FLAMES SIGN JON GILLIES TO NEW 2-YEAR DEAL
Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Jon Gillies to a new two-year deal worth $1.5 million, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
The first year of the new deal will pay Gillies on a two-way basis, worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 at the AHL level, while the deal is one-way for the second and final season. When it expires, Gillies will once again become a restricted free agent, although at that point he will also hold arbitration rights.
The 24-year-old would go on to make another eleven appearances (including nine starts) for the Flames during the 2017/18 campaign, going 3-5-1 with an .891 save percentage.
He also featured in 39 games for the Flames AHL affiliate in Stockton last season, posting a .917 save percentage (all situations).
It’s possible that Gillies, who was named the Frozen Four’s Most Outstanding Player in 2015 after backstopping the Providence Friars to their first NCAA Championship, will have to compete for the Flames back-up role with RFA David Rittich, who filed for salary arbitration earlier this month.
Czech stopper Rittich posted a better .913 save percentage in 21 appearances for the Flames last year, though he recorded an inferior high danger save percentage (.742 to Gillies .773) and marginally worse GSAA (-5.02 to Gillies -4.98).
Rittich’s AHL numbers were also less impressive than Gillies, as he finished the year with an .889 save percentage (all situations) in 12 games played for Stockton.
It leaves the Flames with two mid-20s goaltenders who could create some competition behind incumbent starter Mike Smith, who will become a UFA this coming July 1st, but also with a fairly significant lack of clarity over the mid-to-long term.
Both Rittich and Gillies have shown flashes of NHL-caliber potential, but have yet to truly seize an opportunity in Alberta. Meanwhile, fellow prospect Tyler Parsons has also been pegged as someone highly likely to feature in the NHL in the future, but the 20-year-old former London Knights starter has endured a somewhat bumpy start to his pro career after splitting time between Stockton in the AHL and the ECHL Kansas City Mavericks last season.
Outside of Smith, Gillies and Parsons, Calgary also has Mason McDonald and Nick Schneider under contract; despite their seeming wealth of names, though, goaltending is still a hot button topic for the organisation after the Flames seemed to stumble in net last year.
All statistics via Corsica Hockey. Statistics quoted are 5-v-5 unless stated otherwise.