The Calgary Flames have signed restricted free-agent forward Dillon Dube to a three-year contract. The deal will carry an average annual value of $2.3M, leaving him an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent in 2024. Pat Steinberg of Sportnet reports that Dube will earn $2.2M in 2021-22, $2.3M in 2022-23 and $2.4M in 2023-24.
It’s been a busy week for Flames GM Brad Treliving, working his way through a long list of restricted free agents in Calgary. He has now signed Juuso Valimaki, Nikita Zadorov, Justin Kirkland, Glenn Gawdin and Dube in the last few days, leaving just Connor Mackey to negotiate with. While Kirkland and Gawdin are still depth options, the same can’t really be said about Dube, who has worked his way into a full-time role with the Flames over the last two seasons. The 23-year-old recorded 11 goals and 22 points in 51 games for the team this season, averaging 13:38 of ice time.
That’s not a huge role, but this new contract secures him as a fixture in the lineup for the next several years. Originally selected 556th overall in 2016 as a center, he never really has been given an opportunity to play in the middle for Calgary. It will be interesting to follow Flames training camp to see how the lineup shakes out under head coach Darryl Sutter given the influx of gritty, physical presences. The team added Blake Coleman, Tyler Pitlick and Trevor Lewis to the mix — all three of whom are likely better suited in the bottom six. If Dube, who has built up his two-way game, can find a home on one of the top two lines, there’s a good chance he produces a lot more offense than a $2.3M contract usually warrants.
Even if he doesn’t take another significant step forward offensively, a $2.3M cap hit doesn’t pose much risk for the Flames. As long as Dube can keep himself in the lineup, providing solid defensive play, there shouldn’t be many complaints from the Calgary faithful. There’s room for upside in a deal like this, which is key for a team like the Flames that are trying to find their way in the Pacific Division.