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Calgary, AB • Canada • 29 Years Old • Male
With the draft only days away now and July 1st fast approaching I thought it was an ideal time to take a closer look at the Flames overall situation when it pertains to the talent on the ice and what Darryl Sutter needs to do in order to assure that he keeps his job past April of 2011.

First off, Gary Bettman announced that the Salary Cap for the 2011-12 will increase slightly from the $56.8 million it was at this past season. So, for all intensive purposes let us assume that the cap will fall in or around $58 million.

The Flames, as it stands now, have roughly $53, 379, 166 committed to 17 players for the upcoming season; a breakdown of 10 forwards ($28.9 mill), 6 defence ($18.6 mill), and 1 goalie ($5.83 mill).

Pardon the alliteration, but let us delve deeper into the defence...

Jay Bouwmeester – Age 25, $6.68 million
Robyn Regehr – Age 28, $4.02 million
Cory Sarich – Age 30, $3.6 million
Steve Staios – Age 35, $2.7 million
Mark Giordano – Age 25, $0.891 million
Adam Pardy – Age 25, $0.7 million

On paper that does not look all that bad, but we all know it could use some tweaking. Regehr and Sarich have clearly lost a step and in a day an age when speed is vital, these two guys are liabilities when they do not have you within an arms reach. Giordano and Bouwmeester represent the only speed on the blue line. You compare that to the cup champs in Chicago who have Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, Hjalmarsson and Boynton who were all capable of jumping into a rush and creating offence. Looking for answers, the Flames have Ian White, who was acquired in February in the Dion deal and is a pending RFA. He would help the speed on the backend but at what cost. White is coming off a career season in which he tallied 13 goals, 25 assists and was a plus 8 when he spent most of his time on one of the leagues worst teams. He finished 28th in defence league scoring ahead of such names like Phaneuf and Bouwmeester who both make almost 6 million more dollars a year than White.

Rumours have been swirling that White is wanting upwards of $5 million a season. I do not see this happening, as he has yet to really prove himself. Looking at players comparable to him, we have Ryan Whitney and Stephane Robidas who he finished right behind in scoring who make $4 million and $3.3 million a year respectively. This was the range I thought he might be garnering; while still probably a steep price tag, the bar has been set and players like White will want to cash in when they can.

In order to accommodate such a demand, Darryl will have to make some decisions. Staios should be an obvious person to dispose of, as I am still trying to figure out why they traded for him in the first place. Regehr would most likely garner the most in return, but the problem looms with his ‘no movement clause.’ Assuming Robyn does not waive the clause, it really leaves Cory Sarich, who makes $3.6 million, the ideal candidate to be shipped elsewhere. He may still bring back something useful as there are teams in need of a stay at home defenceman with Cup experience. He could possibly be worth a 2nd round draft pick, and would free up the room needed to sign White.

So, you rid yourself of Sarich and Staios, and you re-sign White to the $3.5 million a year range. Than you bring up one or two ‘young guns’ (not to remind Flames fans of the late 90’s), and you give some kids an opportunity. Matt Pelech (currently an RFA), John Negrin, and Keith Seabrook have all had ample time in the minors and would provide the backend with some much needed youth. Not to mention the newly signed gargantuan Chris Breen and Gord Baldwin, also an RFA.

So now your defence looks like this:

Jay Bouwmeester – Age 25, $6.68 million
Robyn Regehr – Age 29, $4.02 million
Ian White- Age 25, $3.5 million*
Mark Giordano – Age 25, $0.891 million
Adam Pardy – Age 25, $0.7 million
Pelech/Negrin/Seabrook – Age-22-25, .5 -.8 million
*assumed contract

Now instead of having $18.6 million tied up in defence, you have roughly $17.4 million in 7 guys. You get faster, you get younger and you still have a core four (Bouw, Regehr, White, Gio) that can really hold their own, with the senior citizen being Rocket Robyn at 29 years old.

The goalie situation should be pretty easy for the Flames; let Kipper play his 70 games and find a guy to spell him whenever he needs a rest. It has not been so easy in recent years. Curtis McElhinney was the guy for the past while, but patience grew thin with him and he was shipped to Anaheim for disgruntled former Leaf Vesa Toskala. Toskala proved useful the last month and half of the season, as he provided much needed reliable support for Kipper down the stretch; something he has never really had in the 7 years he has been in Calgary.

The Flames also have a couple of goalies itching to get a shot in the big leagues in Leland Irving and Matt Keetley. Irving posted decent numbers with Abbotsford last year (2.76 GAA, .905 SP%), while Keetley was a touch better (2.59 GAA,. 912 SP%) in 11 less games. Keetley is an RFA and made only $600,000 last season while Irving would be a cap hit of almost $1.2 million with added in bonuses.

