In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, the team is reportedly still kicking the tires on Ben Chiarot and may add him ahead of the trade deadline. In other news, Jacob Markstrom is just one shutout shy of a franchise record after recording his ninth on Saturday. Meanwhile, Oliver Kylington was forced to miss Saturday’s contest due to a lower-body injury. Last but not least, it was announced on Sunday that Adam Ruzicka has been re-assigned to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL), while Connor Mackey has been recalled.
Flames Still Interested in Chiarot
A month ago this Monday, the Flames announced that they had acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens. It was a huge move for a team that needed to improve their secondary scoring and could have been even bigger as it was reported that general manager Brad Treliving was looking at Chiarot as well, but backed away as he believed the price was too high.
With Chiarot still not having been moved to this point, the Flames are reportedly circling back. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the two sides are still talking in regards to the 30-year-old defenceman, but the asking price remains extremely high. LeBrun mentioned that the Canadiens are very interested in prospect Jakob Pelletier, hinting that is what Treliving would have to part with if the deal were to happen. Given Pelletier’s success as a rookie in the AHL this season, it seems very unlikely that he will be moved any time soon, but you never know.
Markstrom Approaching Franchise Record
What a season it has been for Markstrom. The 32-year-old came out of the gates flying, seemingly picking up a shutout in nearly every single start. In recent months, the shutouts haven’t been quite as common as they were to begin the campaign, but his play has remained elite.
Though he didn’t have to do a whole lot with only 19 shots fired his way, he was able to pick up his ninth shutout of the season on Saturday versus the Detroit Red Wings. To put it into perspective just how incredible that was, Ilya Sorokin is the only other goalie in the entire league that has more than four. Now, with 24 games remaining in the Flames season, he finds himself just one shy of Mikka Kiprusoff’s franchise record 10 shutouts which he had back in 2005-06. After a rough first year with the organization, he is proving to be very deserving of his six-year, $36 million deal.
Kylington Out With Lower-Body Injury
To the surprise of many, including even his head coach Darryl Sutter, Kylington was unable to suit up for Saturday’s game versus the Red Wings. After the game, Sutter didn’t have much to say on it but seemed puzzled given the fact the 24-year-old was a full participant in practice just a day prior.
It is worth noting that recently Kylington took an extremely awkward fall into the boards, which resulted in him having to leave the game. Perhaps this injury is a lingering effect of that spill. Expect to hear more in the coming days.
Mackey Up, Ruzicka Down
Prior to Sunday night’s tilt versus the Colorado Avalanche, the Flames announced that Ruzicka has been re-assigned to the Heat, while Mackey has been called up. This move was likely made due to the injury to Kylington, though neither Sutter nor Treliving has yet to comment on the matter.
The move to send Ruzicka down doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as the 22-year-old has been a healthy scratch often as of late. In 23 games this season with the Flames he has five goals and nine points. For Mackey, this will be his first time with the big club in 2021-22. The 25-year-old defenceman is having a solid season in Stockton with 31 points through 47 games.
Up Next for the Flames
After a hectic schedule that saw them play five games in seven days this past week, the Flames finally have a few off days to look forward to. They will be back in action on Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils, and will then have to prepare for a back-to-back set on Friday and Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks. Given how well they have played all season, and particularly as of late, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them pick up wins in all three of those games.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.