The Calgary Flames are now headed into their off-season, with a lot of decisions to make as they hope to fix the issues that led to another first round ouster – the third in four seasons for the club. While they have some time to lick their wounds, they’ll be quite busy in October when the NHL’s calendar flips over to 2020-21.

A 2020-21 contract snap-shot

Via PuckPedia, the Flames have 27 players under active contracts for 2020-21.

  • Forwards (16) Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Milan Lucic, Elias Lindholm, Derek Ryan, Sam Bennett, Dillon Dube, Luke Philp, Eetu Tuulola, Adam Ruzicka, Martin Pospisil, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Matthew Phillips and Emilio Pettersen
  • Defensemen (9) Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Juuso Valimaki, Carl-Johan Lerby, Johannes Kinnvall, Alexander Yelesin, Colton Poolman and Connor Mackey
  • Goaltenders (2) David Rittich and Artyom Zagidulin

Dustin Wolf and Jakob Pelletier are under contracts, but their deals won’t run (and don’t count) while they’re in junior.

Players on one-way deals are Tkachuk, Gaudreau, Monahan, Backlund, Lucic, Lindholm, Ryan, Bennett, Giordano, Hanifin, Andersson and Rittich. The combined cap hits for these 12 players add up to $60.25 million, leaving $18.583 million for the other 11 roster spots (when you factor in the lingering cap hits for the Michael Stone and Troy Brouwer buy-outs).

Yeah, we know, Dube will definitely be in the NHL next season. But he’s waiver exempt, so they don’t need to keep him on the roster aside from being a much better team with him on it.

The buyout period

If the Flames wish to try to open up more cap space, the buyout window opens at 3 p.m. MT on Sept. 25 and closes at 3 p.m. MT on Oct. 9.

Restricted free agents

The Flames have eight pending RFAs, which they have to qualify by 3 p.m. MT on Oct 6. (Qualified players who are eligible then have until Oct. 10 to file for salary arbitration.)

Here are the Flames’ pending RFAs, listed with qualifying offer details:

  • F Mark Jankowski (25): $1.75 million, one-way (with arbitration rights)
  • F Andrew Mangiapane (24): $750,750, two-way (with arbitration rights)
  • D Oliver Kylington (23): $787,500, two-way
  • F Glenn Gawdin (23): $787,500, two-way
  • F Justin Kirkland (24): $735,000, two-way (with arbitration rights)
  • D Andrew Nielsen (23): $735,000, two-way
  • G Tyler Parsons (22): $735,000, two-way
  • G Nick Schneider (23): $735,000, two-way

Because of his high qualifying offer, it seems likely that Jankowski won’t get qualified. Nielsen and Schneider don’t seem to have fits within the Flames system, so it seems likely that they also won’t get qualified.

Unrestricted free agents

The Flames have 15 pending UFAs. They’re listed here with the cap hit and type of their expiring deal:

  • F Tobias Rieder (27): $700,000, two-way
  • F Zac Rinaldo (30): $700,000, two-way
  • F Austin Czarnik (27): $1.25 million, one-way
  • F Alan Quine (27): $735,000, two-way
  • F Buddy Robinson (28): $700,000, two-way
  • F Byron Froese (29): $700,000, two-way
  • F Ryan Lomberg (25): $700,000, two-way
  • D TJ Brodie (30): $4.65 million, one-way
  • D Travis Hamonic (30): $3.857 million, one-way
  • D Derek Forbort (28): $2.525 million, one-way
  • D Erik Gustafsson (28): $1.2 million, one-way
  • D Michael Stone (30): $700,000, one-way
  • D Rinat Valiev (25): $700,000, two-way
  • G Cam Talbot (33): $2.75 million, one-way
  • G Jon Gillies (26): $750,000, one-way

We’ll get into the weeds on the pending UFAs a bit in the coming weeks, but Rieder, Brodie and Talbot seem like the players that make the most sense to bring back given their ages, roles on the team and potential cap hits.

The free agency period begins at 10 a.m. MT on Oct. 9. Players on expiring deals (any pending UFAs and RFAs) can sign 2020-21 deals with teams outside of North America immediately now that the Flames are out. North American deals have to wait until Oct. 9 to be signed. Also, as a reminder, the UFA courting period is no longer a thing.

Oh, and the NHL Draft is Oct. 9 and 10.

So, it’ll be somewhat quiet for a little bit, it’ll get really busy once the calendar flips over to October.