The Summer Olympics have come and gone, and next up for the Olympic cycle is the 2022 games in Beijing… in February. As life continues to whoosh by at break-neck speed, let’s ponder life’s mysteries in the most fun way possible: the weekly FlamesNation mailbag.
Let’s get at it!
Do you know what the plan is for Emil Heineman? What type of player is he? Do you think he has a legitimate shot at being an NHL player?
— Ring of Fire CGY (@RingOfFireCGY) August 8, 2021
Scouting pal Tony Ferrari, formerly of Dobber Prospects, described Heineman earlier this year in this manner:
Heineman is a very good shooter and he brings a high-level motor with a willingness to bang along the boards. A quality addition to the Calgary prospect pool who could turn into what Bennett had become with a better shot.
Some scouts have compared Heineman’s overall projection as a player similar to Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman. Heineman has already played a season and change in the Swedish Hockey League, and he represented the Tre Kronor at the World Juniors. Based on what we’ve seen from him at the SHL level, he projects well to be (at least) a useful complimentary piece at the NHL level just because of his motor alone.
IF the Flames miss the playoffs, A) should Treliving be replaced and B) who would potential replacement candidates be?
— Westrons (@W3stron) August 8, 2021
Flames general manager Brad Treliving has two seasons left on his current contract, which ends at the end of the 2022-23 season (as does Darryl Sutter’s). At this point, I’m reasonably confident that Treliving will be around until (at least) the end of his contract. That said, if the team doesn’t look like it’s making progress – or has made progress over the past few seasons – then they might be looking in another direction.
But it’s way, way too early to make projections about a GM changeover and potential successors.
Project the opening night roster with lines and pairs 🙂
— G J (@The_Greggers) August 8, 2021
Assuming no trades or free agent signings:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Monahan – Coleman
Dube – Backlund – Pitlick
Lucic – Gawdin – Lewis
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Andersson
Valimaki – Kylington
My guess right now is we see another defenseman signed to bump Kylington down to the seventh spot (or the AHL). One of Kylington or Welinski will likely be the extra blueliner.
– Out of Pelletier, Zary, and Coronato, who are the Flames most likely to part with in a trade?
– What kind of futures can Matthew Tkachuk return in a trade?
– Confidence on Gaudreau signing an extension? Are he and the Flames waiting on a trade to happen before signing?
— m (@miletwt) August 8, 2021
Let’s do this rapid fire:
- Of Pelletier, Zary or Coronato, I would suspect the Flames would be most likely to part with Pelletier, as he’s the oldest of the three and arguably has the least pure offensive upside. That said, the club thinks very highly of all three of them and are in no hurry to ship any of them out.
- A team acquiring Tkachuk right now would get two years of player control before unrestricted free agency kicks in. Based on that, I would estimate he’d land them a first round pick and a pretty good prospect from whoever he’s traded to.
- My personal confidence on Gaudreau re-signing is 8.5 out of 10.
Do you think the Flames should not add more players via trade as they are more than one player away from contending for the cup. Also Is it time to let younger drafted players get a real look to allow for more salary cap flexibility to sign there own guys?
— Terry (@monks737) August 8, 2021
I personally don’t think the Flames are one player away from a Stanley Cup, and so I’m not a huge fan of mortgaging the future in order to get the team over the top.
Teams that are successful – looking at you, Tampa Bay – tend to build from within and use guys like Blake Coleman to fill in the gaps of the lineup, and so hording young players and draft picks is my preferred method until a critical mass of young pieces exists, at which point teams are able to move out those pieces for things they haven’t been able to grow internally without really hurting their pipeline. The Flames have done this with some success with “hockey trades” that landed them Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm, but packaging first and second round selections hasn’t resulted in a lot of trade success lately.
Who are the possibilities as team captain to replace Gio? I see Tanev with an 'A', for sure.
— Maureen Brennan (@mbbrennan) August 8, 2021
I would imagine the Flames go without a full-time captain for 2021-22 – a first in franchise history – and operate with three alternates for every game: Chris Tanev, Sean Monahan, and the third rotating between Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk.
Rumours suck — Can you set us straight?
— the fall (@ReefnBeef1) August 8, 2021
The only rumours that don’t suck:
As we head towards the 2021/2022 season. Where do you think the flames will end up in terms of pacific standings by the end of the year? Also what are reasonable expectations for this group Eichel or not?
— Erik Dickson (@RikyBerta69) August 8, 2021
With their current roster, I would say the Flames finish behind Vegas and Edmonton in the Pacific Division. They probably finish ahead of Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. So that probably means they’re battling Seattle and Vancouver for the last divisional spot and/or a wild-card playoff berth.
Who do you see as defensive pairings this year? Do you see the flames trading for another defenseman or adding from within the organization? Which type of defenseman do you see the flames going after ( offensive/ defensive)? Any available defenseman with good metrics/analytics?
— ⚡CRIMSON⚡ (@CrimsonStrmTrpr) August 8, 2021
We’ve profiled Sami Vatanen recently, and he’s a free agent defender who would be a reliable two-way presence on the right side and could mentor young Juuso Valimaki. That would give the Flames a nice right-left balance on all three pairs with a young guy and an older guy: Hanifin with Tanev, Andersson with Zadorov, and Valimaki with Vatanen.
When should we expect a Monahan trade?
What will Johnny’s next contract look like?
Who is our no.1 defenseman?
Is Lindholm really a C? Really? I mean really?
— Cameron Hilton (@cameron_hilton) August 8, 2021
- The Flames have reportedly been shopping Monahan for the last two off-seasons with no success. The challenge may be Monahan’s consistency and injury history, which may be inter-related.
- I would guess Gaudreau’s extension would be long-term – somewhere between six and eight seasons – and a cap hit somewhere around $8.5 million. I have no inside information, but this is a guess based on other recent contracts signed by wingers.
- At this point, Noah Hanifin is probably the team’s de facto #1 defenseman.
- Elias Lindholm is really a centre. Really.
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