Folks, in a week the Calgary Flames will play in an actual hockey game against another NHL club. Sure, it’s exhibition against the Edmonton Oilers, but it’ll be a precursor to the post-season.
As we get amped up, let’s dive into the mailbag!
Odds Austin Czarnik makes the top 31 and the top 20?
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) July 12, 2020
Will Czarnik be on the Phase 4 roster? Almost certainly. He’s a right shot forward with a good amount of NHL experience, which makes him a valuable player to have around given the Flames have oodles of lefties and players with little-to-no experience in camp.
Will he play? He’ll probably need to shove his way past a few other bubble bodies, but we wouldn’t rule it out.
Any word on contract extensions for Brodie? And has their been any talk between Talbot and the flames? Would be nice to bring him back for another year if possible
— Pedro (@PedroinCalgary) July 13, 2020
Last word was the Flames touched based with all their pending UFAs over the past few weeks – e.g., once Return to Play was approved and the salary cap was set for 2019-20. The Flames has interest in bringing Brodie back but it will depend on price tag given the flat cap. He made $4.65 million this past season.
There have also been conversations with Talbot, who’s been a good fit in Calgary. But last word from the hockey insiders was Talbot was hoping for a situation where he can (a) be a starter and (b) maybe get a bit of a raise on his current $2.75 million salary. Will the Flames pay a premium to keep him around, or will they go to market yet again for another new goaltender?
With Hamonic out, our depth defenceman all get boosted up the ladder. Is there any chance Stone doesn't start game 1(please God)?
— Mitchell Young (@Cowtownhiccup) July 13, 2020
Based on skates so far, it looks like the third pairing is set as Erik Gustafsson and Derek Forbort. The fourth pairing is Stone and Oliver Kylington, so likely Stone doesn’t see game action unless another right side defender goes down.
with the uncertainty surrounding Derek Ryan does that open the door for Bennett to have a good showing alongside dube and lucic while he is out to maybe bump Doc down the lineup or is that something you would not risk given the chemistry that third line had?
— colin bennett (@colinbennett28) July 20, 2020
Derek Ryan between Milan Lucic and Dillon Dub was the Flames’ most consistently good line for roughly the entire season and I can’t see the coaching staff mucking around with that chemistry too much. That said, Bennett having a strong camp in Ryan’s absence could open the door for him nudging Mark Jankowski to the press box and supplanting his spot as fourth line center.
Then again, Bennett hasn’t been an amazing center thus far in his career, so maybe he stays on the wing for now.
Top trade target in the offseason? Who’s trade bait?
— Derek (@KohutD) July 13, 2020
A lot of it depends on the pending free agents. Let’s just say TJ Brodie and Cam Talbot stick around at reasonable rates. Suddenly, you can probably look to open up some cap space elsewhere by perhaps moving on from somebody like Jankowski or Bennett (and giving spots to guys like Gawdin and Phillips). But if they’d rather throw cap space at upgrades up front, suddenly it’s harder financially to keep Brodie and maybe they lean on young defenders like Kylington, Mackey and Valimaki.
So I live in Winnipeg, and I'm a #Flames fan. How am I going to survive this torture of being around all these Jets fans? Anyone I hear trash talking Chucky will be too painful.
— cdec17 (@cdec17) July 13, 2020
Winnipeg’s never won anything in the NHL and their fanbase may be even more hard-done than Calgary’s has been. I mean, their team moved to Phoenix. Try to be nice.
Last but not least, here’s a wacky Japanese mascot to brighten your Tuesday.
Monetee (an economics professor manatee) is the mascot for Japan’s Investment Diagnostic Association. pic.twitter.com/9vBq6nSX4n
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) July 21, 2020