The Calgary Flames have had a busy offseason. Since being eliminated from the playoffs on April 19, Flames general manager Brad Treliving has been one of the busiest executives in the entire National Hockey League. As the dust begins to settle and we dwell in the dog days of summer, it’s probably worthwhile to review just how much change the Flames have endured over the past three months.
Reserve list changes since the end of playoffs
|Goalies||Mike Smith (trade)
Eddie Lack (trade)
|Chad Johnson (trade)
Brian Elliott (UFA)
Tom McCollum (trade)
|Defense||Juuso Valimaki (draft)
Travis Hamonic (trade)
Josh Healey (UFA)
|Ladislav Smid (UFA)
Brandon Hickey (trade)
Deryk Engelland (exp.)
Kenney Morrison (UFA)
Ryan Culkin (UFA)
Keegan Kanzig (trade)
Dennis Wideman (UFA)
Michael Kostka (UFA)
|Forwards||Adam Ruzicka (draft)
D’Artagnan Joly (draft)
Filip Sveningsson (draft)
Zach Fischer (draft)
Spencer Foo (UFA)
Marek Hrivik (UFA)
Luke Gazdic (UFA)
Ryan Lomberg (UFA)
|Alex Chiasson (UFA)
Lance Bouma (buyout)
Brandon Bollig (UFA)
David Wolf (UFA)
The goaltending changes are fairly straightforward: the Flames moved out Elliott (who seemingly lost the organization’s confidence in the playoffs) and replaced him with Smith. Johnson chose to explore other options presumably because he wanted to have a bigger role (and that wasn’t going to happen in Calgary once Smith was acquired), so the Flames replaced him with Lack. McCollum was only in the organization for expansion purposes and was shipped to Detroit to be minor league depth. In addition to the listed changes, both Tyler Parsons and Nick Schneider enter the entry-level system as their deals begin to run this year regardless of where they play.
The Flames made a lot of changes on the blueline, adding a trio of new faces and really culling the depth of the organization (in terms of clearing out a lot of the older, bigger, slower guys). Virtually everyone remaining under NHL contract in the system seems to have some NHL upside, which couldn’t be said for a lot of the guys who departed. Aside from the departures and additions, this season is the first where Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington’s contracts begin to run.
Among the forward ranks, there was surprisingly little movement, aside from a forward-heavy draft class. Wolf’s NHL rights expired. Hrivik functionally replaces Vey (whose rights the Flames retain), while functionally Gazdic replaces Bollig. Adding Foo and Lomberg brings the club a bit more organizational depth.
Free agency rundown
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened with the Flames’ free agents of various types.
Group 2 (Restricted Free Agents)
- Sam Bennett
- Micheal Ferland – re-signed (two years, $1.75 million AAV)
- Garnet Hathaway – re-signed (one year, two-way $650,000 AAV)
- Brett Kulak
- Curtis Lazar – re-signed (two years, $950,000 AAV)
- David Rittich – re-signed (one year, two-way $725,000 AAV)
- Linden Vey – signed with Barys Astana (KHL), Flames retain NHL rights for two seasons
- Tyler Wotherspoon
Bennett, Kulak and Wotherspoon are still unsigned.
Non-Group 2 (RFA, but not eligible for offer sheets)
- Jon Gillies – re-signed (one year, two-way $725,000 AAV)
Gillies was qualified, but because he only had two seasons of pro hockey under his belt (ala Johnny Gaudreau) he isn’t technically eligible to receive offer sheets.
Group 3 (Unrestricted Free Agent)
- Brandon Bollig – signed with San Jose
- Brian Elliott – signed with Philadelphia
- Michael Kostka
- Ladislav Smid – signed with HC Liberic (Czech Extraliga)
- Dennis Wideman
- David Wolf – signed with Adler Mannheim (DEL)
I wouldn’t be shocked if Kostka came back on an AHL deal, but otherwise none of the departures here are overly shocking.
Unrestricted Free Agents (Group 2s that were not qualified)
- Alex Chiasson
- Ryan Culkin
- Kenney Morrison – signed with the Chicago Wolves (AHL)
I could see Chiasson coming back at a low cap hit, but it depends on whether the Flames can find a cheap upgrade on the free agent market.
American Hockey League contracted players with expired deals
- Matt Frattin – signed with Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
- Mike Angelidis – signed with HC Bolzano (EBEL)
- Kayle Doetzel – re-signed with Stockton
- Jamie Devane – signed with the Ontario Reign (AHL)
- Stepan Falkovsky – signed with Los Angeles
- Mikkel Aagaard
- Keith Aulie
- Roman Dyukov – signed with Dynamo Minsk (KHL)