Costless agency has finally come upon us and the Calgary Flames were about as active as any team in the NHL. Calgary needed to get to a comfortable cap floor before the first day of camp, so utilizing a large costless agent market was high on the list of GM Brad Treliving's priorities.
With their first move of the day, the Flames signed Cochrane, Alberta native Mason Raymond. The forward has had many ties to the Flames in recent years. Raymond signed a 3 year, $9.5M contract with the club, and he will bring a different element to the Flames' game. After not qualifying Paul Byron and letting Mike Cammalleri walk to costless agency, the Flames needed to add someone who can put the puck in the net while bringing a speed element to the game. Raymond helps them in both of these aspects, he just has to become a more consistent player.
With Joni Ortio still quite young, grabbing a costless agent goalie with experience was an obvious need for the Flames. Jonas Hiller was not returning to the Anaheim Ducks so Calgary landed the Swiss goaltender on a 2 year, $4.5M AAV.
In 326 NHL games Hiller has 162 wins under his belt, with a consistent .916 sv percentage. That is a shade lower than most NHL starting goalies, but he will provide a solid option for the Flames.
Lastly, after Chris Butler was reported to no longer be returning to the Flames, Calgary went after yet another Alberta boy in Derek Engelland. The former member of the Pittsburgh Penguins had 12 points in 56 games played, and has a nice right handed shot. 3 years at $2.9 AAV might seems a bit high, but with defenseman being being a costless agency hot commodity, Treliving had to shell out for this one.
Overall, gaining size through the draft and costless agency really shows Brian Burke's influence on this roster, and will only improve the club moving forward.