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Flames sign Justin Kirkland to one year, two-way deal

The Calgary Flames made another minor addition on Tuesday morning. The team announced the signing of left wing Justin Kirkland to a one year, two-way deal worth $700,000 at the NHL level.

A product of Camrose, Alberta, the 22-year-old Kirkland came up through the Western Hockey League and plied his trade for three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets – playing one season under Flames assistant coach Ryan Huska and a pair of seasons alongside Flames prospect Dillon Dube. Kirkland was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft and played three seasons in the Predators’ farm system, primarily with the Milwaukee Admirals. He was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Predators.

The Heat are likely to be a young group full of fresh-faced players getting their first or second pro season under their belts. With Kirkland, the team gets a reliable two-way presence who has amassed a pretty good amount of minor league experience. On a team that’s likely to be lean on AHL experience, it’s going to be valuable to have him around. He might not necessarily push for NHL duty, but he could be a player that helps get his teammates ready for the next level.

      • CitizenRed

        Dumping Neal’s contract is one of the most important challenges for this team in the next few years. It has the Flames handcuffed. Unfortunately it is likely going to cost us a decent prospect. I could see Neal and Kylington to the Senators for a mid round draft pick. No salary retained. Sens get experienced player to help to them get up to the cap ALONG with a smooth-skating offensive Swedish defenceman (should sound familiar in Ottawa). Flames get cap space and roster space.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      puljijarvi still property of “sweat pants with dress pants” town. Dzingel decent but three questions if you sign him as RW P1 or RW2 are: Where does Neal play (he ain’t leaving)? How do fit in his salary? Does this not discourage prospects?

      • everton fc

        Dzingel was a healthy scratch, in the playoffs. One wonders, “Why?”, and the fact is, Columbus may have not wanted him back. Again, “Why?”

        As for Puljijarvi, the hip problems have been/will be, his demise. He’ll be in the KHL at some point, in the next two years – or next season. If you could get him for, say, Frolik, I might do that.

        • Garry T

          Everton. When Dzingel was moved from Ottawa, Columbus management stressed he was being brought in for top two lines service. Torts like our “ Bill “ plays favorites and after a time Dzingel challenged Torts regarding how Ryan was being used. He has been a 30 goal scorer and those guys do not lose that ability on a moments notice. Torts took offence with Dzingel and decided to show him who was Boss, thus the benching. Dzingel can play and would indeed be a good addition for the Flames.

          Pulujjarvi was poorly managed in Edmonton. Go back and look at some of the goals he scored in Edmonton. With Frolik wanting out,
          We need 3 NHL caliber right wingers. Pulujjarvi is fast, big, strong and has the hands. He just needs a team that will give him a chance and work with him. I think he would be a pleasant addition to the Flames playing either the 1st. Or 2nd. Line. If you got 35 goals out of Dzingel and another 25 out of Pulujjarvi, we would be well ahead.

          Furthermore, Tkachuk is placing the club in a set of hand cuffs. He and his management should be made aware that the Flames now have numerous holes to fill and that they cannot wait forever on him. I would advise him we have a healthy signing bonus and $4.5 a year for either 3 or 4 years and those numbers will remain the same or diminish if his group is not going to be realistic with the Flames.

          This kid is now concussion prone and his mouth got him there and will eventually shut down his career if he does not smarten up. I do not think ownership would like to be paying out $8 mil a year for four or five years when this guy is not liked in the NHL. I would start bringing in the needed help now and Tkachuk gets what is left over when he does sign.

          • oilcanboyd

            Pulujarvi has proven he has a low hockey IQ. He rushes into the O-zone and doesn’t know what to do with the puck. Too slow to act/re-act. Besides he has both knees operated on; spells ongoing health issues going forward.

            Tkachuk is handcuffing the Flames? Are you privy to negotiations? It takes time. Concussion prone? LMAO.

