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Flames Free Agency; using their cap efficiently, who should they keep?

Calgary has a lot of options this offseason, but I do think they should keep Karri Ramo, and try to trade for a goalie like Robin Lehner. Lehner was supposed to be the goaltending prodigy for the Ottawa Senators. They should resign players with the likes of Lance Bouma, Micheal Ferland, Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron, and a few others. But players like Corey Potter, are dead weight and just add on to the salary cap. In the salary cap era you must be careful with your contracts, especially since all the young kids like Gaudreau and Monahan are gonna want a huge pay raise soon.
Calgary Flames 2015 Free Agents

UFA: 8

RFA: 16

UFA VI: 1

D: 7

F: 15

G: 2

A lot of free agents for the Flames this season, and you can imagine they will be locking up a few of them. Players with the likes of Lance Bouma, Micheal Ferland, Mikael Backlund, and the already signed T.J. Brodie.

When Lance Bouma settled for a one-year deal last summer, even after what seemed to be a breakout campaign, the message from Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving was simple.

Let’s see you do it again.

Well … the fearless forward responded by showing more … although there were times his boss could hardly stand to watch.

“There are players you need in your lineup that help you win, and I think Lance Bouma is one of those guys,” Treliving said after Tuesday’s exit meetings at the Saddledome. “His parents, I hope, don’t watch games most nights because they’d spend most of their nights with their eyes closed, as I do, with the toll he puts on his body.”

The 25-year-old Bouma is set to become a restricted free agent, so his representatives might want to clip out that comment for his upcoming contract negotiations.

After notching a career-high 16 goals and 34 points while earning only US$775,000 this winter, the 25-year-old left-winger from Provost, Alta., is due for a handsome raise.

“You take the challenge, and you want to do well with it, and you want to show them that you’re worth it, so I’m happy with my year,” said Bouma, who was also tops on the team with 264 hits and led all Flames forwards with 82 blocked shots, including one that shattered his index finger late in the regular season.

“It was a big step from last year. I still have more room to grow, and I’m just looking forward to building on that.”

The Flames’ lengthy list of soon-to-be restricted free-agents also includes forwards Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron, Micheal Ferland, Josh Jooris and Drew Shore.

The most intriguing case is the 26-year-old Backlund, who had a solid showing in the playoffs but could also be mentioned as trade bait thanks to Calgary’s sudden stockpile of young centres.

“I love Calgary. This city feels like home to me now,” Backlund said. “I’d love to be part of the future here.

“We’ll see what happens this summer, if they want to keep me around, but I like it here and I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Hopefully, the right numbers and the right deal.”

For Bouma, the right deal is preferably a long-term pact.

“We have a great group of guys, and we’re going the right direction,” Bouma said.

“I want to be here for awhile, be here for a long time.”

And what about Ferland?

After emerging as a fan favourite during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the rookie wrecking ball is anxious to prove the Saddledome should be his full-time hockey home next season.

The 23-year-old made his NHL debut on Halloween night and now has a grand total of 35 big-league outings on his resume.

That taste of NHL life has him eager for more.

“I know I don’t want to play in the American League,” Ferland said.

“Having a taste of this, I want to have a good summer, get prepared for next year and give myself the best opportunity to play on this team.”

Officially, David Schlemko never scored a point for the Calgary Flames.

Unofficially, he scored the club’s highlight goal of the season.

Flames fans were still trying to figure out how to pronounce the new defenceman’s name when Bob Hartley tapped him on the shoulder and sent him out for a shootout attempt in Boston.

Next thing you know, he’s a hashtag: #TheSchlemko.

“It’s kinda faded off a little bit, but it was kinda cool,” Schlemko said of the furor his ridiculous dangle created.

“Being in my first game, you realize you’re in a Canadian market right away with how much it blew up.

“It was a little crazy.”

The 28-year-old will head into the summer as one of three unrestricted free agents on the Flames roster along with goaltender Karri Ramo and fellow blueliner Raphael Diaz.

Schlemko, who also played with the Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars this season, said re-signing with the Flames is his first choice.

“We talked a little bit with Brad (Treliving, Flames GM) right now but they’ve gotta go through all their meetings and talk and see what happens,” Schlemko said. “Brad’s a busy man right now.

“I feel lucky to have landed here. It was a tough start in Phoenix. And things never really got going in Dallas. So I was really lucky to land here. I’ve known Brad for a long time from my days in Phoenix.

“He gave me an opportunity and I tried to take advantage of it.”

Schlemko has never been an unrestricted free agent and said he’s unsure how he feels about it.

“It’s a bit of a different feeling,” the Edmonton product said. “I’ve always re-signed before becoming a free agent.”

Diaz, who had four points in 56 regular-season skates, said he’s unsure what his future holds.

“That’s a good question,” the 29-year-old Swiss product said. “Of course, it would be real nice to stay here.

“The playoffs was unbelievable. I never seen anything like that before.

“You went on the ice and you see everywhere it was red. It was one of the highlights.”

PLAYER UFA/RFA POS DATE TERM TYPE DOLLARS TEAM
Acolatse, Sena RFA D
Agostino, Kenneth RFA F
Arnold, Bill RFA F
Backlund, Mikael RFA F
Bouma, Lance RFA F
Brodie, T.J. RFA D 10/20/2014 5 Years 1 Way $23,250,000 Calgary Flames
Byron, Paul RFA F
Cundari, Mark UFA VI D
Diaz, Raphael UFA D
Elson, Turner RFA F
Ferland, Michael RFA F
Hanowski, Ben RFA F
Jooris, Josh RFA F
McGrattan, Brian UFA F
Potter, Corey UFA D
Ramage, John RFA D
Ramo, Karri UFA G
Reinhart, Max RFA F
Schlemko, David UFA D
Setoguchi, Devin UFA F
Shore, Drew RFA F
Thiessen, Brad UFA G
Van Brabant, Bryce RFA F
Wolf, David RFA

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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