When the Calgary Flames signed Troy Brouwer back in 2016, general manager Brad Treliving noted that the team was adding a “proven playoff performer.” That was true considering the forward was coming off a 13-point postseason as the St. Louis Blues advanced to the Western Conference Final.
Two summers later and the Flames have placed the soon-to-be 33-year-old Brouwer on waivers for the purposes of buying out the final two years of his contract.
(Calgary was eligible for a second buyout window after an arbitration hearing with Garnet Hathaway was scheduled. They would settle on a new deal.)
After inking that four-year, $18 million deal, Brouwer scored 19 times and recorded 47 points in 150 games. His two seasons in Calgary featured declining production, which resulted in the two lowest regular season point totals (25, 22) of his career. He never really had a chance to show off that playoff prowess Treliving touted as the Flames only played four playoff games in that time. Though, no one really expected that production to be replicated.
The immediate beneficiary of this move will be defenseman Noah Hanifin, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes during a draft weekend trade in June. While the Flames will carry a $1.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons due to the buy out, they’ll also be saving $3 million over the next two years. That money will be going to the 21-year-old blue liner who’s currently seeking a new deal as a restricted free agent. They will soon have about $7.5 million in cap room, per Cap Friendly.
But there’s also an eye on next summer when Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett become RFAs and the question of re-signing or letting Mike Smith walk needs an answer. Tkachuk will clearly take the bigger piece of the pie as Treliving tries to keep a growing young core together while navigating some tricky salary cap waters.