          • oilcanboyd

            So Mcd AND Drai has handcuffed the oiler? No. Your top stars do not handcuff a team. It is the bottom 6 players like Lucic, overpaid in free agency that handcuff a teams finances. Same with the Flames and Neal.

    • withachance

      Doesnt have to be a center, just a top 6 player. Or Brodie can be traded for picks and promising prospects, and BT can get a top 6 player in UFA (Dzingel, Ferland, Johansson).

      Lindholm can play 2C and Neal then play in the top 6

        • withachance

          Counter argument: Neal will never perform or be motivated unless playing with good players.

          Chicken or the egg scenario. You dont play Neal in top 6, he’ll continue to be a bust of a signing. It’s either you’re left with a 20 point player or you give him a chance to have an extended look with top 6 level players

          • withachance

            Chicken or the egg – does his stats suddenly tank and = reflect he’s a third liner after being a top 6 player for a decade because he sucks, or because he is being played as a third liner with third liner linemates?

          • Baalzamon

            Neal performed better with Bennett and Jankowski than he did with anyone else last season. It’s not an accident that he ended up on the third line.

            The trouble is, he was soundly outperformed as a third liner by Czarnik.

          • withachance


            Neal spent the most amount of time with Janks and Bennett. I think if you gave him more time with some of the top 6 players he definitely couldve done well.

            He went a whole decade scoring at least 21 goals a season with 3 different teams, he comes to Calgary and he instantly loses his touch and skating? I dont believe that at all.

          • Keith Chucky

            Chicken or the egg…
            You have to have a chicken before you get the egg.
            Neal needs to EARN his way up to top 6. He didn’t do that last season. Yes they will play him this coming season but in a bottom 6 role until he earns his way higher. Why, with him playing the way he did last season should other top 6 player have to carry him so he can get his stats back. If he is worthy of being top six, he should at least be close to what his stats were from previous years when playing in a bottom 6 role.

          • withachance

            @Keith Chucky

            That’s a common argument, but i genuinely dont think he’s motivated to do that from a third liner role. Sorry, just not gonna happen. Id rather swallow my pride and give him what he wants and hope he returns to form. Either that or just risk him being a waste of space on the third line.


            Also a common argument. I dont think Williams was a speed demon to play with Aho but he did fine. Thing is the sample size was too small last year with Neal and other top 6 players. I want to see an extended look

          • Keith Chucky

            @withachan…: Even if he isn’t motivated to do it from a third liner role, he hasn’t earned the right to be in a top six position but I have to say it isn’t the team that needs to swallow their pride and give him what he wants. He needs to swallow HIS pride and perform to EARN the right to be on a top six position. No team gives a player a top six role until they have earned it. At least I know of none. Correct me if I’m wrong. Always earned never given, unlike Hartley (the clown) This is a fact of life in almost every circumstance. I would “risk him being a waste of space on the third line.” or maybe some healthy scratches until he realizes that he has to earn his right to be on the third line.

      • everton fc

        I like the idea of Lindholm as our 1C, Monahan as the 2C, Backlund as the 3C, and Jankowski as the 4C, w/Ryan on the wing. But they will not break up Monahan and Gaudreau.

        Dube can play wing, though I’d love to see Dube centre Gaudreau, in pre-season.

        • withachance

          Yeah I think Monahan and Gaudreau has too good of chemistry to break up. Not saying they shouldnt be, but coaching staff will be very unlikely to break up a legit duo. Really not sure where Janko fits in this lineup anymore…

          Lineup like this would be good:

          JG – Monny – xxx
          Tkachuk – Lindholm – Neal
          Bennett – Backs – Janko
          Mangiapane – Ryan – Dube

          • withachance

            Yeah fair point @SoCalFlamesFan

            However, Johnny is one of maybe 4 or 5 wingers in the league that can drive a line and set up teammates, thats why they work well together.

