Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman released the final edition of his 31 Thoughts column for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday morning. In it, Friedman discusses two topics of interest to the Calgary Flames: the future of Michael Frolik and a potential second goaltender to play in tandem with David Rittich.
7. Calgary was looking at options for Michael Frolik. That could happen before July 1. New Jersey is a possibility.
Frolik was seemingly on the outs last season, as indicated by his inconsistent usage by head coach Bill Peters in favour of younger players and a public Twitter campaign by agent Allan Walsh to get Frolik more ice time. Heading into the final season of his current deal with a $4.3 million cap hit, Frolik is still a fairly useful two-way player. The Devils have oodles of cap space and multiple fourth round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, so there may be a fit there.
15. The goalie carousel: San Jose would like to move Aaron Dell, who has a $1.9 million cap hit and $1.6 million in cash. It’s believed the Sharks tried to make it part of the Patrick Marleau trade, which complicated things for an extra 12 hours or so. Mike Smith’s been tied to Calgary (along with Cam Talbot), Carolina and Edmonton. There been a bit of linkage with the Oilers: Petr Mrazek; Semyon Varlamov, too, but his price is high. Heard some talk of James Reimer, but that’s cooled. Curtis McElhinney was hoping for a two-year deal, and may get it.
Smith and Talbot are the names most commonly linked to the netminding job in Calgary, which makes sense given that David Rittich is still a relatively inexperienced NHL goaltender. Despite some struggles over his tenure, Smith was strong early in his first season and late this past season. Rather than gamble on Talbot, the Flames may opt for the proverbial “devil they know” in net. On the other hand, Tablot’s numbers cratered over the past two seasons on a defensively dicey Edmonton Oilers club and he may be more willing than Smith to take a low-ball contract for a season and bet on himself with an eye towards cashing in the following summer.