Breaking Down the Calgary Flames’ 2022-23 Roster

On Apr. 28, 2014, Brad Treliving became the general manager of the Calgary Flames. In eight seasons since taking over the club, he has been busy turning over the roster in pursuit of another Stanley Cup championship. Through the NHL Entry Draft, free agency, and trade deadlines, he has the Flames on the verge of success with one of their best rosters in decades.

According to statistics obtained through,, and, there are 23 players under contract with the Flames in 2022-23. Let’s take a look at how this year’s team came together. 

Flames Players Acquired Through Trades – 9/23 (39%)

The oldest Flames transaction still on the roster is Michael Stoneacquired from the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 20, 2017. There will be some argument that he is a “free agent signing” since he has earned a one-year deal every fall since 2018; however, the defenceman initially joined the franchise through a trade. 

The roster turnover continued the following season when two impactful players on the current roster came to town in a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes on Jun. 23, 2018. To acquire Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, the Flames parted ways with Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and a prospect, Adam Fox. Years later, it is safe to say the Flames won the deal since only Hamilton stayed in Carolina for more than a season. Ferland left for Vancouver after one year, and Fox never suited up for the team. Fans are left to wonder what could have been since Fox went on to win the Norris Trophy with the New York Rangers in 2021.

Elias Lindholm Calgary Flames
Elias Lindholm, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Flames have battled their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers since they relocated in 1980. These two teams are bitter enemies, so it is rare that a player has suited up for both organizations during their career, let alone get traded from one city to the other. Milan Lucic was one of those exceptions when he came to the Flames in a deal for James Neal on July 19, 2019. The Flames easily won this trade since Neal played only 84 games in Edmonton before moving on and is currently unemployed as a free agent. Meanwhile, Lucic just played his 1,100th game and is a vital member of the Flames’ forward group.

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The team’s defensive corps may have been built through the draft (more on that in a bit), but Nikita Zadorov, one of their bottom-pairing players, is a gem and is just waiting for the opportunity to show off his skills. He set a career-high in points (22) in 2021-22 and is the only Russian player in the organization. He joined the team in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks on July 28, 2021, for a third-round draft pick.

After the Flames shored up their starting goalie through free agency in 2020, they turned to the trade market to find a capable backup who could shoulder the load when Jacob Markstrom needs a night off or is injured. Daniel Vladar was a backup with the Boston Bruins, who had a handful of elite goalies in the lineup and moved him to western Canada on July 28, 2021, for a third-round draft pick.

Related: Flames’ 2022-23 Opening Night Roster: What to Expect

When the Flames generated a lot of buzz during the early parts of the 2021-22 season, Treliving felt he needed to add scoring depth to the lineup and looked to a team locked into the Draft Lottery for help. On Feb. 14, 2021, a month before the trade deadline, he acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a handful of draft picks, Emil Heineman and Tyler Pitlick.

Finally, as we finish up the traded players on the active roster, we find ourselves at perhaps the most significant trade in franchise history. After a sluggish start to the 2021-22 Offseason, the Flames acquired Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk and a draft pick. The trade shocked the league and showed that the Flames would remain serious contenders for the Stanley Cup in 2022-23.

Flames’ Free Agent Signings – 7/23 (30%)

Surprisingly, the Flames only have seven players on the active roster acquired through free agency. Although they have a few contracts that go several years into the future, no one joined the team before 2020.

Former teammates with the Canucks, Markstrom (Oct. 4) and defenceman Chis Tanev (Oct. 9), joined the team in 2020. Both players have become foundational pieces of the back end, with Markstrom finishing as a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2021 and Tanev serving as an alternate captain. Their veteran leadership has been an essential factor in the recent success the Flames have experienced. 

Chris Tanev Calgary Flames
Chris Tanev, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The following year, 2021, the Flames added to their depth by signing Brett Ritchie and Blake Coleman to multi-year deals. After a season with the Boston Bruins, Ritchie moved to Calgary by inking a new agreement on Jan. 17, 2021. Meanwhile, Coleman joined the team on July 28, 2021. He won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021 before landing in southern Alberta. 

