logo

What will the Calgary Flames blueline group look like in 2024-25?

alt
Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
27 days ago
The Calgary Flames went through some changes over the 2023-24 season, with three opening night defencemen being traded during the campaign and the Flames are regularly dressing a lineup featuring just two holdovers from opening night. As the this season winds down, let’s start looking at the future.
What will the Flames’ blueline look like in 2024-25? Let’s go through the players that are likely to return to the team next season and see how they could fit in.

Locks

MacKenzie Weegar ($6.25 million) is a right shot blueliner that plays both sides of the ice and plays in every game situation. He’s under contract until 2030-31, and currently he’s being used to help bring along Daniil Miromanov. He’s not going anywhere.
Rasmus Andersson ($4.55 million) is another versatile rightie. He’s under contract through 2025-26 and, like Weegar, given his contract status and ability to play in every game situation, he’s a lock for a spot.

Virtual locks

Oliver Kylington (pending UFA) is a pending unrestricted free agent, which is the only reason he’s not with Weegar and Andersson in the “locks” category. Despite missing 20 months of action, Kylington returned to the NHL and has been quite good. There’s a lot of mutual goodwill between team and player, and so it seems probable that Kylington returns to the blueline in 2024-25.

Making a good case

Daniil Miromanov ($1.25 million) just signed an extension recently. He’s found some nice chemistry with Weegar and done a good job at generating scoring chances. The big questions are whether he can do much in the defensive end, and whether he can develop chemistry with more members of the blueline group. Miromanov’s offensive prowess will give him a great chance at a spot.

In the mix

Brayden Pachal ($775,000) has been a really steady presence on the third pairing since arriving from Vegas. He’s been mostly a defensive zone presence and his offensive touch is fairly limited, but the only real thing to criticize are the penalties he’s taken. Nevertheless, he’s inexpensive, reliable depth at worst but perhaps not much more than a good third pairing guy.
Joel Hanley ($787,500) is another reliable third pairing presence. He was essentially the seventh guy in Dallas, and a really useful one, and he may be destined for that role in Calgary.
Nikita Okhotiuk (pending RFA) hasn’t played very much in Calgary, and he’s probably the incumbent defender we know the least about. Based on his usage elsewhere, he’s another third-pairing mix guy.

Dark horses

Jeremie Poirier ($823,333) is an offensive-minded AHLer who’s recently returned from a lengthy absence due to an arm laceration. He’s gotten long looks in training camp in each of the two seasons because of his potential. If he can shore up his game away from the puck – or find the right defensive partner to help cover up his perceived shortcomings – he could be in the NHL before we know it.
Artem Grushnikov ($814,167) is a defensive-minded AHLer who was recently acquired from Dallas. He’s nothing special offensively, but the Flames are excited about his potential as a shutdown guy.
Ilya Solovyov (pending RFA) and Yan Kuznetsov (pending RFA) both had cups of coffee at the NHL level this season. They seem destined to be defensive-minded shutdown guys for the third pair – Kuznetsov has a bit more offensive upside than Solovyov.
Let’s get rowdy! GAME DAY hosted by Flamesnation & Barn Burner at Greta Bar YYC is coming at you live on Saturday March 23rd! Join the crew at our favorite Game Day Watch Party spot, Greta, to watch Calgary take on Vancouver! Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $10! Good food, good prizes and a guaranteed good time. This event is brought to you by McLeod Law LLP and Village Honda. Get your tickets at nationgear.ca before they sell out!

Check out these posts...