          • withachance


            I know the need for a secondary scoring line is strong, but I dont think the coaching staff is willing to sacrifice a good combo in Johnny and Monny to get it. They know Monny is productive with Johnny so why mess with it. I think Lindhom and Tkachuk can be a legit combo as well in a 1B line role

  • HarveysFleaCollar

    I wonder if Nashville would be open to a Neal for Turris.

    Frolik to NewJersey for a third and AHL er.

    Brodie to Montreal for one of their many up and coming forward prospects.

  • Nieuwy Knows

    My hopes for the lineup…

    JG / Mony / lindy
    Byng / turris / Ferland
    Bennett / Backlund / Dube
    Jankowski / Ryan / mang

    Norris / phat ras
    Hanifin / Hamonic
    Valimaki / kylington

    1) Neal for turris
    2) giving away Brodie and Frolik for peanuts
    3) ferland signs for a reasonable #

    • Em Durp Em Hrudey

      @Wheeze. This years Flames very well may fall short of last years team. As a pure hockey fan this is not ideal, but in the cap world it’s about managing the window. Up against the cap this year so there will not be much movement. Now fast forward to next season. Core intact, young players with one more year of experience, and over $30 million in projected cap space. Now check out next season’s projected free agent list. This may not be the season, but Tre is sure setting up for what could very well be one hell of a 20-21 season.

      • freethe flames

        Currently the Flames will have @$34m – the @14m that will eaten up by the Thachuk, Bennett and Rittich extensions; leaving them with @$20m. They will need to sign about 8 players; that’s just over $2.5m per which is below the average salary signed yesterday, so probably not as good as you think.

  • CitizenRed

    Dumping Neal’s contract is one of the most important challenges for this team in the next few years. It has the Flames handcuffed. Unfortunately it is likely going to cost us a decent prospect. I could see Neal and Kylington to the Senators for a mid round draft pick. No salary retained. Sens get experienced player to help to them get up to the cap ALONG with a smooth-skating offensive Swedish defenceman (should sound familiar in Ottawa). Flames get cap space and roster space.

    • Baalzamon

      Your expectations for such a trade are way too high. The Leafs had to surrender a first rounder and a seventh rounder to dump one year of Marleau on Carolina in exchange for a sixth rounder.

      Neal is signed for four more years and was far less useful than Marleau last season. In order to dump Neal on someone for let’s say a seventh round pick, the Flames would probably have to add Kylington, Andersson, and a first.

      That simply isn’t worth it.

    • withachance

      No knee jerking please. That was a stinker of a season by Neal but I dont want the organization to immediately pay a premium for a cap floor team to take Neal after one bad season after a decade of 20 goal seasons. That would be terrible asset management.

      Play him in top 6, give him good linemates, and pray to god his value increases by having a good season

  • MontanaMan

    This site used to be about intelligent conversation – often disagreeing – but respectful. It’s turned into a giant sh!tshow. Mods, you’d better get a handle on this site or any remnant of sensible hockey discussion will be gone. Anyone with multiple accounts should be banned.

      • Em Durp Em Hrudey

        Any further post from the Hrudey account will be from Puck Heads immitation account. I will now be changing my screen name and avatar. This is such garbage. Stay classy Puck Head.

    • Mr. J

      Hello friendly neighbors to the south. I agree y’all need to get on these mods. At ON they banned a troll by the name of oil spilly/opi for ruining it with his multiple accounts. I suggest you guys do the same.

      See y’all next week at the Staaaaaaammmmpeeeedde!!! And remember the Oilers are the best!! ✌🏾

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      Oh, I think Ferly will be coming here for cheaper than that. We are the organization that believed in him, and this is his offseason home. Probably waiting to see what Chucky is gonna get (am I the only one not worried about that contract?) I assumed he’d be back here the moment he left. I think we can get him short term for 2.5, maybe 2. I say short term because I don’t want to speculate on years. But if he’s not here come camp, well…uh…I have no follow up for that.

      I expect Ferly to be here for camp.

