A couple days ago LW Curtis Glencross signed a new contract with the Calgary Flames as GM Jay Feaster's first official move as non-Acting GM, which is news we'll get to later. In the meantime, we've got a nice round up of everyone's opinions on this. Read on after the jump.
While I think under any other circumstances that this signing should be considered a homerun considering the value and the type of character player that is returning—I always felt that the more Flames signed to other teams, the better off the Flames would be. The fact of the matter is, the Flames are continuing down the path of the forest enchanted by Darryl, they’re recycling the same players they’ve lost with for years and then they’re tying them up longterm. Eventually that cycle has to change, and eventually this team is going to have to test its prospect pool. Congratulations to Curtis, he deserved this deal, and I hope it turns out well for both sides.
The fact that the Flames have re-signed Glencross and awarded him a significant raise after a career season obviously presents Flames fans with a reason to worry. He likely won't shoot 16.1% again next season and has always been somewhat inconsistent, but his 24 goals and 43 points this past season were not all luck--at 5 v. 5, the team shot 9% with Glencross on the ice and had an SV% of .906, good for an average PDO of 99.6, lower than that of fellow UFA Alex Tanguay. He didn't face the toughest opposition of all regular forwards and had a favourable ZoneStart ratio (51.4%), but Glencross had very good underlying numbers (+5.99 Corsi/60) this past season and Brent Sutter seems to know how to use him to his advantage against similar competition and which players compliment him. At $2.55M/year for four seasons, Glencross' cap hit is probably reasonable for a 20-goal scorer and quite manageable; the deal will also expire when Glencross is 32-years old, meaning that the Flames will have him under contract for the remainder of his prime years as a hockey player. The no-movement clause isn't ideal, but then again it wouldn't be a Flames contract without one.
In and of itself, this deal is pretty okay. It's an alright dollar amount for an alright term length. I am bothered by the NMC, since we have like 453052 already, and while I can't foresee wanting to trade Glencross, you never know what'll come up or what'll happen. Still, that's not the issue I have with the deal.
No, my issue is the fact that it happened at all. The Flames failed to make the playoffs this past season, and in fact failed to really get close (as far as the season as a whole is concerned. Obviously there were times where they were "in"). And yet New Management seems intent on icing the exact same team as last year, provided Alex Tanguay signs for a reasonable price. That's great and all if you expect Tim Erixon and Mikael Backlund and T.J. Brodie and whoever else pleases you to suddenly become blue chip prospects, but they're not. They're legit NHL prospects, but nothing more. They'll be slightly above replacement level players at best.
What I'm saying is, the Glencross signing shows a refusal to truly improve the team, which you basically have to do if you're not a contender and not rebuilding. And that means a lot of middling years ahead.