Knowing Sutter’s tendency to trust a veteran over a rookie, Toskala would be the more educated choice. The question that lingers is whether or not Toskala would be willing to re-sign for a much smaller number than his $4 million price tag of last season? My guess would be yes, as he has done nothing really to earn a starting look anywhere else in the league. This would result in the Flames having an all Finnish goalie club this year with Vesa and Miikka tag teaming the 4x6.

Miikka Kiprusoff – Age 32, $5.83 million
Vesa Toskala – Age 32, $ 1.4 million*
*assumed contract

Next up are the Forwards…


All numbers for this article were taken from capgeek.com.
Filed Under:   flames   calgary   salary cap   regehr   bouwmeester  
June 15, 2010 8:59 AM ET | Delete
Toskala is not coming back but I think the number you have there for a back up is about right. Also Kronwall is on a one way so although he played in the AHL and didn't count against the cap i'm sure ownership will want him played or moved.
June 15, 2010 12:00 PM ET | Delete
If it's true that a core was asked to waive, who was it, was it Reger
June 15, 2010 12:02 PM ET | Delete
Did Reger refuse? 3.5M max for white/1 year isnt enough to prove worth. What do you do with Staois?
June 15, 2010 1:17 PM ET | Delete
If Regehr waives then he'll move, so we'll have our answer in less than a week! Sarich and staios aren't perfect ideal guys but still can play, White might be asking too much. Hopefully we'll get an offer sheet for him, he does have arbitration rights so if he is asking 5 mil that is why, because the flames are asing 2.3...wants to meet in the middle.
June 15, 2010 2:14 PM ET | Delete
If White were to get another team to give him lets say a 3 year deal @ 12.0mil, whats the compensation to the flames?
June 15, 2010 2:47 PM ET | Delete
June 15, 2010 2:47 PM ET | Delete
This is a very shaky answer but I believe with that avg out to 4mill per year, the compensation would be a 1st and 3rd. However I'm not entirely confident in my understanding of the system, if it works as the Salary that the offer sheet includes (which is my understanding) than that would be the compensation. 1st and 3rd for White? Worth it for the Flames but I doubt any team will part with 2 picks that fairly hefty 4million price tag.
June 15, 2010 2:48 PM ET | Delete
wow i apologize, too much coffee today, that last post was terribly written. Too lazy to make it coherent, hopefully you catch my drift.
June 15, 2010 4:41 PM ET | Delete
Even a first rounder would appease many that think we didnt get enough for Dion
June 15, 2010 5:02 PM ET | Delete
If we trade White, I don't think more than a 2nd will be coming back.
June 15, 2010 6:13 PM ET | Delete
we need to get rid of staios and sarich and then kronwall and one of the three youngins come up. also i think pardy will be moved. so i agree the pairing i hope look like this reg white, gio jbo, kronwall pelech or negrin rounding out the the 7. i dont' care if the flames bury staios buy him out or trade em, no one will prob trade for him tho. i do like sarich but i am a believer that him or reg will be gone. id hate to see reg go but who knows
June 15, 2010 7:47 PM ET | Delete
Dont need to trade White, if he signs with someone else we get picks, otherwise we go arbit
June 16, 2010 12:22 PM ET | Delete
Kevin, that's correct, but if the arbitration award is too high and gets us into cap trouble he could still be moved during the summer.
June 16, 2010 1:05 PM ET | Delete
True, but I guess Sutter could buyout Staios to make room
June 16, 2010 3:38 PM ET | Delete
The issue is the draft picks would be for next year, I wrote a blog about it not too long ago called the perfect solution if you want to see compensation. White is not a guy that i'm dying to keep as a fan, I'd rather get return for him than over pay him.
June 16, 2010 3:43 PM ET | Delete
Higher than $3.1M is a 1st and 3rd. Lower is a 2nd rounder. (There are more brackets of course but this is just the price range we're talking about.)
June 16, 2010 3:44 PM ET | Delete
I'm pretty sure the compensation is 2010 picks if it happens prior to the draft occuring.
June 16, 2010 3:58 PM ET | Delete
Cant happen until July 1 for a team to offer him something. I agree with Sane, dont overpay, anything over 3.5mill is just stupid
June 16, 2010 4:05 PM ET | Delete
I sure do cringe as a season ticket holder that Sutter thinks Kotalik, Langkow
June 16, 2010 4:06 PM ET | Delete
June 16, 2010 4:15 PM ET | Delete
Higgins were our best line for awhile as we fell out of the playoffs
June 17, 2010 1:23 PM ET | Delete
David Shantz actually out performed both Irving and Keetly last season maybe he'll be our number 2
June 24, 2010 12:32 AM ET | Delete
I'm glad a lot of you have no input into what the Flames do. Calling Regher a liability is absurd and I really can't understand why people would want to get rid of him. He is still a premiere shut down defenseman and is worth the money he gets. I think a lot of people are down on him because you watch all the Flames' games and see every mistake he makes. Other elite defensemen make mistakes as well you're just wont see it as often since you're likely only watching highlights.
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