Calgary Flames Cap Crunch: Signing Giordano


At the end of season press conference, Brad Treliving made a statement that they would not make any moves or any signings that would compromise the upcoming extensions of Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau. Mr. Treliving even added that extending Giordano was his top priority this offseason.

After that press conference, a few people wondered “what would it take to re-sign Giordano?” But shortly after that went back to watching playoff hockey.

The playoffs ended, the draft was coming up, and before anyone could bring up Giordano again suddenly, Dougie Hamilton was a Flame. A few days pass and again we are distracted by another big addition to the Calgary Flames in the signing of Michael Frolik.

I wasn’t there personally but when Brad Treliving arrived at the mid-July presser to introduce Frolik and Hamilton I assume it looked like this:

image credit to u/Daft_Funk87 from Reddit

Now we are in August, and none of Monahan, Gaudreau, or Giordano are signed to extensions. Many believe that to be due to the Calgary Flames current cap situation and that a few trades need to happen before the Flames can be fiscally flexible enough to afford the hypothesized extensions.

Can the Calgary Flames afford a more expensive Giordano and not be forced to trade away Deryk Engelland and his 2.9 million intangibles? I thought why not take a look at the cap situation with absolutely no trades made and see how bad it could be.

Ok starting with the base numbers for what the cap situation will look like next year:

current cap space: $2.2 Million

Players that are not under contract after next season and their cap hits:

Player2015-2016 Cap Hit
Jonas Hiller$4.5 million
Mark Giordano$4.02 million
Jiri Hudler$4 million
David Jones$4 million
Kari Ramo$3.8 million
Kris Russel$2.6 million
Joe Colborne$1.2 million
Sean Monahan$920,000
Johnny Gaudreau$920,000

Another curious thing to consider is the health of Ladislav Smid. Smid was on Long Term Injury Reserve for a majority of last season with neck vertebrae issues and is likely not going to be ready anytime soon. With Smid on LTIR, the flames would get his $3.5 million off the books during the season.

Another point of cap management is that during the offseason a team can spend over the cap by 10%. This 10% offseason wiggle room helps teams with LTIR eligible players since in the offseason their entire cap hit counts.

After factoring all of the expiring contracts above and believing that Smid will be on LTIR during the season the Flames would have $31.66 million in cap space with a pretty sizable shopping list.

first off let’s settle important pieces: the hypothetical extensions of Giordano, Monahan, Gaudreau, and a goalie.

PlayerNew Contract AAV
Mark Giordano$7.5 million
Sean Monahan$6 million
Johnny Gaudreau$6 million
Kari Ramo$4 million

After counting what is left from the allowance Mr. Bettman gave us we have 8.16 million, now we have to make tough decisions. Pick 2: Hudler, Russel, Colborne.

If Hudler continues his great play of last season, he would eat up a big chunk of our remaining Cap ($6-7 million), and that is just too expensive. Because of that I would choose to go with Russel for something in the region of $3.5 million and Colborne gets a bump to $1.75 million.

After emptying our wallets lets see what we ended up keeping and losing:

Players keptPlayers lost
Mark GiordanoJiri Hudler
Sean MonahanDavid Jones
Johnny GaudreauJonas Hiller
Kari Ramo
Kris Russel
Joe Colborne

In the end of this hypothetical scenario with absolutely no salary dumping in trades and the cap not going up next season the Calgary Flames aren’t looking all that bad, there is even just shy of $3 million in cap space left.

Now my contracts in this are all estimates based on players with similar stats and situations, but they are very much in the realm of reason.

Hudler would be missed and in real life it is likely trades will happen, but Treliving might not be as pressed to make moves as you might think on first glance.

Next: Is Calgary Bursting in the Blue paint?

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