It’s a brand-new season and Elliotte Friedman over at Sportsnet has renamed his 31 Thoughts column to 32 Thoughts with the NHL’s addition of the Seattle Kraken. In this week’s edition of his numbered thoughts, Friedman touched on the emergence of Oliver Kylington, the Flames’ poor starts to seasons, and Johnny Gaudreau’s contract.
15. I’m really careful about the first week of pre-season. The best players aren’t dialled in. But if there’s one player who piqued my interest, it was Calgary’s Oliver Kylington. He had one 25-minute game, and it is clear Calgary is giving him exhibition opportunity. But the Flames have a lot of defencemen, and Kylington is not waiver-exempt. (Bonus: His Instagram game is very good.)
Kylington is one of nine healthy defenders left in Flames camp. Of the nine, Connor Mackey is waiver exempt and everybody else is waiver eligible. Kylington will play his sixth game of the pre-season on Wednesday in Winnipeg.
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17. Matthew Tkachuk said during his 32 Thoughts podcast interview that if there’s one thing he’d like to change, it’s the Flames habit of poor starts. Here are Calgary’s 10-game records since the winger made his NHL debut in 2016-17: 4-5-1, 5-5, 4-6, 5-4-1 and 4-6. The loser point makes crawling out of a hole very difficult in this league.
As Nation Network staff writer Mike Gould often notes, the Flames haven’t won the first game of the season since 2009-10.
18. The Flames and Johnny Gaudreau are wisely going to keep contract discussions private. However, it’s not like it’s hard to figure out what will satisfy both team and player. Calgary will need to make a long-term commitment to him as their highest-paid player. I don’t think that’s major breaking news, it’s common sense. Again, how the season goes determines the outcome.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving tends to keep negotiation details to himself, but how this negotiation gets handled will be pretty important for the next few years of the franchise.
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