If reports are true that Lance Bouma was asking for $2.5 million in arbitration, he didn’t have to settle for a whole lot less from the Calgary Flames.
The two sides struck a deal a day later, agreeing to a three-year, $6.6 million contract, according to the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby. (The Flames confirmed the term, but not the money.)
Bouma (pictured wearing No. 17) easily set career highs in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34) this past season.
That reported $2.2 million cap hit doesn’t sting too badly next season – General Fanager pegs the Flames’ cap room at about $4 million after the signing – but it might become regrettable once Calgary really fires up negotiations with players on expiring contracts.
Just look at the most noteworthy contributors who only have one year left on their current deals:
Top UFAs after 2015-16
Top RFAs after 2015-16
Even pondering the savings they’d potentially enjoy from switching up goalies – Hiller and Ramo are a tough investment at a combined $8.3 million cap hit – that’s a formidable set of negotiations for the franchise.
Bouma, 25, brings energy and hustle to the table, yet many probably hoped that the Flames would save a little money on a player who isn’t expected to light up the scoreboard.
It appears as though the Calgary Flames and Lance Bouma are $1 million apart as today marks their salary arbitration hearing.
That’s the word from Sportsnet’s Roger Millions, who reports that Bouma is asking for $2.5 million while the Flames counter with $1.5 million.
The instinctive response is to say “split the difference” and hand Bouma $2 million, but these types of situations aren’t always that simple.
The 25-year-old’s situation isn’t likely to cripple Calgary’s cap space either way. General Fanager puts it at $6.2 million, so the Flames could absorb the hit. That doesn’t mean the Flames are necessarily excited about forking over a big chunk of that remainder to someone who amounts to a depth forward.
From the sound of things, it was a fairly lengthy discussion:
Bouma has 199 regular season games under his belt, all with the Flames (who drafted him with the 78th pick in 2008). The 2014-15 campaign was easily his best so far, as he scored 16 goals and 34 points in 78 contests.
He admittedly serves as “energy-type player” in Calgary. We’ll find out soon enough what his efforts are worth.
The Flames also face possible hearings for Paul Byron and Josh Jooris this week, so it’s a busy time for the franchise.
In the end, Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators didn’t need an arbitrator to render a decision on his salary. The two sides reached a four-year, $21.25 million deal on their own.
But they still went through with Monday’s hearing. And as we all know, sometimes those hearings can cause hurt feelings.
Not so in this case, according to Smith and GM David Poile.
“I’ve probably said worse things (about) myself than what I heard (in) there,” Smith said, per The Tennessean.
Said Poile: “I’m sure if you talked to Craig Smith, he might have taken disagreement to things that we said, but I would be very surprised if he’s not a very happy guy today.”
Calgary’s Lance Bouma is scheduled for arbitration today. Thursday, it’s Washington’s Braden Holtby and Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson.
Related: Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million