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A look ahead to the Calgary Flames’ potential 2024 free agents

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
The Calgary Flames had a pretty busy 2023 free agency period, but the 2024 edition could be even busier. As training camp for the 2023-24 season approaches, the Flames have 44 players on NHL contracts and 24 of those are on expiring deals. That means that over half of their current contracted players are slated to become free agents of various types.
Let’s dive in for a (very early) preview of which deals are expiring.

Group 2 (restricted free agents)

The Flames have a dozen potential Group 2 free agents, which are the traditional type of restricted free agents: if they receive a qualifying offer, the Flames hold onto their rights but these players can accept offer sheets from other clubs.
The 12 potential RFAs are Dustin Wolf, Yan Kuznetsov, Ilya Solovyov, Brady Lyle, Martin Pospisil, Ben Jones, Emilio Pettersen, Adam Klapka, Cole Schwindt, Adam Ruzicka, Jakob Pelletier and Dillon Dube. Several of these players are more AHL depth pieces, but a handful are fairly significant names.
(Eligible to file for salary arbitration, if desired: Lyle, Pospisil, Jones, Pettersen, Klapka, Ruzicka and Dube.)

Group 3 (unrestricted free agents)

Another 12 players would qualify as Group 3 free agents, which are the traditional type of unrestricted free agents. The dozen are Oscar Dansk, Nick DeSimone, Colton Poolman, Kevin Rooney, Oliver Kylington, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, Jordan Oesterle, Dennis Gilbert, Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm.
We’ve discussed the “main” six pending UFAs that are fairly significant members of the Flames roster: Kylington, Hanifin, Tanev, Zadorov, Backlund and Lindholm.

Group 6 (unrestricted free agents)

Three of the Flames’ potential restricted free agents could become Group 6 unrestricted free agents – if a player on an expiring contract is 25 or older, has played at least three seasons on an NHL contract and has played fewer than 80 NHL games, they qualify.
The three potential Group 6s are Brady Lyle, Ben Jones and Adam Ruzicka. Ruzicka needs to play 5 NHL games to remain an RFA, while Jones needs to play 68 and Lyle 80. Ruzicka probably makes the cut as an RFA this season, but the other two seem like long-shots and probably become unrestricted.
Aside from the “big six” UFAs, which pending free agents do you think should be a priority for the Flames? What type of deal do you think young players like Pelletier of Wolf could get, and how much could that change over the next season? Let us know in the comments!

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