Calgary Flames Projected 2017-18 Roster

The Flames 2017-18 roster is coming into focus. Here's a rundown of recent transactions by general manager Brad Treliving:
  • June 17 - Traded for G Mike Smith to be the team's starter
  • June 23 - Drafted D Juuso Valimaki 16th overall in NHL draft
  • June 24 - Traded for D Travis Hamonic to round out the top four
  • June 27 - Signed highly-touted college free agent RW Spencer Foo
  • June 29 - Re-signed veteran RW Kris Versteeg
  • June 29 - Traded for G Eddie Lack to be the back-up
  • June 30 - Re-signed D Michael Stone
  • July 1 - Signed C/LW Marek Hrivik to a two-way deal
  • July 2 - Signed LW Luke Gazdic to a two-way deal
  • July 13 - Re-signed LW/RW Micheal Ferland
  • July 14 - Re-signed C/RW Curtis Lazar
  • July 20 - Re-signed RW Garnet Hathaway

With these recent additions and signings in mind, I've built a roster that if everyone is healthy, should resemble the group of 23 players that will open the year with Calgary when the Flames visit Edmonton on Oct. 4 to kick off the regular season.

This is my best guess as of July 21 as to who will be on the big club and who is more likely to start the season in the minors. These projections are subject to change. Also, don't get too hung up on the actual line combinations listed.

I also stick-handled around a handful of restricted free agents (highlighted in yellow). To get a true sense of how close to the salary cap the team is, I've included my best guess at what their AAV figures will come in at for this season. In some cases (e.g. Bennett), I factored in a nice raise. In other instances (e.g. Kulak), I basically assigned them their qualifying offer. I will update these figures as contracts are agreed to and cap hits become known.

How Much Loot Can Treliving Spend?

That's a bit of a loaded question.

Now you'll see a figure below ($2.5 million) of the approximate cap space available. Understand that this is with a full 23-man roster as I've constructed it. If you subtract a player (i.e. demote him to the minors) to open up a roster spot, that player's listed NHL salary would no longer count so you have that much more money to spend if there is a free agent that interests you.
For example, removing Mark Jankowski increases the available cap space to spend on a replacement forward by $925,000. Thus, the available cap space for Treliving to spend on a free agent would grow from $2.5 million to $3.4 million based on my projected roster/payroll.

That said, there are a couple other variables to consider.

1. There could be individual bonuses owed this season. Matthew Tkachuk is a prime example. He could earn as much as $850,000 in performance bonuses, which would add onto his $925,000 AAV. Calgary may want to adjust their internal cap to allow a cushion for that. Otherwise, any overage has to come off their 2018-19 salary cap.

2. While I've been working off a 23-man roster, I get the impression that if the team is healthy, coach Glen Gulutzan likes to carry just two extras rather than three. That ultimately would save cap space.

So it's not quite as simple as I've portrayed it below but for my purposes, this is close enough and does the trick of providing a sense of where the team is at overall.


NHL Salary Cap in 2017-18
$75.0 million

Flames Projected Payroll 
$72.5 million
(23 players - 14 forwards, 7 defencemen, 2 goaltenders)

Projected Available Cap Space
$2.5 million 


Breakdown by Position


$38.7 million
(14 spots taken, 0 spots to fill)

Starting 12

Gaudreau (L) $6.75M - Monahan (L) $6.38M - Ferland (L) $1.75M
Tkachuk* (L) $925K - Backlund (L) $3.58M - Frolik (L) $4.3M
Versteeg (R) $1.75M - Bennett (L) $2.5M? - Brouwer (R) $4.5M
Stajan (L) $3.13M - Jankowski* (L) $925K - Lazar (R) $950K


LW Gazdic (L) $650K
C/RW Hamilton (R) $612K

Other Candidates
 (not factored into the payroll)

RW Hathaway (R) $650K
C/LW Hrivik (L) $650K
RW Poirier (L) $863K
RW Foo* (R) $925K
LW Shinkaruk (L) $863K

* Waiver exempt

$25.8 million
(7 spots taken, 0 spots to fill)

Starting Six

Giordano (L) $6.75M - Hamilton (R) $5.75M
Brodie (L) $4.65M - Hamonic (R) $3.86M
Kulak (L) $660K? - Stone (R) $3.5M


Bartkowski (L) $612K

Other Candidates
 (not factored into the payroll)

Andersson* (R) $756K
Wotherspoon (L) $700K?

* Waiver exempt

$5.6 million
(2 spots taken, 0 spots to fill)


Smith $4.25M
Lack $1.38M


Other Expenses
$2.4 million

Buyout Costs
$1.8 million
(Raymond $1.05M, Bouma $667K, Murphy $100K)

2016-17 Bonus Overage



    1. Looks great I can't wait until October 4

    2. Gives us about 3-3.5 million if we want to sign Jagr/Parenteau/Iggy for offensive depth. Or else use that space for a big name forward at the deadline and/or to cushion bonus overages for next year. Even with the Brouwer deal (and Stone deal to a lesser extent, but that's my seemingly controversial opinion), BT has done a wonderful job of navigating us out of cap hell and positioned us really well for the future. His attention to detail in terms of our future cap plans is outstanding.

      Outside of depth UFA signings, BT has been fantastic at every other aspect of his job.

      1. I think they're looking at a couple options but whether one of them comes together or not, we'll see. I don't think they feel compelled to bring in another player just because they have the money to do so. As you mentioned, there are other ways where that cushion could come in handy and if they don't spend to the cap this year, I don't think the owners would complain one bit.

    3. Will Stajan in Stockton be an option?

      1. I highly doubt that's how his final season goes for Matt Stajan. I don't expect him to play all 82 games and I suspect he'll play some wing and open up playing time at centre but he's so respected, and with the young group at centre, he's an ideal mentor. I just don't envision him being kicked to the curb in Stockton in his final season, I believe Gulutzan values him too much for that.

    4. Thanks Darren! Solid article. I hadn't considered the bonuses aspect of Tkachuk's contract.

      1. Thanks. Now we'll see if they are content to just have some money left over in their wallet or if it burns a hole in their pocket and they feel compelled to spend it!