Flames went for depth moves on opening day of free agency
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
After the signings of Nicolas Meloche and Kevin Rooney earlier in the day, the Calgary Flames continued working on their organizational depth with six other signings announced by the club on Wednesdy afternoon.
All-told, the Flames re-signed restricted free agent blueliner Colton Poolman, and signed seven unrestricted free agents: goaltender Oscar Dansk, defensemen Meloche, Nick DeSimone and Dennis Gilbert, and forwards Rooney, Clark Bishop and Trevor Lewis.
Poolman, 26, is a left shot defender who spent 2021-22 with Stockton and was solid if unspectacular, with some of his best work coming alongside Juuso Valimaki in the second half of the season. He’s reliable depth and while he doesn’t have a ton of offensive upside – he had 13 assists in 62 games – he’s steady defensively and can play with anybody. He’s on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 in the NHL.
Dansk, 28, returns to North America after playing 2021-22 in the KHL with Sparta Moskva. He was previously with the Columbus and Vegas organizations, and he’s played six NHL games in his career. He’s a Swede, which fits the Flames’ culture, and he’s a veteran pro who can help mould Dustin Wolf into a future NHL netminder. He’s on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 in the NHL.
We discussed Meloche (a right shot defender) earlier today, but he’s on a one-year, one-way deal worth $950,000.
DeSimone, 27, is a right shot defender who spent 2021-22 with Stockton and was quite good on a pairing with Kevin Gravel for the vast majority of the season. He’s a steady veteran and can play in any game situation. He had 25 points in 68 games for the Heat. He’s on a two-year, two-way deal with a $762,500 AAV.
Gilbert, 25, is a left shot defender who spent 2021-22 with the Colorado Eagles and had 23 points in 52 games. He’s a balanced defender who can play in a lot of different situations and could provide useful NHL depth for the Flames. He’s on a two-year, one-way deal with a $762,500 AAV.
We discussed Rooney (a left shot forward) earlier today, but he’s on a two-year, one-way deal with a $1.3 million AAV.
Bishop, 26, is a left shot forward who spent 2021-22 split between Ottawa and AHL Belleville. He’s a good secondary AHL scorer and has been decent enough in the NHL, but not quite enough to carve out a full-time gig yet. He’s on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 in the NHL.
Lewis, 35, is a right shot forward who spent 2021-22 with the Flames, where he played centre and the wing and killed penalties. Lewis was really useful for the Flames and provided functional toughness, but not a ton of offensive – 16 points in 80 games. He’s on a one-year, one-way deal worth $800,000.
The Flames might not have made any big splashes in free agency, but they also didn’t really hurt themselves. The guys they have signed are all relatively inexpensive and could be useful depth pieces. Heck, Lewis was a big part of one of the NHL’s best penalty kills last season.
These might not have been the season-defining moves that fans may have hoped for, but they were prudent, measured, and generally logical transactions that didn’t do much to handcuff the club’s contract count or cap space.
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