Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
Okotoks, AB • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
With training camp about 6 weeks away the Calgary Flames sit at about 2.3 million over the salary cap (according to Cap Central). If you count the signing of Andre Roy, which was actually a one-way deal at 550,000, it puts the Flames nearly 3 million dollars over the cap.

GM Darryl Sutter has been seen on Canadian Media and read throughout local papers saying he's done making moves. What you see now is what you'll get come training camp. The players currently on this roster will vie for the available positions.

Which begs the question; just which positions are actually open?

Sutter has two options.

1) He can continue to build this team as he has the previous three seasons, adding veteran depth and leadership to a team with Stanley Cup hopes, or...
2) He can switch to the youth movement.

Addressing the latter; Sutter has said this off-season that he wants to get this team, bigger, younger and faster. His first few days of moves on the open market showed that he was very serious about doing that. Since then, it's been a completely different story as he revealed Marcus Nilson, Anders Eriksson and Rhett Warrener would not be bought out, then he signed 33 yr olds Todd Bertuzzi and Andre Roy.

In today's Calgary Herald, Bruce Dowbiggin had this to say of the signing of Roy in his weekly column, I Don't Like Mondays:

"Flames GM Darryl Sutter announced the signing of professional hockey escort Andre Roy to a one-way contract, saying there's still a need for this type of player (read: goon) in the NHL. Quick, someone tell Red Wings GM Ken Holland before he embarrasses himself again by winning the Stanley Cup without one. . . ."

I couldn't agree more.

So, in what started as an offseason of change for the Calgary Flames has suddenly taken a turn back to the old style, a way Sutter just can't seem to quit.

Which way is Sutter going to go?

The bottom line is that he has the options available to him. He has developed prospects that are itching to play with the big club and there are a handful of one-way NHLers with contracts that are just asking to be moved.

Here is a list of current prospects who, judging by what Sutter has been saying recently, have a chance to make it with the Flames for next season.

Mikael Backlund, C
Kyle Greentree, LW
Jamie Lundmark, C
Matt Pelech, D
John Negrin, D
Adam Pardy, D

At least one season away: Dan Ryder, Kris Chucko, Gord Baldwin, Matt Keetley, Leland Irving

With that list of prospects in mind, here is a look at players who may be moved in order to stick to the cap number, and some who may have trade value.

Adrian Aucoin, 35, D, 4.0 mil (final year), 10g 25a 35pts +13
His biggest problem is his footspeed. If he was a little faster, he'd be fine. Aucoin had a solid season last year with numbers nearly as good as the likes of Joni Pitkanen, Jay Bouwmeester and Duncan Keith... the big difference between Aucoin and those listed... his age. I don't see Aucoin going anywhere.

Rhett Warrener, 32, D, 2.35 mil (final year), 1g 3a 4pts -2 31GP
Another slow D-man who's adjustment to the post-lockout era of the NHL has been all but smooth. He's even slower than Aucoin and has no talent with the stick. I don't see much trade value for Rhett and see him as a strong candidate to be sent to Quad Cities. The only other hope for Warrener to see NHL time is if the Flames allow someone to pluck him off re-entry waivers, although that would leave us accountable for half of his salary.

Anders Eriksson, 33, D, 1.5 mil (final year), 1g 17a 18pts -5
Was horrible last season and even worse in the playoffs. For some reason Sutter has a soft-spot for his turnover-prone D-man. His price tag leaves me to believe that he may be the 6th/7th defenseman this year, splitting time with Mark Giordano and Jim Vandermeer. Zero trade value. Should have been bought out.

Marcus Nilson, 30, LW, 1.0 mil (final year), 3g 2a 5pts +2 47GP
I just don't see any room on the team for Nilson. Of the 3 players waived by Sutter, he was the one I didn't understand. But, since the draft and UFA period, the Flames have a bevy of C/LW and I would put them all ahead of Nilson. He may join Warrener in Quad Cities, but if he remains waived, I fully expect him to return to Sweden. He has minor trade value as he is more than capable of contributing at the NHL level, just not on this club.

All of these players listed are in the final year of their deal which makes them nearly risk-free, but just the thought of that being a reason for value makes me envision an NBA-like trade period for the NHL... which scares me.

Will we see more trade action out of Sutter, not likely, based on the above information. I'm not saying it won't happen, he may make a couple more minor-league deals, but that's going to be the extent of it. There's not going to be a Mathieu Schneider or Jay Bouwmeester gracing Cowtown with their presence. Simply because that would require us to move either Iggy, Phaneuf, Regehr or Kipper. And that's not going to happen. Go ahead and attach "untouchable" to each of those players... and Langkow too.

At nearly 3 million dollars over the cap, we're going to see some roster movement. As much as we all love trades, it looks like its going to be of the waiver/minors variety. We're either going to see a shwack of new faces like Backlund, Greentree and Negrin... or the same-old, same-old in Nilson and Warrener. One thing I don't see happening for this year is having 5 scratches on any given night. If the Flames need to fill injury holes, it's going to come from Quad Cities...

Finally, a step in the right direction... well, kind of...

