32 Teams In 32 Days: Calgary Flames
They had to sign somebody....
In today’s look around the NHL we dig into the Calgary Flames and their new blockbuster contract for Jonathan Huberdeau.
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It has been a pretty wild offseason to this point for the Calgary Flames.
The 2021-22 roster came out of nowhere to win the Pacific Division, thanks in large part to the team’s dominant top-line duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.
Dominant does not even begin to describe their season. When those two were on the ice during 5-on-5 play the Flames outscored teams by an almost unbelievable 86-32 margin, while dominating every underlying shot-based metric.
When neither was on the ice: The Flames were actually outscored by three goals (94-97).
Both players topped the 100-point mark (115 for Gaudreau; 104 for Tkachuck) and both were among the top-eight scorers in the NHL (Gaudreau was second; Tkachuk was eighth).
Every number you could look at to evaluate them jumped off the page.
Then the offseason rolled around and the Flames lost both players. Gaudreau, an unrestricted free agent, turned down more money from Calgary to join the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tkachuk, still a restricted free agent, was unwilling to sign a long-term deal in Calgary prompting his trade to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. The talk then switched to why the Flames could not retain their stars, and whether or not top players would want to go to (or stay in) Canada
On paper the return for Tkachuk was excellent. Huberdeau is also a top scorer in the league, while Weegar would be a pretty significant upgrade to an already strong defense. The only catch: Both players were unrestricted free agents after this season and there was again that discussion of whether or not they would re-sign.
That changed in a big way on Thursday night.
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