After signing Micheal Ferland to a 2-year deal yesterday, the Flames crossed another restricted free agent off their list by signing Curtis Lazar to a 2-year contract, where he will make $950,000 annually.
Lazar was acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline for a second round pick and Jyrki Jokipakka. Lazar had a very rough season in Ottawa, missing the start of the year with mononucleosis and struggling to find his footing with the club upon returning.
He had no goals and 1 assist in 33 games with Ottawa, but contributed 1 goal and 2 assists in just 4 games with the Flames.
I was pretty skeptical of the Flames trading a second rounder for Lazar at the past deadline, as it seems as though he has always being overvalued in professional hockey circles. He never produced like a first round talent in the WHL despite being drafted as one and was rushed to the NHL.
However, he does have a lot of likeable attributes as a player and perhaps playing in Glen Gulutzan's system and alongside better linemates than he had in Ottawa will help him be able to get back on track with his career. As a right-shot, he has a good chance to fit somewhere in the bottom-six for the Flames.
In terms of this contract, this is a perfect deal. If Lazar is able to rebound and be the sort of player the Flames envision he can be, this will be good value. If he is not able to and continues to struggle to be an everyday NHLer, that is a small cap hit that can easily be buried in the AHL if need be.
With Ferland and Lazar now signed, Sam Bennett and Brett Kulak are the only NHL RFAs the club has left to sign, with just over $7 million in cap space.