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Elliotte Friedman discussed the Flames’ free agency plans and potential moves on the Jeff Marek Show

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
1 month ago
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With Jacob Markstrom on his way to New Jersey and all the noise behind a potential move being made by Flames general manager Craig Conroy, eyes look ahead toward the 2024 NHL Entry Draft and the start of free agency on July 1.
With those two major events nearing ever closer (and the Stanley Cup Final is not at its conclusion yet, with the comeback of the rival Edmonton Oilers), insiders and the rumour mill are working overtime to clear up interesting situations between teams throughout the league. And despite the Flames moving on from their former Vezina-finalist Swedish goaltender and one of the backbones (if not the main backbone) of the team, their name is still being brought up within free agency conversations by the likes of Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.
On Thursday’s edition of The Jeff Marek Show featuring Friedman (via the phone), the Markstrom trade was discussed, but what was also discussed was the amount of money the Flames have at their disposal in free agency. Marek brought up the idea of Calgary being a broker team like we’ve seen with teams toward the bottom of the standings, taking on bad deals for picks and prospects. But, instead, Friedman offered up another piece of information he has heard through the grapevine.
“One thing I’ve heard Calgary has indicated is when it comes to free agency, they’re going to try to be very careful about term,” Friedman said. “Someone told me a couple of days ago that some of these UFA defencemen out there are getting Orlov offers. Orlov for Carolina was 2 times $7.5 [million], and I’ve heard that’s been out there for a few of the UFA guys. I’m not saying Calgary is the one doing that because I don’t know, but I think that Calgary is looking at it like, ‘We’re not crazy about term, but we may up the AAV a bit if that can get us some players.'”
Simply put, the Flames are willing to make some noise in free agency, likely adding some decent players for shorter-term deals that provide them more AAV, but that will likely be it since they don’t want to give out those extra years with where they are in the standings and other outside factors.
While many might not be fond of the return for Markstrom, it’s good to hear that the management team is being smart with their money, even if they do have plenty of it (according to PuckPedia, they’re sitting with about $22.27 million in projected cap space this off-season). At this point, signing players to long-term deals is not the correct decision, and given the way Friedman talked about it, Conroy seems vehemently opposed to that idea.
What the Flames do and who they target has yet to be discussed at length, seeing as the draft is the primary focus at this point. However, having a clear-cut plan of action in place by the general manager (even if it’s just coming to light through the rumor mill) is something to be happy with at this juncture with the way the team is currently constructed and what the future has in store.

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