The most anticipated thing to happen this season, the William Nylander signing, is finally over. But all this is actually beneficial for the Calgary Flames and Matthew Tkachuk.
William Nylander has finally signed! Meaning we can finally stop hearing about it. I mean, except for the fact that he’s playing in his first game for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight this season. This was important for the Calgary Flames and many anticipated they would be watching closely. Mainly because they have to sign Matthew Tkachuk this season.
But why does this affect that?
Well, Nylander and Tkachuk have both had very similar scoring to start their careers off, meaning that Tkachuk’s contract could be similar to Nylander’s. Ryan Pike put it in a Tweet which showed it well.
Matthew Tkachuk ELC (in progress): 126pts, 49g in 170gp, 57.0 CF%, +6.5% CorsiRel [0.741 ppg/0.288 gpg]
William Nylander ELC: 135pts, 48g in 185gp, 52.6 CF%, +1.9% CorsiRel [0.729 ppg/0.259 gpg]
Whatever’s signed today will be the neighbourhood Tkachuk signs for. #Flames
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) December 1, 2018
Tkachuk’s ELC expires this year and he’ll definitely be the most anticipated signing on this Flames roster. Currently, the Flames have $78,907,542 in used cap space, and with a salary cap of $79.5 million, meaning they only have about $600,000 in cap space available. However, this was a $4.5 million increase from the season before, and for this upcoming season, it’ll increase again by $3.5 million to an $83 million cap.
The Flames will also have lots of room cleared up by next season. Both Mike Smith and David Rittich‘s contracts are up, meaning $5.05 million will be cleared up. I doubt the Flames will re-sign Smith (crossing my fingers), and I’m not sure about Rittich yet since Jon Gillies‘ contract will be a one-way contract next season. So say it’s Gillies who’s the backup next season, that’s $750,000 taken up. Meaning instead of $5.05 million cleared up, it’ll be $4.3 million cleared.
The Flames will also be done paying Lance Bouma and Ryan Murphy‘s buyouts which is another $904,167 cleared up, bring it to a total of $5,204,167. Other contracts who will be done will be Dalton Prout (UFA), Sam Bennett (RFA), Garnet Hathaway (UFA), Ryan Lomberg (RFA), and Andrew Mangiapane (RFA).
It seems unlikely that the Flames will re-sign Prout and Lomberg which is another $1.51 million cleared. I’d also hope that the Flames wouldn’t re-sign Hathaway, but they may keep him as a bottom-six guy. If we ignore the other RFAs for a minute and maybe just assume they’re re-signed for the same amount just for the sake of complications right now, that means that the Flames have cleared up $6,714,167. This means that the Flames will have $10,806,625 to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk and get a starting goaltender. Although it’s not a lot, I have a feeling they’re also going to try and move Michael Stone, who’s taking up $3.5 million. But nonetheless, the Flames have that much.
Nylander signed for around $6.9 million AAV. For Tkachuk, many people have anticipated that he may be the first player to break the “Mark Giordano cap” at $6.75 million. Two of the Calgary Flames best forwards, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, didn’t break that. But it seems likely Tkachuk will.
Many people also assumed his new contract would be around $7 million, and after seeing Nylander’s contract, that again is very likely. Which is great news for the Flames because they can use Nylander’s contract as leverage to keep him around the $7 million mark and argue not to go higher.
The good news for the Flames is that it also seems like Tkachuk will want to re-sign in Calgary again, especially the way their season is currently going. And with how much he loves playing with Mikael Backlund, he may take somewhat of a discount to sign at $7 million if that’s all the Flames could afford to pay him. Not to say that Nylander didn’t want to play in Toronto, but they also had bigger players to deal with (like getting John Tavares). As it stands, Tkachuk will be the biggest signing for the Flames this season.
If they manage to clear up space with Stone as well, they can probably have about $4 million to sign a starting goaltender as well, which is a decent amount.
So I would just like to thank Nylander and the Leafs for not signing at higher than $6.9 million and for Nylander to agree to that amount. This helps the Calgary Flames a lot.