Despite a frustrating first round exit in this year’s playoffs, the Calgary Flames don’t need to chase any of the big names in this summer’s free agent market.
One of the most common themes for general managers is to spend big money on free agents when they fall short of winning the Stanley Cup. But if Treliving wants to make the Flames a better team in 2017-18, he should stay away from the free agent market and look at other directions.
If history is an indication of anything, buying the top stars on the market does more harm than good for most teams. But that doesn’t mean the likes of Kevin Shattenkirk, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau won’t receive mega deals on Canada Day.
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As everyone knows, the Flames primary need this offseason is a new number one goalie.
So if the Flames best option in finding a new number one netminder is in the trade market, that rules out the need to spend in free agency.
Does this team need more scoring? Absolutely not. 12 different players scored double-digit goals in 2016-17, and Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk provide more than enough now and in the long-term future.
So why in the world should they pay guys like Thornton, Marleau or even possibly T.J. Oshie at least $5 million a year?
Calgary hasn’t had a lot of success in free agency over the years, either. Dennis Wideman was given a five-year contract worth $26.25 million and completely overachieved during his time with the Flames.
Besides a once-in-a-lifetime 76-point season in 2014-15, Jiri Hudler didn’t live up to the four-year, $16 million deal that Calgary gave him. Troy Brouwer also disappointed in the first year of an $18 million contract he signed last year.
The Flames are in a good position here in the fact they have so much young talent all over the roster. Treliving doesn’t have to worry about making a big splash in free agency.
So assuming Treliving opts to stay pat in free agency, it won’t provide the usual offseason excitement for Calgary Flames fans. But it’s also the right and necessary move for this team’s future.