Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Amnesty Clause

It is never too early to plan ahead and the Flames should preparing for two issues right now. The first is The Amnesty Clause, a interesting new clause put in the new CBA. It gives the Flames a couple of options they wouldn't have otherwise. Should they use it, and if so, who should they use it on?

This is intertwined with whether or not they should re-sign Iginla, and of course which direction the team is intending to go next season. This will be answered by the trade deadline depending on whether the Flames are in the hunt or not. For example, if they are within 4 or 6 points of a playoff spot, I really do not expect team to send their Captain packing.  But of course if they are long out of the race, that is a whole new ball of wax. Seriously, is there a real need to keep Iggy if they are out of the playoffs? Why not trade the captain and his $7 million for cap relief in the off season? If the Flames decide to go this route, they may very well take advantage of the Amnesty Clause and do some buyouts.

Let's see; if I was Jay Feaster and decided to use the Amnesty Clause, who would I trade? I will mention the most obvious options for the buyouts.  Iginla is not an option, being an RFA at the end of the season.

1. Mike Cammalleri

Mike has been playing very well, arguably on the best line of late. So far, he has 5 goals and 8 assists, which projects his season at 13 goals and 21 assists. That would not be not that bad, rounding off to $461,000 a goal. His 13 assists work out to be rounded off to $285,714 an assist. Now strictly financially, that is not too impressive, but you have to look at his other values. Cammy is a +-3. The team is a minus 8 at the time I started writing the blog, putting them 26th in the League. He has one more year on his contract, making the buyout more economical. In reality, I really don't think the Flames will use this option.  Use Cammy as trade bait or to build the team around for next season.

2. Jiri Hudler

At the beginning of the season, Jiri was one of the best forwards on the team, coming up with big play after big play. So far, Jiri has 4 goals and 6 assists this season, which projects his season totals to be 11 goals and 16 assists. Which rounds off to $363,636 a goal.  His assists round off to $640,000 an assist. To me, Jiri has been the best
forward on the team most games. I would never consider him a option. He also has 3 more years of $4 million a year cap hit, making it an expensive buy-out proposition.

3. Matt Stajan

At the beginning of the season, I will be honest, I thought he would be a perfect option for a buyout. But of late, Matt has been one of the best forwards on the team. On one side, he is financially very friendly towards a buyout with only one more year at $3.5 million per season. His stats are 3 goals and 6 assists, which projects out to be 8 goals and 16 assists. Which rounding off, works out to be $437,500 a goal. His assists work out to be $218,750 dollars an assist. Matt is one of the best penalty killers on the team, and has been outstanding in this area. Again, at the beginning of the year I would said he as good as gone; right now, though, it is a lot harder.

4. Alex Tanguay

Alex is the best play maker on the team, there is no doubting that. His $3.5 million cap hit is quite cap friendly for his contribution to the team. He also has three more years after this season, making it a rather expensive buyout. So far, he has 6 goals and 10 assists, which projects his season to 16 goals and 27 assists, making him the top point getter on the team. His goals work out to be rounded off $583,333 a goal. His assists turn out to be the best bargain at $129,629 an assist. Alex leads the team in so many ways. With how happy I am with his play, there is no way he gets bought out. Unfortunately he may be a piece in the rebuilding process if the Flames go that route.

5. Curtis Glencross

Curtis has curbed his antics this season and has become more mature. His stats are 7 goals (which I think leads the team) and 4 assists (which does not lead the team) His season totals are projected to be 19 goals and 11 assists. His goals work out to be $131,578 a goal, which is the best bargain per goal. His assists turn out to $227,272 an assist, which is one of the best totals again. Curtis also has 2 more years at $2.5 million per season. Again, I would keep Curtis as a piece to do a rebuild around. The only way he goes is by his asking.

5. Lee Stempniak

Lee has been a very pleasant surprise this season. He has done extremely well with Cammy and Glencross. This season so far he has 5 goals and 7 assists. That projects out to be 13 goals and 19 assists.  It works out to be $285,083 a goal. His assists is the best bargain now at $75,021 an assist, which beat Tanguay's total. Stemp also has 2 more seasons at a $1.4 cap hit, which is one of the best in the League. That should answer your question on what I think.

Now on to the best options on using the Amnesty Clause on defense:

1. Jay Bouwmeester

Jay has been the best defenceman on the team this season. He has rarely been caught of position this season. Judging on his play, I would never consider it.  Now judging on his cap, which is $6.68 million this season, may be he is an option. His points so far this season are 3 goals and 7 assist.  That works out to 8 goals and 19 assists for the season. Which works out to be $835,000 a goal. His assist totals turn out to be $351,578 dollars an assist. The only factor that says he is a candidate, is the fact that if the Flames want to clear his $6.68 million cap, he may very well be easier to trade.

2. Dennis Wideman

It is not very likely that the Flames would use this option, as Denis has three more years at $5.25 million a season. Denis has been a inspirational leader on this team all season. His offensive totals so far 3 goals  7 assists, which projects to be 8 goals and 19 assists, the same as Jbo.  That works out to be $656,250 per goal. His assists work out to be $276,315 an assist. Which makes him a bargain compared to Jbo. No way do the Flames use Dennis as a buyout. Too expensive of an option.

3.  Mark Giordano

Mark has struggled this season. He has not been the strongest of late. His season totals are 1 goal and 2 assists.  A projected 3 goals and 5 assists for the season, which is really disappointing for Mark.  I am sure he will improve. Right now he is costing $1.3 a goal and $804,000 an assist. Mark has been solid defensively. He might be a good candidate for a trade. As a buyout, he still has a little over $4 million for the next three years.  I am not so sure the Flames would eat that much money in a buyout.

4. Anton Babchuk

Just buy him out already. Seriously, he has only played 2 games and scored 1 assist. Either use him and see what he can do, trade him, or buy him out. His projected totals would be 0 goals and 3 assists this season. Making him $2.0 million per goal and $667,000 an assist. Easy buyout.

In my opinion, the best buyout options are Jbo and Babchuk.


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Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.