Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency eve rumour round-up

Friends, tomorrow is July 1 and the official kickoff of the 2018-19 hockey season. (It’s also Jarome Iginla’s birthday, so please remember to get him a card.) Players can sign with new clubs beginning at 10 a.m. MT. In the run-up to that, players are chatting with their agents and teams are making last-ditch efforts to convince everyone to sign with them.

As a result, the rumour mill is running rampant right now. Here’s a quick rundown of how those rumours impact the Calgary Flames.

Derek Ryan: All signs are pointing to Ryan signing with the Flames tomorrow morning. However, The Athletic‘s James Mirtle is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs also have interest… as a Plan B in case John Tavares doesn’t sign there. Mirtle reports that the Leafs’ bid for Ryan would push his cap hit into the $3 million range. [Source; paywalled]

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Patrick Maroon: Remember beloved Edmonton Oilers secondary player Patrick Maroon? He played with Connor McDavid, I’m told. Anyway, he’s a free agent and played for a good chunk of last season in New Jersey… and was featured on Geoff Ward’s power play. He’s available, and The Athletic‘s Pierre Lebrun suggested on Twitter that there may be a fit in Calgary. [Source] He’s primarily played the left side, so perhaps he could slot into a second line that would feature Mikael Backlund at center and Matthew Tkachuk on the right.

Tobias Rieder: Rieder’s camp has a lot of interest, reportedly from several western Canadian clubs (including the Flames). [Source] As many players are right now, he’s sorting through his options.

Austin Czarnik: Postmedia‘s Wes Gilbertson included Czarnik on his list of five forwards the Flames could consider. [Source] It’s a pretty smart inclusion, as the winger is young and doesn’t have a big NHL resume so his cap hit wouldn’t be too large – and if he was lousy in the NHL, he would easily fit into Stockton’s roster. The Athletic‘s Craig Custance tweeted that Czarnik was expected to sign a two-year deal with a team in the West. [Source]

Ryan Reaves: Reaves visited Calgary and chatted with Flames management, but Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman tweeted that he was likely going to stay with Vegas. [Source]

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Buyouts: The chance to waive players in order to buy them out is over. So welcome back to the Flames, Troy Brouwer. He will not be bought out this season.


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    • Sobueno

      Mickey beat me to it! You also had me somewhat convinced that he could provide some functional toughness as well. If we didn’t already have a logjam on the 4th maybe BT would’ve been willing to give him more $ or term or whatever was the sticking point.

      • Mickey O

        Honestly, one of the sticking points could be plain ol’ ego. BT didn’t want to buy out Brouwer and look foolish – Reaves or Brouwer basically. Functional toughness…Reaves is the toughness, daddio!

        When he blew up Brodie the Flames didn’t have a response. Because ironically they don’t have a guy like him in the line-up. When Lucic got frisky with Smith, poor Tanner Glass was the one to take a beating on the face-off. Treliving should have blown one position on getting the best enforcer/make-everyone-play-with-more-jam-because-the-big-guy-has-our-back guy. That guy is Ryan Reaves.

        Fancy stats are almost meaningless in a situation like that. What he’s “worth” in contrast to his last contract is also a factor that should have been given zero consideration.


        • Mickey O

          Would Johnny have had his hand hacked to bits against the Wild if Reaves was around? Would a guy like Zucker have laid the lumber? The fact that Johnny missed significant time has to be figured into the equation. But you’ll never really know if Gaudreau would have been injured/not injured in that game because then you are trying to prove a negative.

          Would the meathead who beat down Kulak in Detroit have been so brave if a guy like Reaves was around? I guess Byng lit the fuse, and Hamonic lost a fight where Mantha really should have been suspended too for what he did in the the benches. Would any of that happened? Chaos theory – in more ways than one.

          But a major criticism of the analytics critters I have, is that if something can’t be measured, or stuck on a bar graph, then those guys aren’t really interested. That’s fine, I get it, because you can’t test certain things or quantify them.

          I swear this was posted on the Canucks site here – words to the effect, “if you don’t believe in the power of analytics you may as well be a flat earther”. So then a certain amount of snobbery rears its head, because if you are not into analytics then you must be a cretin. Or too old. Or too old school. Hey..not a bad start for a rant on June 30th.

  • Mickey O

    Going to miss Ferland as well. There’s a big difference between he didn’t want to fight, or was told not to fight due to an injury. I’d go into battle with Mr. Ferland any day.

  • Dougiefred

    Don’t believe Ferland was injured late last season. Teams are usually good at disclosing injury news at the end of their seasons. Nothing was said about Ferland and he did play the last game against Vegas.

    • Mickey O

      He did look back to his usual self the last couple of games. But Ferland was definitely injured during the season. He was given practices off, then they scratched him.

      A little theory about why that injury news never came out was because he’s definitely on their radar for bringing him back from Carolina. The pro scouts will be keeping a close eye on Ferland, seeing where he plays in the line-up, his overall play, how physical he is.

      He might cost a lot, but the Flames may get a home-town discount because he wants to come back to Calgary. Treliving and Ferland supposedly had a very cordial phone call after Ferland was traded.

  • Mickey O

    I don’t think I’ve seen this talked about in the media. I mean this with absolutely no malice whatsoever.

    Dougie Hamilton is autistic.

    He’s somewhere on the autism spectrum, likely Asperger Syndrome. Bipolar II is another possibility. I wish him well.