Curtis Glencross (Rich Lam/Getty Images)
In 2011, Curtis Glencross signed a team-friendly deal with the Flames that kept him in Calgary for four seasons. But Glencross admitted he wishes he could go back and take advantage of what could have been a lucrative free agency. The 32-year-old remains a free agent nearly two months after free agency opened and might have to sign a tryout contract.
After scoring 13 goals and 35 points, Curtis Glencross remains without a deal for the 2015-16 season. And with the speedy winger still looking for a contract, he’s having some regrets about his prior four-year deal with the Calgary Flames.
In May 2011, Glencross inked a four-year, $10.2 million deal with the Flames. It was considered to be less than Glencross may have been able to fetch on the open market, especially as he was coming off of a 24-goal, 43-point campaign.
“I love my time in Calgary and the organization, but you learn that eventually it’s a business and you’re just a number,” Glencross told the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis. “If I could do it again … as much as I love (Calgary) and call it home and met great people, at the same time, when it’s time for you to cash in, you have to take advantage and cash in. You can’t take a pay-cut or hometown discount because things change.”
And what has changed most is a stagnant salary cap that hasn’t risen enough to give teams the wiggle-room they need to sign veterans like Glencross to the salaries they may demand. It’s not only Glencross who is suffering, though, as free agents such as Cody Franson, Tomas Fleischmann, Jiri Tlusty and Brad Boyes remain unsigned.
Glencross could also be justified in some frustration over his hometown discount with the Flames because it’s unlikely the veteran will ever be able to cash in quite like he would have had he gone to free agency in the summer of 2011. Erik Cole, who had similar 5-on-5 numbers over the three seasons leading up to the 2011 free agency period, cashed in to the tune of a four-year, $18 million deal. Dan Cleary also had similar stats and was earning nearly $500,000 more per season than Glencross.
Even though Glencross has some regrets about his past deal, he’s not giving up or getting down about his ability or whether opportunities still exist for him. He’s optimistic and believes it will be a matter of time.
“We’ve talked to a few teams,” Glencross told Francis. “They want to do a trade before camp, but it seems like no team wants to make the first move. So I’m just waiting. There’s still got to be something out there. I still want to play. I’m only 32 and thinking I have a few more years left in me.”
Two teams who can be scratched off that list of prospective landing spots are Calgary and Washington, where he finished his 2014-15 campaign after being dealt at the trade deadline. Glencross said he was told he was no longer in the coaching staff’s plans with the Flames, and the Capitals have filled Glencross’ potential spot in the lineup with the signing of free agent Justin Williams and trade for T.J. Oshie.
If he doesn’t sign before the season begins, it’s more likely Glencross finds a spot in the league as a training camp invitee. Already Sergei Gonchar, Scott Gomez and Devin Setoguchi have signed tryout agreements. Now, more than two months after free agency began and with no guarantee of a contract, Glencross — as well as a few other notable names — could add to that growing list.