The most expensive trades in Calgary Flames history (and their implications for future trades) – Flamesnation
Guys, the Calgary Flames have two pretty big contract negotiations on the horizon. Once they determine their contracts for the upcoming season – Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington have arbitration cases pending – they will have decisions to make on MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau.
It’s not so much about whether these two players are worth signing – they just are. But the question is how far will the Flames be willing to go with their new contracts? For context, here’s a quick rundown of the biggest deals in franchise history.
(While Matthew Tkachuk’s eight-year, $76 million deal was signed with the Flames, it was brokered by Florida as part of a sign-and-trade deal, so that doesn’t count. really here.)
$44.625 million – Sean Monahan
Signed in August 2016 as a restricted free agent – a month before training camp – Monahan was given a six-year deal with a cap of $6.375 million. His deal was worth 8.73% of the cap when it was signed, the equivalent of $7.2 million in 2022-23. He received a modified no-trade clause in the final three seasons of his contract, which accounted for the three free agent seasons purchased by his contract.
$40.5 million – Mark Giordano
The first big deal brokered by Brad Treliving as general manager, Giordano signed seven weeks into the final year of his expiring contract rather than become an unrestricted free agent. His contract was for six years with a $6.75 million cap, essentially setting the team’s cap in its internal salary structure — a “Giordano cap,” if you will. His deal was worth 9.45% of the cap when signed, equivalent to $7.8 million in 2022-23. He received a full no-trade clause for his first four seasons and a modified no-trade clause in the past two seasons.
$40.5 million – Johnny Gaudreau
The year after Giordano’s deal, Gaudreau was a restricted free agent who couldn’t be offered, so he and the Flames played a waiting game. With the Flames apparently unwilling to move to push his cap above Giordano’s, Gaudreau signed on the last day of training camp rather than miss games, and signed a six-year contract with a cap of 6. .75 million. His deal was worth 9.25% of the cap when it was signed, the equivalent of $7.6 million in 2022-23. He received a modified no-trade clause during the final year of his contract, the only free agent season covered by his contract.
$39 million – Dion Phaneuf
Signed during the last year of his entry-level contract, Phaneuf obtained paid. He was given a six-year contract with a cap of $6.5 million. His deal was worth 12.92% of the cap when he signed, the equivalent of $10.6 million in 2022-23. He received no trade or move protection in that deal and was traded a few seasons. (Intriguingly, his next deal had both a no-move clause and a modified no-trade clause.)
$36 million – Jacob Markstrom
Signed as a free agent, Markstrom was lured to Calgary on a six-year contract worth $6 million per season. His deal was worth 7.36% of the cap, the equivalent of $6.07 million in 2022-23. He received a full no-move clause each season of his contract.
$35 million – Jarome Iginla
Signed with a full season remaining on his previous contract in 2007, Iginla received the highest cap in franchise history at the time – as he was matched only by Tkachuk on a shorter contract. Iginla’s contract was for five years and was worth $7 million per season. His deal was worth 13.92% of the cap, the equivalent of $11.5 million in 2022-23. He received a full no-move clause each season of his contract.
$34.5 million – Dougie Hamilton
Signed as an RFA shortly after his trade from Boston, Hamilton signed a six-year contract worth $5.75 million per season. His deal was worth 8.05% of the cap, the equivalent of $6.64 million in 2022-23. His deal included a no-trade clause during the final two years of his deal, which covered his free agent years.
$33.4 million – Jay Bouwmeester
Signed shortly before the free agent market opened — just after Darryl Sutter traded his rights — Bouwmeester signed for five years at $6.68 million per season. His deal was worth 11.76% of the cap, the equivalent of $9.7 million in 2022-23. His deal included a no-trade clause.
$32.1 million – Mikael Backlund
Signed midway through the final year of his previous contract, Backlund was given a six-year contract worth $5.35 million per season. His deal was worth 7.13% of the cap, the equivalent of $5.9 million in 2022-23. His deal included a full no-trade for three seasons and a modified no-trade for the next three.
In the context of these large transactions – six of which have been signed by Treliving – what should we reasonably expect from potential new transactions for Weegar and Huberdeau? Our friend at Evolving Hockey projects Weegar’s next contract in five years with a cap of $7.227 million, with Huberdeau at eight years with a cap of $11.91 million.
Weegar with a $7.227 million cap would be the highest on the Flames (apart from Huberdeau), but would be around 20th league-wide among defensemen. It’s not terrible, and with Noah Hanifin’s contract after the 2023-24 season, Weegar’s deal would establish the team’s contract structure. (In the right direction.)
Huberdeau with $11.91 million would be second in the entire NHL behind Connor McDavid. The projection seems a bit high, but even something in the lofty $10 million range would be the NHL’s top 10 among all players. With Elias Lindholm’s contract expiring after the 2023-24 season and him set to get a raise, a big deal for Huberdeau would also set the contract structure for the Flames’ forwards. That could be good or bad, depending on how you anticipate Huberdeau aging during his contract.
What do you think would be reasonable long-term deals for Weegar and Huberdeau with the Flames? How expensive would be too expensive from your point of view? Let us know in the comments!
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