Calgary Flames: The Failed Calle Jarnkrok Experiment

After having already added Tyler Toffoli in the middle of February, Calgary Flames fans’ eagerness for a Stanley Cup run increased even further after general manager Brad Treliving announced the acquisition of Calle Jarnkrok less than a week before the trade deadline.

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The excitement around the acquisition seemed fitting at the time, as a roster that was already loaded with talent up front had added a very good defensive centerman who, throughout his career, had proven to produce solid secondary scoring. In fact, at the time the trade occurred, Jarnkrok had registered an impressive 12 goals and 26 points in 49 games for a Seattle Kraken team that struggled to put up offence in their inaugural season. That excitement soon turned to frustration, however, and now has the majority of the fanbase in agreement that the Flames should let him walk this summer in free agency.

Jarnkrok’s Offense Non-Existent in Calgary

At the time the trade was made to bring Jarnkrok in, it seemed like a great fit. Not only did it give several of the Flames wingers another solid centerman to play with, but it seemed to boost the team morale given his close relationship with both Elias Lindholm and Jacob Markstrom.

Calle Jarnkrok Calgary Flames
Calle Jarnkrok, Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the move may have helped with morale, it did little to improve the team’s performance. In 17 regular-season games with the Flames, the 30-year-old Swede failed to find the back of the net and chipped in with just four assists. Those struggles continued into the postseason as well, as he failed to score a goal until his team’s final game against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. In 12 total playoff games, he managed just four points, making him one of many on the Flames’ roster who failed to provide secondary scoring.

It wasn’t as though he wasn’t given opportunities to produce, either, as he often had Tyler Toffoli on his side, while Blake Coleman also received some playing time on his wing during their opening series versus the Dallas Stars. But regardless of who he played with, it didn’t seem to make a difference, as he just never appeared to look comfortable with his new team.

Jarnkrok Used Sparingly on Penalty Kill

Another area that many believed Jarnkrok would help the Flames in was their penalty kill. After all, he averaged nearly a minute and a half per game when down a man during his time with the Kraken, and even more in seasons prior with the Nashville Predators.

For whatever reason, Sutter didn’t seem to be nearly as fond of his work on the penalty kill, as he averaged just over 30 seconds on it during his 17 regular season games. While he did see more time in that regard in the playoffs, he was still used much less than players like Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Trevor Lewis and Coleman.

Little to No Impact

While Jarnkrok’s return of a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick was by no means a king’s ransom, it seems safe to say the Kraken made out quite well in this deal, while the Flames did not. This isn’t meant as a shot at Treliving, as he did what he could to help add to his roster with the limited cap space he had. For whatever reason, things just didn’t work out.

Given Jarnkrok’s lengthy track record over his career, interested teams will likely have no issue looking past his struggles during his short stint in Calgary. With that said, he didn’t do anything to suggest that the Flames may entertain the idea of bringing him back next season. Barring a major surprise, he has played his last game in the Flaming ‘C’ and will find a new home for the 2022-23 campaign.

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