In related news, Paul Byron was still a Flame?
You may not remember him because he missed 24 of the final 25 games of last season and Calgary’s 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Byron had surgery to repair a sports hernia in May and an operation on his wrist in June. He will have a pin removed from his wrist the first week of September and hopes to be ready for the start of training camp.
Paul Byron is the third (and final) Flame to avoid arbitration, signing a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Byron (5-foot-7, 153 pounds) scored six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Calgary last season. He has 17 goals and 48 points in 138 NHL games.
Byron is a good energy guy, and you’re not really going to get an NHLer for much cheaper than that.
So who’s left without a contract?
So with the recent signings of Byron, Jooris and Bouma we have four players from last year without contracts. Of those there are really two of note (sorry Corey Potter and David Wolf) and they are David Schlemko and Micheal Ferland.
The best part of the Schlemko’s game was the Let’s go, Schlemko! chants from the crowd. I’m not sure he brought much value other than that. Now for this year, with seven NHL defencemen under contract –Hamilton, Wideman, Brodie, Giordano, Smid, Engelland and Russell – it’s unlikely that the Flames are going to persue the UFA before the start of camp. I think Smid and Engelland will have to earn back their spots as well with guys like Tyler Wotherspoon knocking at the door.
Micheal Ferland is another story. Although the body of work was small, I think the Flames, the fans and Ferland all saw what type of player he could be. Since the contract will likely be short because he’s still unproven combined with the fact that he’s a restricted free agent mean that Ferland will be signed for around the $1M-1.5M mark.