After a somewhat disappointing second-round loss to the Oilers in the spring of 2022, the Flames let superstar Johnny Gaudreau depart into free agency. Fans thought the team would have a summer of disappointment. However, Treliving improved the team’s overall depth by signing former New York Rangers forward Kevin Rooney (July 13) and two-time Stanley Cup champion Trevor Lewis (July 28). Lewis departed the Los Angeles Kings after 12 seasons with the club.

Many fans know that after the Flames made headlines by acquiring Huberdeau and Weegar, Treliving signed one of the NHL’s prized free agents – Nazem Kadri. Kadri just lifted the Stanley Cup as a member of the Colorado Avalanche and joined the Flames after axing a trade to the club in 2019 while he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Flames NHL Entry Draft Picks – 6/23 (26%)

Mikael Backlund is the only member of the Flames franchise who has been around longer than Treliving has. Initially drafted in 2007, he made his NHL debut in 2009 and has played over 830 games. He’s served as an alternate captain for several seasons and continues to climb the leaderboards in several Flames categories, like games played and game-winning goals. Whether he is considered the elder statesman or senior member of the team, he remains one of their most consistent players night in and night out.

The Flames went into the 2015 Entry Draft looking to build their defensive corps. With their first selection in the draft, Rasmus Andersson joined the team (53rd overall) a few picks before Oliver Kylington (60th overall). Both players have taken their time to develop into top defencemen, with Andersson earning his spot at the top of the chart. Meanwhile, Kylington is still growing, and his numbers have increased with every opportunity.

Another star player for the Flames who heard his name called in the 2015 Entry Draft was Andrew Mangiapane. He took a long time to find his game; however, patience has paid off since he has become a gifted young scorer who netted 35 goals in 2021-22. The expectations are higher today than they were in the beginning; however, if he continues to get his chances, there’s no denying his ascent as the club’s leading goal scorer.

Andrew Mangiapane Calgary Flames
Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Treliving continued to use the draft to build his roster, which was still experiencing turnover when he called Dillon Dube’s name during the 2016 Entry Draft. He has been a mainstay with the club since making his debut in 2018-19. Although he hasn’t reached 20 goals in a season, his numbers continue to climb with each passing year.

In 2017, the Flames selected one of their top prospects, Adam Ruzicka, with the 109th overall pick. He has played in only 31 NHL games and with the depth at the center position, has yet to crack the lineup as an everyday player. Sadly, he often finds his name associated with potential deals; whether these conversations happen behind closed doors is anyone’s guess. Unless there is a significant injury to any roster player, his career will remain stagnant unless he finds a new home. Much like dealing away Fox in 2018, the Flames could regret moving him, as he has the potential to become a star in the NHL.

Deeper Flames Roster Analysis

Connor Mackey is the only undrafted player (5%) in the Flames organization and has had a cup of coffee in the NHL with just ten games on his resume. Since leaving Minnesota State University in 2019-20, he’s made a home in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Stockton Heat (now Calgary Wranglers). Overall, his minor league totals are 52 points in 90 games. 

The Flames’ average age is 28.61, which ranks fifth amongst the league’s teams behind the New York Islanders (28.78) and ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (28.56). Combined, their players have 10,321 games of experience, good enough for seventh place. They currently have more experience than the Pittsburgh Penguins (10,144) but less than the Islanders (10,369). 

Related: Calgary Flames Prospects That Could Crack the Roster in 2022-23

Canadian-born players (43%) make up the bulk of the roster, with American-born (21%) and Swedish-born players (21%) a distant second and third. Outside those three countries, the remaining players come from Russia (5%), Czechia (5%), and Slovakia (5%).

The Flames have a great mix of homegrown talent and NHL veterans. It is early in the season, and despite only having $1.3 million in cap space, Treliving has shown he is not afraid to make moves to improve his club. Today’s lineup may not be the same after the Mar. 3, 2023, Trade Deadline; however, player movement is part of the game and can be the difference between winning and losing.

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