Later on this week I'll discuss what it takes to build a winner in the NHL, and where Darryl Sutter's Calgary Flames are in that regard.
Filed Under:   Flames   Salary Cap   Sutter  
July 28, 2008 3:34 PM ET | Delete
Couldn't agree more. There is simply no move the Flames can make for another top six or top four defenceman...I still think Warrener, Nilson and Eriksson will be demoted to get under the cap. Contrary to what some people think, the likes of Sarich, Aucoin, Lombardi etc are NOT enough to get any major player on the market right now
July 28, 2008 4:47 PM ET | Delete
Warrener, Nilson, and Erikson have been waived.. their contracts dont count against the cap. You forgot Prust under guys making the team as well. Sutter, during his off-season conference, implied that Prust was supposed to make the team last year but was unhinged by injuries. This year he will make the team if he brings his game.
July 28, 2008 5:05 PM ET | Delete
I never forgot Prust as he's no longer a prospect. He's signed to a one-way deal meaning he's on the team no matter what. I understand the big 3 have been waived but until they are actually sent to the minors, I'm not going to overlook their salaries. Sutter has already said they are going to be given a shot to make the team in training camp. So, excluding those 3 players from our team would be silly.
July 28, 2008 5:32 PM ET | Delete
Sutter must be crazy if he is actually going to give those guys a shot. What it will come down to is, either put those guys in the minors, or trade Aucoin or Sarich. There is really no alternative to get under the cap. Say what you want about Aucoin and Sarich but Sutter is nuts if he favors Warrener and Eriksson over either one of them.
July 28, 2008 6:29 PM ET | Delete
I agree... but I thought he was nuts for not buying them out in the first place. I can't see either one of those guys getting a spot over Aucoin or Sarich... but I also can't see him making them play in the minors. I don't think Sutter is that kind of guy... so I'm a little torn on what's going to happen, really taking a wait and see approach, which is why I refuse to write them off yet. Would it be worthwhile (assuming Eriksson and Warrener were let go) to have Pardy or Pelech come to the NHL to be a 7th man? For sure Negrin won't be a 7th man. I would personally like to see an overhaul of the D (and we will for sure next season) with some of the young guys getting a shot. It COULD get interesting, but when has Sutter ever been all that interesting?!
July 28, 2008 6:46 PM ET | Delete
I was there at the prospect camp and let me tell you Brad Cole looks very good and Adam Pardy on defense could fill in a spot sutter might just send that salary down to quad city
July 28, 2008 7:01 PM ET | Delete
Buying out of their contracts, unless i'm mistaken, still leaves a portion opf their salary against the cap. Sending them down clears 4.85 mil off the books and the number i saw, even with Roy, the flames sit at 1.48 over the cap ( http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_wrapper
July 28, 2008 7:09 PM ET | Delete
great job!!!like the blog!!!!
July 28, 2008 7:13 PM ET | Delete
It's actually cheaper to send them to the minors because they save the full salary rather than just 1/3rd. I agree that one of Negrin, Pardy, Pelech, etc could get a shot as a spare part, 7/8 d-man
July 28, 2008 7:42 PM ET | Delete
We no longer have the option of buying out these players. That window has closed and could only be re-opened if someone on the team filed for arbitration. But when the Flames inked Rene Bourque prior to arbitration (which he never planned on filing for anyway) we lost the 2nd buyout option. So, the only options are trade/waiver/minors. Good to hear that Brad Cole is developing! Negrin won't be used as a spare part at 19 years old. He'll probably go down to the WHL if he's not getting regular minutes where he may get invited to the WJHC camp in December. That would probably be the best scenario for him!
July 28, 2008 9:00 PM ET | Delete
Sutter gave them the possibility of making camp but the fact that they were waived means they wont be getting a whole lot of callers for their rights. If theyre not called up then we wont be over the cap. Its a shame to see veterans get the crap end like that but its the price they pay for the contracts they were given I suppose. Erikson has a pretty small contract but he's really not much of an nhl player even in the 7th spot..Negrin was practicing with the Flames throughout the playoffs and its almost assumed a spot is there for him if he brings his game come training camp.
July 28, 2008 9:00 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
July 28, 2008 9:01 PM ET | Delete
Where the heck is Vetter these days anyway?
July 28, 2008 11:02 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog but the red wings had TWO goons on thier roster(Mcarty ans downey) on his roster
July 29, 2008 12:21 AM ET | Delete
I guess to expand on eclipsec20 bruce dowbiggin has been a very outspoken proponent of no fighting in the nhl. In addition The redwings don't play in the N.W. where every team has a guy like that... My other comment got cut off but just sending Eriksson down would clear our cap delema but all of the player would clear over 4... In addition not all of the cap numbers are going to be here, they might be in ahl as injuries usually play into it in camp.
July 29, 2008 2:00 AM ET | Delete
Sutter also said he has the possibilities mapped out should he need to make cap room. whether thats a trade or someone hitting waivers, it means there could be measures taken if he needed to be under for a trade or free agent.
July 29, 2008 2:56 PM ET | Delete
The cap is based on one-way contracts... no two-way deals are included in the numbers. You can't just send down guys on one-way deals... I have nothing against fighters, never will, I do have problems with fighters who can't play. A player getting 4 minutes a game isn't going to help you, a la Eric Godard. They need to bring some value to the team. Andre Roy doesn't bring any value. And he'll probably be the new Stortini of the division, lose every one of his fights. Fry, your last comment is exactly my point throughout the blog, I just went further by saying, in terms of trade, we don't have much value to offer.
July 30, 2008 11:13 AM ET | Delete
Maybe its time to consider the untouchables... Outside of Iggy, to me no one should left out of trade discussions. It may open some possibilities to package the "no-trade value" players in a big deal. The current version of the Flames looks very similar to previous versions...same Sh*t with a different smell. Teams that have had success (aka Detroit) have had all lines contribute at both ends of the ice. I really don't say a substantial improvement in achieving that. Food for thought...
July 30, 2008 11:38 AM ET | Delete
awesome blogg good read and I think you nailed it
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive