NHL Offseason Lookahead: Calgary Flames

by | Sep 6, 2020 | News, NHL | 14 comments


  1. First, the Taylor Hall rumour is from Eklund. For shame to cite that on a respectable site. This just perpetrates the ‘every player wants to move back and play where they grew up’ because Tavares did it. Not saying there’s not interest, but Tre should be smart enough to stay away from $8M + for a guy with 1x 30 goal season while trading a Gaudreau or Monahan to make it happen.

    As to defense, to think that Kylington, Valimaki, and Yelesin are going to fill spots really shows that this article is written by someone who probably hasn’t watched a regular season Flames game in years. The team consistently has no faith in Kylington in important games and he is more likely to be added into a trade. They are hardly going to have him and two rookies round out the top-6.

    Everything depends on contract demands of course, but I’d bet on Brodie resigning ~5M per and keeping Forbort to retain some toughness (~$1.5M). Valimaki steps in with either Kylington or Yelesin rotating as the 7th.

    Having watched this team a lot this season (especially the playoffs) the biggest problem is being dynamic.

    Unpopular opinion alert! GAUDREAU WASN’T THE PROBLEM. Trading Gaudreau won’t fix the issue. Consistently J.G. would skate the puck through the neutral zone and carry into the offensive zone only to find that Monahan was planted in the slot surrounding by the collapsing Dallas D. Not moving; not skating; standing still waiting for a pass. J.G’s problem was he kept trying to make that pass.

    The solution can be as simple as this: Move Tkachuk to the 1st line RW. Shocking right? Stick the highly skilled agitator on a line to make room and go to the net. Screen the goalie, get the tips, make the plays in close. Right now the top line doesn’t have that. Your second line becomes Mangiapane, Backlund, Lindholm and still retains defensive responsibility and chemistry (Backlund and Lindholm were great together on the PK).

    That, with the new look 3rd line and some hungry youth (Gawdin) on the 4th and this team can compete.

    What they ACTUALLY need. And have needed for a decade. Is a reliable goaltender. Rittich starts strong and falls off. Talbot may be back to form, but you can’t trust this team to that.

    Three best options? Anderson (takes low salary assets like Kylington +), Lehner (if VGK can’t get rid of Fleury), and Korpisalo (if that rumour is true).

    • Re-read my post and wanted to note that when I say they need goaltending I am not trying to say that Talbot is the reason they lost. Far from it. I just don’t trust in his reliability over a full season.

      My comments re: Tkachuk to the top line is actually what I think knocked them out (once he was injured, moving a Bennett, Dube, or even Lucic would have helped). That line needs the guy to crash and bang and take attention away from J.G. Teams could double-up on Gaudreau to kill the top line because the other guys could finish but can’t create plays themselves.

    • I disagree and wrote a long answer as to why, but this site froze on me. Been watching this team for over 33 years, simply put they need to be bigger and faster. They get manhandled by bigger and faster teams. Let Broadie and Hamonic walk, fill the right side with hefty mobile right handed defensemen behind Andersson. Get solid goalies, waive Rittich.
      If Treliving doesn’t make a solid effort to fix this team than he needs to go. This franchise needs to get back to where it was in the 80s a perennial contender..

      • Oh left out that yeah it had a lot to do with Johnny being too soft, and scared to get hit. He and Monahan had 0, 5 on 5 points against both winnepeg and dallas. A little advice don’t get attached to players they come and go, if you’re a fan of the team it shouldn’t matter who is on it as long as they produce an entertaining competitive product on the ice…

      • Sorry to hear the long answer got frozen!

        I always hear long-term fans want to get ‘bigger and faster’ and I always think its ridiculous. I’d love to get more goals for less money too, but you almost never get both.

        Tampa is considered the top choice for winning the cup and their average height and weight is 6’1 and 203lbs. Calgary? 6’1 and 197.

        I think the best way I can explain is Playoff Sam Bennett (and this agrees with Part 2 of your post in a lot of ways). He’s not the biggest guy, or even the fastest; but his intensity level in the playoffs means he gives up on nothing. Mangiapane is J.G sized, but chases plays and gets into the corners. The intensity level and (as you mention) willingness to get hit to make a play wasn’t there in the Dallas series.

        As to the specific things you mention needing (a big, mobile, right-handed D; and 2 goaltenders) that’s a get-in-line situation. Not many big D that are mobile and even fewer that are righties (only Parayko is really coming to mind). If Tre can bring in Parayko I would be absolutely thrilled, but St.Louis isn’t going to want salary back. As to waiving Rittich, I don’t see the point. His contract for 1 more year is reasonable and he will be fine as a 1B; but they need a true starter and this year appears to be the year to do it.

        I agree that if Tre doesn’t improve the team then maybe they need to move on. I don’t think trading your most skilled player is the answer so much as finding better linemates as teams always seem to lose those trades. It’s not that I’m attached to J.G., but I don’t want to diminish the team for the sake of change; if the return is right then sure.

    • Absolutely dead on man.

    • This “contributor” knows zilch about the Flames. He also knows less than zilch about the Leafs who he blogs (regurgitates days old news) about on Eklund’s site (at least he used to as I dont look at the site anymore) Lyle, don’t damage your website’s credibility with this low quality.

  2. The Hall-to-Flames rumor didn’t originate on Hockeybuzz. Back in December following Hall’s trade from New Jersey to Arizona, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Flames were interested in Hall before he was shopped, but the inability to talk contract extension with him put a damper on it. Friedman also said back then that he felt Calgary would be a place Hall would be interested in playing. So you see, this originated from a respectable source going back months. https://flamesnation.ca/2019/12/20/friedman-taylor-hall-trade/

    • Well then! My apologies to Lyle and Mark. I did remember Calgary being in the mix at the time, but did not extend that to possible renewed offseason interest and thought that said renewed interest was from Hockeybuzz.

      Thanks Lyle

  3. An insult of epic proportions with that comment.
    Incredible lack of knowledge.
    Eklund poaches and pulls his “roomers” from Lyles comment section and he doesn’t even hide it.

    • It was meant more as a joke than anything, but of course that tone does not translate well in writing.

      Ecklund has pushed the Hall wants to play in Calgary narrative as hard as a rabid Toronto fan talking about any star born in Ontario and he over the last month has been the only one really pushing that narrative. But as noted above, he was not the first as more respectable sources had floated the idea back at the deadline.

    • Yes, of course. Mine too.

  4. The flames should just revamp and pay in maintenance for the saddledome , just like L.A and New York did . With that being said the new arena money can be used to get better players and better top management . By now after 1989 people have to be dying for another cup even since they made it to the finals vs Tampa Bay . Something needs to be done asap , wonder why when Tampa won the cup and Triveling was there GM then only a few years later he came to Calgary Triveling works for the NHL and Bettman not Calgary so he should be the first to go i think , then Geadreau and Monahan cause there two predictable . And 3rd get players that will want to play hard and actually try . Look at Vegas ffs , no reason Calgary cant be smart enough to figure it out . Less pay = more effort
    More pay =less effort , they need to do it right and pay them what there worth not overpaying thats the issue . Trade em and sucks to be them if they have to take a pay cut to play a professional game . Hell pay some people from the public maybe they will play alot better than the rich slack players we have in Calgary .