What should the Calgary Flames do with Yegor Sharangovich?

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
19 days ago
One of the more interesting storylines to watch this offseason will be how the Calgary Flames go about dealing with Yegor Sharangovich.
There are three options for the team. Sign him to a long-term extension starting on July 1. Trade him. Or, wait until the 2025 trade deadline to decide on what direction they want to go. The one thing they can’t do, and history has shown they won’t do, is let him walk for nothing as a free agent in July 2025.
Let’s break down the pros and cons to each choice.

Sign him

Starting on July 1, the Calgary Flames will have the opportunity to sign Sharangovich to a contract extension. And it might make sense to do it. Sharangovich is coming off a career year where he scored 31 goals. And a lot of those goals weren’t empty netters or shooting a puck off a skate and in. Sharangovich was a sniper. He proved he is a natural goal scorer.
Once Sharangovich got used to his surroundings and found a place in the lineup, he started to produce at a high-end level. From Nov. 18 to the end of the regular season, Sharangovich scored 29 goals in 66 games. That is a 36-goal pace over 82 games. That would put him in a tie for 22nd in the NHL in goal scoring with Sebastian Aho.

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If the Flames think Sharangovich can be a consistent 30-35 goal scorer, then they should absolutely look at locking him up.
But there are reasons to be skeptical. Firstly, the Flames have been burned for signing players after career years. Just look at the Jonathan Huberdeau and Andrew Mangiapane contracts. Sharangovich had a career year when it comes to goals, points, and shooting percentage which was 17.3%. Are those numbers sustainable?
Then there is the defensive side of the game. Some of his defensive numbers were ugly. Sharangovich was tied for last on the Flames in plus/minus with a minus-29. The Flames were outscored 64-41 at 5-on-5 with Sharangovich on the ice. He was under 50% in CF%, SCF%, HDCF%, and xGF%.

Trade him

On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense to move a 26-year-old winger who is coming off a 31-goal season.
But the argument can be made that moving him makes sense from a long term, asset management perspective.
Sharangovich is coming off a career year. The first time in his career that he put up 30 goals and 59 points. His value will never be higher as a member of the Flames.
He is going to be 27 years old when his next contract kicks in. How old is Sharangovich going to be by the time the Flames are good again? 30? 31? The question the Flames need to ask themselves is if they want to be paying a 30+ year old top six winger big dollars when they’re already paying Huberdeau $10.5 million. The Flames can’t afford to miss on another contract for a top six winger.
And do we know if Sharangovich is going to be this good of a player long term? Or is his 2023-24 season going to be his career year that he’s never able to reach again?
The Flames also have a lot of young wingers in their prospect system. Matt Coronato, Jakob Pelletier, Sam Honzek, Martin Pospisil, Connor Zary, Aydar Suniev. And they’ll probably add to that list at the draft this summer, like a Tij Iginla.

Wait to sign him

The third option is to wait and see how things go in the 2024-25 season. Give Sharangovich another year to prove that he can be a consistent 30-goal scorer.
The issue with this is what happens if he produces at an even higher rate? Like I mentioned earlier in the article, Sharangovich was scoring at a 36-goal pace in the final 66 games of the Flames season. If he scores at that rate next season, he’s going to become even more expensive.
But the opposite can also be the case. What if he isn’t as productive as he was last season? Could his next contract go down in value? Could the Flames get Sharangovich’s AAV down a million dollars less than they would have had they signed him in the summer?
That’s the risk you take in waiting.
This whole situation comes down to what you think Sharangovich can be for the next 5-7 years. Is he going to be a consistent 30 goal scorer? Or is he closer to the player he was in New Jersey at the start of his career where he was more of a 20-goal scorer?

My 2 cents

If I were the Flames, I would explore what a contract extension could look like this summer. I love Sharangovich’s shot and offensive skill set. Finding players who score like he can is hard to do.
Plus, the Flames are going to need wingers. Blake Coleman won’t be around forever. Andrei Kuzmenko and Andrew Mangiapane aren’t going to be around as early as next season. And who knows which of the Flames prospects on the wing are actually going to turn into NHL players?
Because of that I lean towards signing him. But there isn’t a rush if the right deal doesn’t present itself this summer.

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