According to a report from Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman, the Calgary Flames may be working towards a deadline with newly acquired blueliner MacKenzie Weegar. A pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season, Weegar would prefer not to negotiate during the season, per Friedman on the latest edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 26, 2022
“From what I understand right now I believe MacKenzie Weegar’s goal is to say ‘we have this done by the start of the season or we stop talking.’ Even he said at the beginning of training camp that there was reason to believe it was worked out, and I do think the two sides are taking a run at it. One of the things I’ve heard is that his preference is once the puck drops, shelve it.”
Weegar was acquired by the Flames from the Florida Panthers – along with Jonathan Huberdeau, Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick – in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk during the off-season. Per multiple reports, his camp is negotiating a potential contract extension with the Flames but, as of yet, nothing’s been finalized.
Weegar’s not a total outlier in the NHL when it comes to wishing to avoid in-season negotiations; talking about a contract during the season can be a massive distraction for both player and team.
The Flames begin their regular season on Oct. 13 when they host the Colorado Avalanche.
(As a bonus tidbit, Friedman added this before the end of the Calgary segment: “I also do wonder about Darryl Sutter, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets an extension, too.”)