Calgary Flames

Sunday Census: Team friendly contracts, a disappointing start, and depth scoring

Welcome back to another week of Sunday Census! Each week we ask you a number of questions on Twitter (@wincolumnblog) about things that are happening with the Flames this week. Want to make sure your opinion is taken into effect? Vote in the polls, start a debate, and propose alternative suggestions on the polls!

One of the most impressive aspects of Brad Treliving’s GM resume would be his ability to sign his restricted free agents to extremely reasonable and team friendly contracts. That being said, aside from a few UFA contracts, the majority of core players on the Flames right now are signed to reasonable deals. A few of those players deals are considered to be even more helpful against the salary cap than others, so we wanted to see who fans thought had the most team friendly contract at this point in time.

The options: Mark Giordano, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau, and Sean Monahan. How do their numbers stack up?

Contract LengthAAVPPG (Last Season)PPG (This Season)Cost Per Point
Mark Giordano6 Years$6,750,0000.950.75$91,216
Elias Lindholm6 Years$4,850,0000.960.75$62,179
Johnny Gaudreau6 Years$6,750,00 01.210.88$68,182
Sean Monahan7 Years$6,375,0001.050.75$77,744

Let’s start off by stating the obvious; all four of these contracts are beyond team friendly. When comparing them to the rest of the league, the Flames have their number one defenseman and entire top line locked up to long term deals.

Fans don’t appear to think Monahan’s is the absolute best, which is fair when looking at the other options, but for a number one centre it’s still a steal.

Giordano also didn’t receive as many votes as expected, most likey for similar reasons, but havingl a Norris Trophy winning defenseman in this current salary landscape at $6.75M per season is very valuable. Perhaps this contract didn’t receive additional votes due to the length and age Giordano will be when it finishes. Although Giordano remains young and fresh, he will be 38 in the final year of his deal, which is a cause for concern.

It was really a two-horse race between Gaudreau and Lindholm, and based on the numbers it makes a lot of sense. Both players posted the two lowest cost per point (CPP) numbers at $68,182 and $62,179 respectively, while also posting PPGs above at least 0.96. The fans opted for Gaudreau, to no surprise, but I think there is a strong case to be made for Lindholm having the best contract at this point in time. Currently leading the team in goals (5) and tied for second in points (6), Lindholm is having the better start of all the players in this poll. Plus, Lindholm plays a key two-way role, both on the PP and PK, which is tough to find at $4.85M per season.

Although Gaudreau wins this round, the numbers show that maybe it’s Lindholm that should hold the honour.

The Flames have gotten off to a mediocre start this year, especially with last night’s sour loss. Inconsistencies on a nightly basis makes you wonder what team will show up on the ice for each game. Some of that is a result of specific depth players having a tough time getting their skates under them to start the season. We wanted to see who the fans thought was having the most disappointing start in this young season. The term “disappointing” was up to interpretation in terms of lack of offensive production, defensive play, or overall usage.

Very few votes went to Austin Czarnik, who at this time really doesn’t have a spot on the Flames roster, but that’s not surprising because expectations would be lower for him since he’s the rotating forward.

Surprising to see that Milan Lucic didn’t get more votes in this poll. That isn’t because he’s having a bad start, but simply because he’s become the man of discussion around the team so far this season. It’s entirely possible that expectations for Lucic were also very low, therefore the fans are simply getting what they assumed at this point.

This poll was another two way race, but this time in the opposite direction between Mark Jankowski and Sam Bennett. Ironically, the numbers show two totally different players:

5v5 Stats CF%SCF%HDCF%xGF%
Mark Jankowski58.2%58.8%60.0%60.3%
Sam Bennett47.3%45.7%44.4%57.2%

The two players rank 15th and 17th in 5v5 ice time, but sport totally opposite stats. The fans actually appear to have gotten this one right, saying Bennett had the toughest start. We recently took a look at how tough of a start he was having, and clearly fans think the same.

What is interesting is the amount of vitriol towards Jankowski so far this season, especially after seeing his strong underlying numbers. He is still pointless on the year and has been playing an extremely limited roll, but his stats show that he has been on the right side of the play. Does that mean he can turn it around? Possibly, but his NHL role still appears to be confusing to both the team and fans. That being said, the results show that people are still disappointed in both players start. Here’s to hoping they can both turn it around.

Depth scoring has been an interesting topic of late for the Flames. Through the first few games, the bottom six group did not contribute any offence, but the previous two wins highlighted the Flames’ scoring depth. It’s a bit of toss up where they sit right now, but that being said we wanted to see which bottom six forward would end up with the most goals.

Was hoping to see more love for Lucic on this poll, but alas fans do not have high hopes for #17. On the bright side, less goals means that the third round selection from Edmonton is closer to a certainty.

Derek Ryan ended up slightly ahead of Lucic, but not by much. With 13 goals last season, it’s surprising not to see more love for #10. With the most goals last season among the group listed in the poll, it looks like Flames fans either have higher hopes for other players or think he could take a slight step back.

Bennett is back on this list, but getting a bit more love compared the the previous poll. Also with 13 goals last season, fans still are holding out hope for Bennett to break the 20 goal plateau at some point in his career. It’s not impossible, but based on what we have seen so far, it’s highly improbable.

This was a landslide victory for Andrew Mangiapane. With two goals on the season so far, fans clearly think this is Mangiapane’s season. His recent injury will hold him out for a few games, but upon his return it wouldn’t be surprising to see him light the lamp even more. With eight goals last season, including a lone goal in the playoffs, Mangiapane has the most upside among this group of players. It makes the most sense to see #88 leading the bottom six in scoring come game #82.

Want to be a part of the conversation next time around? Follow us on Twitter @wincolumnblog and be sure to keep a look out for our polls throughout the week.

Photo by: Gerry Thomas / Calgary Flames Hockey Club

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