The Calgary Flames were a team expected to make strides with young talent bursting at the seams. It was a team coming off optimism from a strong playoff showing. Instead, the Flames muddled through the season, missed the playoffs and fired head coach Bob Hartley. The Flames are constantly mentioned as a hunting for a goalie, and still have some unfinished business as they look to lock up some young players critical to the organization’s future.
Cap Space: $23,232,933 (Via CapFriendly).
Key RFA: Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Both are under 23 years of age. Both finished one and two respectively in goals and points during the regular season. And both are restricted free agents. Monahan is expected to cash in, with some reports indicating he could get as high as $7MM annually, while seeking out a long term deal. For a player considered a captain in waiting, at 21, it would behoove both sides to get a reasonable long term deal finished. Meanwhile, Gaudreau’s stock continues to rise. In March, it was reported that he was working on the biggest contract in Flames history. In another, it was written that he and Monahan both wanted to be in Calgary for years to come. Any long term success of a franchise has included a dynamic one-two punch in terms of scoring forwards. Malkin and Crosby. Toews and Kane. Gaudreau and Monahan should be the next in line.
Key UFA: G Karri Ramo. The goaltender, who was looked at to lead the Flames to another playoff appearance, struggled and then tore his ACL in February, casting doubt on his return to the Flames. Such a significant injury will hurt his stock in free agency, but a cheap deal in Calgary shouldn’t be thrown out. But with the Flames being constantly named as a team looking for goaltending, Ramo may be looking for a job elsewhere.
Other UFAs: D Jakub Nakladal
Outlook: If the Flames can add a premier, battle tested goalie, they can be a team that causes havoc in the Western Conference. They still have plenty of cap room to work with, even after signing cornerstones Gaudreau and Monahan to expensive deals that will keep them in Calgary for years to come.