Breaking down some UFA possibilities for the Flames
July 1st is approaching fast and with the current cap space, roughly 7.56 million who should the Flames target? The team has a hole on defence with Regehr playing in Buffalo but many young d-men could get that opportunity now. Feaster wants young guys to compete for jobs; so does he stick to his word or is there a d-man he covets…
Pardy & Babchuk have been offered contracts but no word if they will accept.
D-men under contract at the moment include; Giordano (4.02) Bouwmeester (6.68) Sarich (3.60) Carson (0.575) Negrin (0.79) Brodie (0.71) Seabrook (0.568) Breen (0.543) with Butler, Pelech, Meyers, Baldwin and Mikkelson as RFA. Total $ committed: $17.486 mill.
Few UFA defensemen that could interest the Flames:
-James Wisniewski Previous salary = $3.25mill
With over 50 points this season and improving his +- once he got to Montreal, James is looking for a raise. Great shot, physical presents and great character guy. I believe many teams will be calling. I feel that is why he has not re-signed in Montreal. He wants to know what he can get in this weak UFA class. Should the Flames go after Wizzer? I’d love him on the team but with a lot of interest coming (Detroit, Edmonton, Washington, etc.) his way, adding the possibility of a raise from his 3.25mill, Wisniewski may just be too expensive for the Flames.
-Andy Greene Previous salary = $0.737mill
Many will laugh at him with a +- of -23. So why would I suggest him to the Flames? I believe what we saw last year was not the Andy Greene that I believe he is. Greene is a mobile puck moving d-man that can help a second power play unit greatly. He has a good first pass and that was evident in ’09-’10 season where Parise benefitted from his smooth passes. I believe Andy could add some depth with an upside at a reasonably cheap price. He wants to prove himself again and a one year deal might be a nice low risk option for the Flames.
-Scott Hannan Previous salary = $4.5mill
Fair to say his big contract was a questionable one. At the age of 32 he is still an effective physical d-man that can be an asset to any team. How about a decent Regehr replacement? Perhaps… with a salary decrease he could just blend in nicely in the Flames model for a year or two. Feaster wants to be “tough” to play against and he trades Regehr…so how about adding Hannan with a smaller cap hit than Regehr.
-Steve Montador Previous salary = $1.55mill
Ever since he left the Flames back in ’05 he has been a +39 player. Pretty impressive and adding his two way game now he is a different player than what most of us remember of him. A vocal guy who can do it all and with Feaster seeing a lot of him in the past few years out East, maybe Montador will come back where it all began. Obviously what is his worth in dollars? I have no idea but I would have no problem signing Steve at a similar contract as his previous one (1.5mill)
I know players like Pitkanen, Erhoff and Bieksa could become UFA as well but with the current market and cap space I feel those guys are not on the Flames radar as of right now.
This is my take on possible defenseman the Flames could covet come Friday, look out for my “forwards” UFA class coming soon.