The Calgary Flames signed Matt Stajan and Rene Bourque to long contract extensions. In my opinion, both do not make a lot of sense.
As much as I like him as a player, Rene Bourque has been injury riddled since he started his NHL career. Only once has he played over 70 games in a season; his rookie campaign in Chicago when he played 77 games and recorded 34 points. The following seasons he has played 44, 62 and 58 respectively. He is on pace to play roughly 70 games this season, as he has already missed 9 contests earlier in the season. I understand the 6-year contract is front loaded, but it still doesn’t make sense.
Why would you take such a risk on a guy who is prone to getting injured? Also, how does he garner that kind of salary? He has eclipsed the 40 point plateau now twice in his career; this season being his second. Yes, his points per game numbers are high, but if he only plays 60 games a season what good is he? I would have way rather have seen a 3 year deal.
The salary cap is only due to come down in the next couple years and this deal could handcuff the Flames for a while if Bourque continues his annual visits to the infirmary.
I would have loved to have seen Stajan’s face when he saw that contract offer. I am sure he could not touch pen to paper any faster.
Similar to Bourque, Matt Stajan has not exactly been an offensive powerhouse as he has had only one season in which he scored over 50 points; that being last season. The difference between the two is that Stajan has been playing in Leaf Land for his entire career and the offensive output on that team has never been anything to marvel at.
Still, you can not grant him that kind of money for the 7 games he has played in a Flames jersey (2G, 2A, 7GP). He is a number two center who is being forced into the number one spot. Does this sound familiar? Langkow, Lombardi and Conroy have all been forced into this role, yet none of them have encompassed enough skill to compliment #12 properly.
Is Matt Stajan really the answer? The simple answer is no.
I guess developers build on ‘spec’ sometimes and I presume that is what Sutter has done here. I am just not sure that either of these two will be worth the cost in the long run.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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