      • freethe flames

        If we can get him for $2.5m then that would even be better but I doubt he signs for this. Would people be interested in Dzingle at 3 x$5.5m (number based upon Meier contract)

        • BringtheFire 2.0

          @Free A bit too expensive, maybe? Plus, I’d like someone who can through around a tad more hits. Not looking for a werewolf or anything, but we did just loose Hathaway…

          • freethe flames

            BTF: When coming up with a salary I look at what has been signed recently. Meier $6m for 66 points was my starting point like everyone else it is an educated guess. It’s all speculation anyways and none of it can happen unless BT makes a trade or two and creates cap space.

  • Off the wall

    Well that officially does it for me. I just spent 5 minutes reading emojis, that I still can’t decipher.
    Maybe I’m just not that smart?

    Until this mess gets cleaned up, I’m taking a well- deserved break from here.

    When I first joined FN, I didn’t think I was knowledgeable about Flames’ hockey as most were on this site. I was impressed and looked forward to reading the well-thought out posts and contributions from our members.

    Now, it’s become a JOKE, not because of the decent folks on here, which there are many, but due to the sheer lack of respect for each other’s personal membership. I’m not going to spend my time sifting through garbage. Sorry folks.

    I don’t have any faith that it’ll be cleaned up soon, since we’ve yet to see an edit function, but surely there must be a way to determine where all this (offside) attacks are coming from?

    For those of you that make this an enjoyable site, thank you!
    To those that want to infiltrate our Nation with garbage, I have no time for you, whatever, whoever you are!

    See you when we can chat again (in peace) friends!

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    Lol that’s awsome. No one on here will ever notice the period after the name….there ya go WW. Petty ol Puck Head is now imitating my account. Even using the good old period to disguise it. Now if I only had a dog. Get a life loser.

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    Really? Just to set the story straight….again. I am not any of the imposter WW’s, not Moxley, and only have ONE account on here. Now I have an imposter! WTF! This is not cool, not cool at all.

  • freethe flames

    Since becoming an NHL regular he has played 71 games twice and 76 and 77 the other two years I wonder if we over think the concussion talk here. If God forbid he did end up being out b/c of this then the team gets cap relief so it’s no a cap risk.

  • Off the wall

    I’m going to tell a story. Not because I can, but because I should.

    I went to the dog park today with Johnny Sockey and my wife’s dog. As per usual, Johnny chases other dogs and tries to hump them. He’s not partial to just females. He’ll hump just about any dog!
    He’s fixed, so I don’t know whether he knows it or not, but he’s kinda wasting his time.

    Today, for the first time, he sauntered into the bush at the park and returned with a dead bird in his mouth.

    Try as I might, he would not surrender that damn half-eaten bird. Other dogs thought that it was marvellous and came over to investigate. Johnny went berserk keeping other dogs away from his new-found dinner.

    He thinks he’s smarter than the other dogs, but along sauntered another dog and ever so gently stole it outta his mouth while he was being a total ass.

    The moral of this story is- don’t try to hump everyone at the park, you’re just wasting time, cuz someone is going to come along, steal your food and make you look like a fool.

    I’m sure the smart people on here will understand the point..

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    At least they left your confession here for all to see. Moderators came through and Puck you are busted. Now hopefully everything will get back to normal around here.

  • BigsaveDave

    It is really actually quite sad OTW. I don’t comment much on here usually just read the comments for insight and amusement. Your stories I do enjoy. I can see over time how this played out and I feel it sad that one or two people ruined this page today and in days past. Puck Head IMO has been imposter WW, imposter BTF, and now imposter Durp. I’m an old fart and going back through the posts it actually seems pretty clear. Puck thinks he is clever dropping little Easter eggs such as this to throw people off. Shame on you. Hopefully it is only the one bad egg, unfortunately one egg spoils the bunch. Guess I better be prepared for an imposter now🙄

  • buts

    I’ve been reading this for years before I joined and puckhead is one sick person who gets his kicks out of copying and being an imposter and he’s not very good at it at all because his imposters all show up around each other. Your sick puck and go away.