May 01 2009 12:20AM
UFA Options is a continuing series that gives a brief run-down of the unrestricted free agent market this summer, team-by-team. Our next team for consideration is the Calgary Flames.
The Flames have a few impending free agents of significance and eight players in total eligible for the NHL’s summer cash grab. We’ll consider six because a) with all due respect to Carsen Germyn (who is a fine AHL player) he’s probably not on anybody’s high-end target list (with the possible exception of Kevin Prendergast) and b) Marcus Nilson seems done as an NHL’er after an 8-point showing in the KHL. Only five of those six played in the NHL this season; Anders Eriksson was a very pricey minor-leaguer.
- Age is calculated based on how old the player will be during the 2009-10 season.
- QualComp/QualTeam are the Quality of Competition/Teammates rankings from Behind the Net; the number appearing is each player’s ranking by position (forward/defense) on his own team.
- Def/Off Faceoffs is a comparison of the total number of shifts starting in the defensive and offensive zones, courtesy of Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice. A positive number indicates starting more in the defensive zone, a negative number the opposite.
- All advanced statistics are courtesy of Behind the Net.
Vital Stats: 27 years old, 5’9”, 185lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 3,350,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 81GP – 39G – 43A – 82PTS, -2 2008-09 Contextual: 5th QualComp, 2nd QualTeam, -102 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +12.2 Corsi/60, 2.62 EVPTS/60, 3.30 GFON/60, 2.96 GAON/60
Mike Cammalleri’s a very interesting player, and he’s received less attention than I would have expected for an almost-forty goal scorer. Calgary had a very good team this year so it’s difficult to read too much into which zone Cammalleri started in, but he’s awfully high-event for a guy getting so much time in the right end of the rink. He’ll get a big payday this summer, almost certainly not with Calgary, but the truth is that he was placed in a position to succeed this past season and while he deserves credit for taking advantage of it and putting up big point totals he isn’t a complete player. Given what Cammalleri’s likely to cost on the open market, if I were an NHL GM I’d likely look elsewhere for a goal-scorer.
Vital Stats: 35 years old, 6’3”, 231lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,950,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 66GP – 15G – 29A – 44PTS, -13 2008-09 Contextual: 10th QualComp, 3rd QualTeam, -73 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +5.9 Corsi/60, 1.64 EVPTS/60, 2.62 GFON/60, 3.14 GAON/60
I’m not a fan of Bertuzzi, who got plenty of powerplay time but put up pedestrian numbers (including in the GFON/60 department, which is usually a high number for forwards of Bertuzzi’s ilk), and was sheltered in a deep lineup but still bled chances against. A team looking for bulk on their second line might pick him up, but at this point I think he’s such a defensive liability that he isn’t likely to be a positive difference maker and whichever coach gets him will need to manage his situational play very carefully.
Vital Stats:29 years old, 6’, 197lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 600,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 27GP – 8G – 8A – 16PTS, +2 2008-09 Contextual: 12th QualComp, 11th QualTeam, -14 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +6.2 Corsi/60, 2.50 EVPTS/60, 2.70 GFON/60, 2.31 GAON/60
Lundmark got a good thing going this season in Calgary, and if both sides are smart he’ll return there. From the Flames’ perspective he should be relatively cheap and has shown an ability to chip in offense; something they’ll need this coming season. From Lundmark’s perspective, he isn’t likely to get the same crack at a roster spot on another team, and a few good seasons in Calgary could move him from fringe player into a more comfortable position.
Vital Stats:36 years old, 6’2”, 212lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 4,000,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 81GP – 10G – 24A – 34PTS, -8 2008-09 Contextual: 4th QualComp, 2nd QualTeam, -37 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +13.3 Corsi/60, 0.92 EVPTS/60, 2.62 GFON/60, 2.72 GAON/60
Adrian Aucoin was one of the many big-dollar men on the Flames blueline this season, but I don’t think his contract was an outrageous overpay (although I have difficulty seeing him getting another one at that rate). He’s got a hard shot and a well-rounded game and has rebounded nicely after a post-lockout slump in Chicago. He’s got fair size and for a Flames defenseman was reasonably low-event (although of course Regehr and Sarich are the real stars in that department).
Vital Stats: 29 years old, 6’1”, 200 lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,500,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 83GP – 7G – 17A – 24PTS, -15 2008-09 Contextual: 7th QualComp, 7th QualTeam, -125 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +2.3 Corsi/60, 0.84 EVPTS/60, 2.42 GFON/60, 3.31 GAON/60
One of only two Colorado defenseman with a positive Corsi (Daniel Tjarnqvist was the other), Leopold was sent out almost exclusively for offensive zone work and was never exposed to high-level opposition. While the ugly goals against totals were at least partially the fault of the incredibly incompetent duo of Budaj and Raycroft, Leopold isn’t reliable defensively. Making matters worse, he’s constructed entirely of glass.
Vital Stats: 35 years old, 6’3”, 224 lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,500,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 64GP – 4G – 45A – 49PTS, +8 (AHL) 2008-09 Contextual: N/A 2008-09 Advanced Stats: N/A
Ever the butt of jokes, Eriksson’s actually a relatively useful 6th/7th defenseman. He was overpaid this year but a team looking for some puck-distribution on it’s back end could find a bargain here. I’ve also read a lot of very positive things about his character and affability in the dressing room, so while he’s prone to the occasional glaring brain-cramp on the ice, if expectations are kept reasonable he could be a very pleasant surprise for some team.