The Calgary Flames have met one of their expansion requirements by signing Brett Ritchie to a new one-year, $900K deal. Ritchie was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, but was one of the few forwards on the team that could meet the exposure requirements for the team if signed to a new contract.
That doesn’t mean Ritchie is solely an expansion move though, as he did suit up for 32 games with the Flames this season. Averaging just over 11 minutes a night, he posted four goals and four assists, but added a physical presence to the bottom of the lineup. He certainly may not play every game in 2021-22, but still adds a depth option that head coach Darryl Sutter seems to trust.
At just $900K, he’ll also be easily buried in the minor leagues if things go bad. It appeared as though big changes were coming in Calgary this offseason, but no real substantial moves have been made to this point. The expansion draft may change that if captain Mark Giordano is indeed left unprotected, but for the team has only made this move with Ritchie.
The 28-year-old Ritchie will likely join Milan Lucic as the two forwards that meet Calgary’s exposure requirements, after the latter agreed to waive his no-movement clause. The team needed to sign one of Ritchie, Derek Ryan or Josh Leivo, and for $900K this was probably the easiest deal to complete.