What we’re hearing from the Flames in Montreal so far
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
5 months ago
Before we dive in, the tragic news of Bryan Marchment’s passing has weighed heavy on the day’s events. Word started to circulate late Wednesday morning and the news has hit home with the Flames. Marchment finished his NHL career with Calgary, playing 37 games with the team during the 2005-06 season. He was still very close with members of the organization and alumni. The thoughts of the NHL world are with the Marchment family.
Draft week is officially in full swing in La Belle Province. While Calgary doesn’t pick until day two on Friday night, they’re one of a few teams en vogue thus far in Montréal. Here’s a little bit of what we’re hearing on the ground one day ahead of the first in-person NHL Draft since 2019.
Johnny Gaudreau’s situation
It’s one of the two or three things everyone is talking about here in Montréal. Brad Treliving did not speak to media following general manager meetings on Wednesday afternoon because, well, what is there to say? The Flames have made a competitive and lucrative offer, there’s room to negotiate, and the cards are held almost entirely by Gaudreau’s camp.
Here’s my understanding of the situation after doing as much digging as I can on the ground: Gaudreau is truly undecided. Calgary’s offer remains in play and I don’t believe Gaudreau will be closing the door on a return until a final decision is made. As stated last week, Philadelphia and New Jersey are two teams I’m confident are in the mix to land Gaudreau if he goes to free agency. I’m even more confident in that now, and there are undoubtedly others.
The waiting game continues.
As we know, the Flames have just the three picks and none until the second round. It’s not a huge amount of draft capital, which is why no one will be surprised if Treliving pulls something off to change that. Whether it’s trading down or moving a roster player, there’s a decent chance Calgary could finish with more than three players selected.
“We prepare the same way,” Director of Amateur Scouting Tod Button told me. “We have to be prepared for any scenario that pops up. So that’s getting more picks, moving down, whatever the case may be, we have to be ready for it.
“For us, it’s fairly simple in that regard as our process protocols remain the same. Tree’s pretty good at keeping us abreast of what’s going on if there’s possibilities of that happening. If it happens, we’ll be ready to pounce on it at any moment when he says we’re going to make a deal.
“If we want him to possibly make a move to try and get up to get a player we see falling that’s higher on our list, he’ll make the calls, he starts right away. He actually encourages us to do it consistently to make sure…don’t just sit there and wait, let’s see if there’s an advantage we can take because we like somebody that’s falling.”
The Flames will come back from Montréal on Friday night, immediately following day two of the draft, and get right to work on development camp for prospects. Players arrive Sunday, which gives everyone around 48 hours of turnaround.
“It’s a little bit different this year,” said Ray Edwards with Calgary’s player development group. “We’re doing the camp so close to the draft, so… in essence we’ve done our due diligence and our homework on players. We have three picks, so we can only take three of those guys so we have to sort of be diligent.
“If there’s a player that we had targeted to come gets drafted, obviously he wouldn’t come. If he does not get drafted, then we have to be quick to get him on a flight and get him ready to go for Sunday evening.”
Also of note: prospects who played in the American League this season will not be attending development camp. Because their season ended so recently, the likes of Jakob Pelletier, Connor Zary, Connor Mackey, and others won’t be taking part as they usually would.
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