The future is bright for the Calgary Flames. Goaltending has finally been solidified, defence will continue to strengthen, and the forward group continues to toughen.
Throughout the month of June, Flames’ GM Brad Treliving was active for competent goaltenders after having the most goals against per game in 2015-16. Brian Elliott was acquired from the Blues and immediately signed to a one-year, $2.5M deal. Chad Johnson was signed to a one-year deal worth $1.7M to be the Elliott’s backup, one of the best moves by the Flames’ brass. With Brian Elliott signed to only a one-year deal, the Flames anticipate youngsters in Jon Gillies or Mason MacDonald to be the next starter in the near future.
In terms of defence, the core of Dougie Hamilton, Mark Giordano, and TJ Brodie is locked up for the future for a total of $17.150M for at least the next four years. The defence core can be compared to the Nashville Predators (Subban, Josi, Ellis, Ekholm) and the St. Louis Blues (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Parayko), but obviously not as elite.
The Flames’ back end definitely has promise. With Glenn Gulutzan at the helm of a fresher era with Calgary, the forward group looks to be dominant in the offensive zone and more responsible in the defensive zone.
Having the core locked up is imperative for the future of any organization. With a plan set for the goaltending and defence, the Flames’ front-office has been forced to lock up Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau to long-term contracts.
Most recently, 21 year-old Sean Monahan was re-signed to a seven-year deal worth $6.575M annually. The Flames 6th overall pick in 2013 has boasted 159 points in 237 career games. Monahan is probably the top center for the Flames over Sam Bennett, which isn’t bad as far as depth is concerned.
The Flames now have just over $8.5M in cap space after signing Monahan, which leaves a tough task in signing Gaudreau. Johnny Gaudreau is expected to receive a contract eerily similar to Sean Monahan, but his offensive production could reap a higher pay.
Gaudreau posted 64 points in his rookie campaign, and was 14 points more efficient in 2015-16 while playing only one fewer game. At only 23 years of age, Gaudreau’s point totals will only increase as he enters his prime, which means he deserves a contract that will likely pay more than Monahan.
Gaudreau’s offensive abilities are comparable to centers Nathan MacKinnon and Mark Scheifele, as well as wingers Filip Forsberg and Taylor Hall. Does Gaudreau deserve at least six million dollars? Yes. Will he get closer to seven? Probably. Compared to Monahan’s seven-year deal, Gaudreau will get PAID around $6.5/7 million dollars. Maybe 6.8. Maybe 6.9.
After Monahan was paid his much deserved contract, it’s (probably) only a matter of days until Gaudreau signs his mega millions. As we wait, just ponder on the idea that Johnny Hockey will receive $6.9M for seven years.
What do you think Gaudreau will receive?
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