A look back at the Calgary Flames’ 2023 free agents

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
When the 2022-23 National Hockey League season concluded, the Calgary Flames had several free agents that required their attention. As July 1 approached, the Flames had 14 free agents – three restricted, 11 unrestricted.
As main camps loom across the league, let’s check in and see where all those free agents ended up.

Group 2 (restricted free agents)

The Flames had three Group 2 free agents, restricted free agents eligible for offer sheets after receiving a qualifying offer: Ben Jones, Emilio Pettersen and Martin Pospisil. Jones and Pospisil were eligible for salary arbitration, but neither filed for it.
All three players re-signed with the Flames.
(The Flames also had pending Group 2 free agent Walker Duehr re-sign in April, while they acquired pending Group 2 free agent Yegor Sharangovich from New Jersey and signed him promptly.)

Group 3 (unrestricted free agents)

The Flames had eight Group 3 free agents, which is the type of free agent we usually associate with unrestricted free agency. The eight were Dryden Hunt, Trevor Lewis, Milan Lucic, Colton Poolman, Nick Ritchie, Troy Stecher, Michael Stone and Alexander Yelesin. (Yelesin received a qualifying offer as a pending RFA in 2021, but opted to sign back in Russia. He turned 27 this year, so the Flames lost his rights and he converted to a UFA.)
Among the “regular” UFAs: Hunt and Poolman re-signed with the Flames, Lewis signed in Los Angeles, Lucic signed in Boston and Stecher signed in Arizona. Ritchie is attending St. Louis’ camp on a professional try-out, while Stone retired and has joined the Flames’ player development team. (The departures, in the aggregate, helped the Flames get a bit younger.)

Group 6 (unrestricted free agents)

The Flames had three Group 6 free agents, which are players that normally would be Group 2 restricted free agents but qualify as unrestricted free agents due to being (a) over 25 and (b) having played fewer than 80 NHL games. The Flames had three Group 6s: Nicolas Meloche, Matthew Phillips and Kristians Rubins.
Phillips signed with Washington, Rubins signed in Sweden with MODO Hockey, while Meloche is attending Columbus’ camp on a professional try-out.

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