According to a report from the always reliable Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Flames will avoid salary arbitration with winger Micheal Ferland and sign him to a 2-Year Contract, worth $1.75 million a season.
Hearing CAL and Micheal Ferland working on a two-year, $3.5M deal. Avoids arbitration— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2017
The deal will conclude following the 2018-19 season, after which Ferland will become an unrestricted free agent.
This is a very reasonable contract for a player that ended up being a nice fit on the Calgary Flames' top line for the last couple of months of the past season. Ferland provided a bit of everything in that role and has been a nice complement to the softer styles of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. While his shooting percentage will likely not stay at the same level as the previous season (14.2%), it should even out somewhere between that and his 2015-16 shooting percentage of 3.3%.
The term of this contract is solid in that it helps the Flames out a lot right now, as they should have space to add another piece if they wish, as they will have about $8 million in cap space with just Sam Bennett, Curtis Lazar and Brett Kulak left to sign. If Ferland can continue to be a solid piece on the top line, $1.75 million will be a terrific bargain, but the team will need to pay up after for his next deal.
Ultimately, this was a very good approach to signing Ferland. It should definitely help keep Sam Bennett and Curtis Lazar at reasonable salaries for their new contracts, given that Ferland had a better season than either of them last year. It also gives the team more time to discover what they truly have in Ferland and whether he is an optimal long-term fit in a top-6 role on a contending team.