He solved a glaring need in the crease and added a veteran right-shot winger to his forward corps, but Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving’s off-season won’t be complete until he signs his two young stars.
Gaudreau and Monahan, 22 and 21 years old respectively, combined for 57 goals and 141 points in 2015-16. Gaudreau’s 78 points had him tied for sixth place on the NHL’s leaderboard.
Treliving would like to get the pair signed to long-term deals, much like he did with defenceman Dougie Hamilton last summer, when the then-RFA agreed to a six-year contract with an average annual value of $5.75 million. Gaudreau and Monahan can probably expect a higher AAV.
“What they on their side want to manage is what does that number look like if they’re to commit for six, seven, eight years, what does that number look like in three, four, five years in terms of the marketplace,” said Treliving. “So, the preference for us would be to have some cost certainty with them, get them under contract for term, but again it takes two to make a deal here and we’ll continue to work away at it.”
According to General Fanager, the Flames currently have just under $15 million in cap space, and would ideally have some room left over to add more depth after getting their young stars signed.
“We’ve done a lot of modelling here. The cap system here there’s only so many shekels to go around here so we’re leaving space obviously,” said Treliving. “I think there’s maybe a little bit more room to do something if something else that makes sense comes up, but obviously getting those two under contract is a priority.
“The timing of which, we’ll continue to work at it. I wish it was yesterday, but we don’t play till October.”
Currently, the highest-paid forward on the Flames is newly signed Troy Brouwer, who will earn $4.5 million in each of the next four seasons. Treliving also brought in goaltender Chad Johnson to serve as the backup to Brian Elliott who was acquired at the draft.
The Flames might still be in the market for a defenceman, with Treliving saying he’d be leaning towards a lefty in what’s become a much tamer marketplace now that July 1 has come and gone.
“It’s not just necessarily the free agent market but is there deals that start to shake loose a little bit more now that teams have gone out and spent money and maybe need to move money or have too much of one thing (and) not enough of the other,” he said. “We’ll be patient.”