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FlamesNation mailbag: the first edition of the new season

We’re 3.6% through the 2020-21 Calgary Flames (regular) season. With the third game later today, we’ve put out the call to the mailbag to see how everyone’s doing so far.

Let’s see what the questioners have for us this week.

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Way back in 2013, both Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan were highly touted. Lindholm was Central Scouting’s third ranked European skater (behind Sasha Barkov and Valeri Nichushkin) and Monahan was the fifth ranked North American skater (behind Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Darnell Nurse).

Between the two of them, I preferred Lindholm. He was arguably a little bit less physically developed than Monahan, but I liked his versatility, pro experience in Europe and his right-handedness. But most projections had him going to Carolina at fifth overall – the first round consensus went against Central Scouting’s rankings that year – and Monahan was a perfectly acceptable Plan B.

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Ultimately we probably see a rotation – I like Josh Leivo’s fit on that line potentially, too – but Dillon Dube is a really good fit with Tkachuk and Lindholm. He may be the best fore-checker on the team right now, aside from maybe Andrew Mangiapane.

The clock is ticking on Sam Bennett, I fear. He’s got 54 games left to prove to Flames brass that he’s the best at something within the forward group. He’s got hustle and physicality to his game, but so do a few others on the wing – and the others don’t tend to take as many penalties.

It was probably just a happy accident. The Flames didn’t want to walk Matthew Tkachuk to unrestricted free agency, so a four year deal wasn’t an option and the three year deal worked out for everybody. Mark Giordano will probably take a bit of a financial haircut on his next deal, though, and Tkachuk seems to be the obvious beneficiary of the savings. But let’s not give Brad Treliving the credit here, it probably wasn’t set up that way completely on purpose.

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I would imagine it’s more of a beleaguered sigh than a scream, but to burn $1.5 million of cap space (for this season and next) paying Brouwer not to play for them when they really could use it on, well, anything… it has to hurt.

It’s not ideal. The Oilers are without Mike Smith due to injury and are waiting for Troy Groesnick to clear COVID quarantine protocols after his waiver claim a few days ago. Don’t be surprised if they put in a claim on Toronto ‘s Aaron Dell, who’s already in Canada and really good.

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So far he’s a yay. But I do wonder how that contract’s going to age in a flat cap system, plus Tanev plays a hard style of game and he’s got an injury history. All I’m gonna say is this: if the poor guy is blocking five or more shots per game, the Flames better damn well be winning those games.

Once a player clears waivers, they remain waiver exempt until one of two things happens:

  1. They dress for 10 games.
  2. They are on the NHL roster for 30 days.

If the Flames wanted to, they could move Kylington back and forth from the taxi squad 30 times (for a day at a time) before he would require waivers again after the 30th day on the roster.