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The Flames are, and should be, interested in Jacob Markstrom

I believe the Calgary Flames will seriously pursue Jacob Markstrom if they get the chance. The pending unrestricted free agent has put together three straight solid seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, including a 2019-20 campaign that rightly put him in Vezina Trophy conversations. Whether Markstrom gets to free agency is still up in the air,…

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There’s plenty of merit to re-signing Erik Gustafsson

Calgary’s acquisition of defenceman Erik Gustafsson at February’s trade deadline (remember that?) was one of the team’s most intriguing in quite some time. That’s partly because the Flames have been relatively quiet at recent deadlines, but also because Gustafsson is an interesting study. As offensively gifted as they come, Gustafsson had his ups and downs…

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‘Shaking up the core’ isn’t as cut and dried as it sounds

Another first round exit. Another disappointing playoff performance from some of Calgary’s highest profile and highest paid players. Another off-season of calls for the Flames to make significant changes to their. That’s where we find ourselves right now, and those clamouring for a shakeup are perfectly justified.

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A Juuso Valimaki return this season seems like a long shot

It seems unlikely the Flames will see injured defenceman Juuso Valimaki suit up when the NHL season resumes on Aug. 1. A combination of things lead me to that conclusion, from Valimaki’s expansion draft eligibility to Calgary’s depth on the blueline. Nothing is impossible, but with all the information we have now, I wouldn’t expect…

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Compensatory pick could solve last summer’s Neal-Lucic swap

It’s the trade that keeps on giving. Last July’s James Neal-Milan Lucic swap between the Flames and Oilers included a third round draft pick heading south if certain conditions were met. But because the 2019-2020 season has been deemed complete in unprecedented fashion, that conditional pick is floating in a grey area. Or is it?…

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Calgary’s best value contracts: 2020

When I targeted mid-March for our annual countdown of Calgary’s best value contracts, I didn’t think it would encapsulate the entire body of work for the season. As we find ourselves in the strangest of times, though, that’s very likely going to be the case. So, in the spirit of faking normalcy, let’s see if…

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Mikael Backlund’s reemergence massive for the Flames down the stretch

Mikael Backlund might be playing the best hockey of his career right now. If he’s not, Backlund is unquestionably playing his best hockey of the season. As Calgary’s playoff push continues, Backlund’s return to being a two-way force might be the team’s biggest recent development. If this is the norm down the stretch, a second…

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Analyzing Calgary’s stretch drive and playoff push

The trade deadline has come and gone, which leaves the Flames have 18 games to determine exactly who and what they are. In a year plagued with inconsistency, Calgary holds down a playoff spot with just over a month to go. Now that they know who’s staying and who’s going, let’s dive into the stretch…

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Austin Czarnik presents intriguing post-deadline option for Calgary

Don’t forget about Austin Czarnik. We haven’t seen the 27-year-old forward at the NHL level since he sustained a high ankle sprain in a game against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 24. After two months of recovery, Czarnik has been tearing up the American League ever since and could help fill the team’s lack of…

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Trio of core pieces in the spotlight as Flames return from break

When the Flames return from break on Tuesday night, there won’t be a bigger story than the performance of three core pieces down the stretch: Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Mark Giordano. All three have performed well below expectations this season, which has Calgary in a tenuous playoff position, at best. An uptick from this…