However Olli has shown that he can put the puck in the net or off the post as he actually joked a bit yesterday with the Calgary media.
So what do I think? I think two things have become apparent from these moves. Darryl Sutter could not pull off a trade for Spezza, Savard, or Dubinsky who he was going after, so Jokinen was plan ‘D’. Also I think Sutter has no confidence in his pro scouting department, as he has continuously gone back to players who have played under him in the past.
And by no means are the Flames done. Ales Kotalik and his $3M will be off the books in one way or another. Daymond Langkow and his $4.5M is clearly on his way out or he would be the highest paid 4th line center in league history. And I have to think Steve Staios is also on his way out the door at $2.7M his number has to be cleared out. So I think he will be traded or sent down. And finally Nigel Dawes will be bought out at 1/3 of his cap hit, for another $700K saved on the cap.
That is $10.9M in cap space saved. with the $2.1M the currently have available. So $13M combined. Ian White will get a new contract, and John Negrin will likely have the opportunity to make the team. So that will be about $3.5M off the cap for the both of them, and the back end is dealt with.
So that leaves us with the forwards. Mikael Backlund will be back with the big team probably starting the year on the third line. He makes a reasonable $1.3M Brett Sutter will also be up and will likely make around $700K leaving the Flames with 10 forwards, and $7.5M to play with to sign three more forwards.
Recently acquired LW Raitis Ivanans will be signed to a 2 year deal at $600K a year I am hearing, and should be on the team as the enforcer. They also acquired RW Tim Jackman who will also be on the big squad as the right side enforcer and should be signed to a 2 year deal at $550K per year. Both these guys will be on the roster come opening day
Suddenly the Flames have a full roster with $6.4M in cap space available so don’t be surprised if Darryl Sutter still tries to make a big splash in the FA or trade market. If not and I am correct the Flames will lineup this team next year…
Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla
Hagman – Stajan – Bourque
Glencross – Backlund – Moss
Ivanans – Sutter – Jackman
Bouwmeester – Giordano
Regher – White
Sarich – Pardy
I have to say this team is a little better than last year. However I think Sutter will continue to try and add some more talent. I am going to leave my final judgment until I see this team on the ice as it could be better, it also could be a gong show. It will all depend on chemistry on the top two lines.
Have a good one!
Follow me on twitter! www.twitter.com/shanehoopfer
About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!