Last season the Calgary Flames were duped into paying Lance Bouma a 3yr/$6.6M contract with an average cap hit of $2.2M. Bouma had scored 16 goals and 18 assists last season, a stat that blinded both the organization and the fans. This season Bouma has 2 goals, 5 assists and has played in only 37 of the Flames 73 games thus far.
This year the Flames may find themselves in a similar situation with Joe Colborne and his upcoming restricted free agent status. While they have different styles of play, they have shared similarities in both of their contract seasons (Bouma 2014-15, Colborne 2015-16).
Through 64 games, Colborne has 16 goals (double last years total) and 17 assists. Bouma's 16 goals last year were triple his previous output. Both players have scored key goals and have surprised the Flames fans with their offensive outputs.
Both also have relied on the rest of their team to set them up for their goals, Bouma and Backlund last year and Colborne with various players this season especially Bennett and Backlund. Most of Colborne's goals have been right place-right time, which is also a good skill to have but shows that he got lucky more than anything.
The chart below explains each of his goals, and out of the sixteen he scored, he was the key player in only a few of them.
|1||Oct-23||vs DET||Giordano, Hudler||Deflection||EA*||2-2|
|2||Oct-28||at OTT||Monahan, Hudler||Loose Puck, Open Net||Even||2-2|
|3||Nov-07||vs PIT||Bennett, Backlund||Shot from Slot||Even||1-0|
|4||Dec-12||vs NYR||Stajan, Russell||Shot from Slot||Even||4-1|
|5||Dec-22||vs WPG||Giordano, Ferland||Deflection||Even||2-0|
|6||Jan-24||at CAR||Granlund, Brodie||Shot from Slot||Even||2-3|
|7||Jan-25||at DAL||Hudler, Engelland||Close One Timer||Even||1-2|
|8||Feb-12||at ARI||Brodie, Giordano||Loose Puck, Open Net||Even||1-3|
|9||Feb-19||vs VAN||Backlund, Brodie||Slot One Timer||Even||1-0|
|10||Feb-27||vs OTT||Bennett, Backlund||Shot from Slot||PPG||1-0|
|11||Mar-05||at PIT||Bennett, Jokipakka||Deflection||Even||1-1|
|13||Mar-14||vs STL||Bouma, Hamilton||Wide Open Net||Even||1-0|
|14||Mar-16||vs WPG||Frolik, Backlund||Crazy Bounce||Even||1-0|
|15||Mar-20||at MTL||Brodie, Bennett||Open Net, Tap In||Even||1-0|
|16||Mar-21||at TOR||Hamilton, Giordano||Deflection||Even||2-2|
However, Colborne also occupies that title of biggest Flames forward and if he can pack some more muscle to his frame, then he has the potential to become a strong power forward. Colborne will also need to improve his driving for the puck but if that happens, coupled with a 30-40 points a season, he could be a strong signing for the Flames for the future.
But only at the right price. With Colborne's current contract at $1.275M, he'll likely be looking for a raise this offseason. The Flames need to be smart with their contracts with Gaudreau, Monahan, and Bennett all requiring new contracts in the near future so this contract will be important to navigate. As long as the Flames don't get sucked into a big contract with Colborne, then I have no problem resigning him.