Tuesday: The Flames have officially announced the contract, confirming the financial details reported by Lavoie.
Monday: The Calgary Flames may have hinted at who they feel their goalie of the future is with a contract inked this evening. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that the Flames have signed 24-year-old Jon Gillies to a two-year contract extension worth $750K against the cap in each season. The first year of contract is of a two-way nature, while the second is a one-way deal, according to Lavoie.
Gillies made a career-high 11 NHL appearances last year in his third pro season, but his .896 save percentage, 2.88 GAA, and five losses were not overly impressive. However, Gillies enjoyed a second straight strong season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat, posting a .917 save percentage and 2.53 GAA in 39 games. Yet, fellow up-and-coming keeper David Rittich outplayed Gillies in the NHL and saw more action, even though he struggled in the AHL. Based on last season alone, many would have assumed that Rittich had the upper hand heading into training camp this fall, where the two are expected to battle for the backup spot behind Mike Smith.
Yet, Gillies’ extension may prove otherwise. A one-way contract in 2019-20 could indicate that the Flames fully expect Gillies to be a full-time NHLer in two years. If he isn’t, then Calgary risks losing him on waivers at that time. Flames beat writer Ryan Pike also points out that Gillies needs 16 appearances – five more than last year – or he will otherwise become a Group 6 free agent at the end of the contract. If the Flames want to protect Gillies long-term, they need to get him into some games. Of course, this whole status quo all change with the arbitration decision in Rittich’s case, but it certainly seems as if the organization may be leaning toward Gillies as their goalie of the future.