Calgary Flames groupings start coming together on first day of training camp

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames began their 2022-23 training camp in earnest on Thursday morning, hitting the ice for the first time as a formal group and starting to craft this year’s edition of the team. With a bunch of new faces in camp from an eventful off-season, Thursday was the first time to see everybody together.
As was the approach last season, the Flames’ coaching staff have opted to put together an NHL group, an AHL group, and a third group largely of players that were holdovers from the rookie tournament in Penticton.
Via our pal Pat Steinberg, here’s how lines and pairings looked on the first group:
@Jonathan Huberdeau – @Elias Lindholm – @Tyler Toffoli
@Cody Eakin – @Nazem Kadri – @Sonny Milano
@Dillon Dube – @Mikael Backlund – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Kevin Rooney – @Brett Ritchie
@Martin Pospisil – @Adam Ruzicka – @Trevor Lewis
@MacKenzie Weegar – @Chris Tanev
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Nikita Zadorov – @Nicolas Meloche
@Juuso Valimaki- @Michael Stone
@Jacob Markstrom
@Daniel Vladar
The Flames are obviously without @Andrew Mangiapane or @Oliver Kylington for the time being, but the forward group is starting to come together in a way that seems to make a lot of sense – if you swap out Eakin for Mangiapane, it looks like a really plausible (and deep) forward group on the first three lines. That said, expect some movement within that group during camp as the coaching staff tries out different looks.
Darryl Sutter quipped in his media available, regarding the number of players who can play on either side of the wing at forward, “It’s not who, it’s more like how.” In other words: they’ll see which players are good fits.
On the back end, the Flames are starting with Andersson and Hanifin together, just like last season, and Weegar is with Tanev. As with the forward group, expect a bit of swapping back and forth on the back end, particularly with Weegar and a few others having experience playing on both sides of the ice.
The Flames begin their pre-season action on Sunday night with a pair of split squad games with the Vancouver Canucks.

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