Welcome to the yearly wrap up of the top read articles over the last year!
In what was one of the biggest moves the Calgary Flames have made in recent years, the club made a massive splash in inking free agent goalie Jacob Markstrom.
An article by Ryan Pike detailing the deal was the 25th most read article on FlamesNation in 2020.
Calgary had been rumoured to be in the market for a goaltender and Markstrom was one the Flames had been linked to for some time. In the days ahead of pandemic free agency, it sounded like Markstrom was down to three teams — the Canucks, the Oilers, and the Flames.
In the end, he chose Calgary and Calgary chose him. Here’s what Pike wrote about the move the day it was made official:
Of the available options to upgrade Calgary’s goaltending, Markstrom was probably the best available. But the devil’s in the details, and a six year term brings along some risks. Markstrom is immediately the club’s fifth-oldest player – behind Mark Giordano, Derek Ryan, Milan Lucic and Mikael Backlund – and comes in at fifth-most expensive – behind Matthew Tkachuk, Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
Aside from Giordano, the team’s most expensive players are pretty young and the risk of them falling off a cliff are relatively low (and Giordano only has two seasons left on his big-ticket deal). Markstrom? He’ll be aging well into his 30s with the Flames, with a flat salary cap likely through at least the first half of that deal.
If Markstrom can be an effective net presence for most of his deal and avoid injuries and the aging curve, this deal will age well. But there’s a ton of question about how likely that is.
Treliving has been searching for a top goaltender since he became general manager in 2014. Well, he’s found one, and he’s going to to have to live with this decision for a long while.
On Twitter: @zjlaing