In this Calgary Flames news & rumors update, there is plenty of talk of what lies ahead, given that the season is complete. Johnny Gaudreau let it be known that he hopes to sign an extension, while Mark Giordano discussed the possibility of being left exposed for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft. Milan Lucic says the team needs a change in mentality, and Jacob Markstrom said he will be better next season. In other news, Dillon Dube was unable to play for Team Canada at the Worlds due to a concussion.
Gaudreau Hopeful for Extension
Speaking with the media for one last time before heading into the offseason, Gaudreau said he loves the city of Calgary as well as the organization and is open to signing an extension if the management group sees him as a long-term fit.
There have been rumors swirling around Gaudreau for a number of years now, as comments he made back in 2017 suggested he may want to play in a city closer to where he grew up, with the Philadelphia Flyers being at the top of the list. However, unless he was putting on a great acting job, that seems to have changed, and he genuinely seems interested in signing an extension. The 27-year-old, who had 49 points in 56 games this season, has one year remaining on a deal that carries a $6.75 million cap hit.
Giordano Opens up About Expansion Draft
All year long, there has been talk as to who the Flames will leave unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft. With most teams choosing to protect seven forwards, three defencemen, and one goaltender, that could leave Giordano off the protected list. Assuming that is the route the Flames go, they are likely to protect Chris Tanev, Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin on the back end, meaning their captain could get selected.
When asked about the possibility, Giordano, who has been with the Flames his whole career, said he hopes to still be in Calgary for the 2021-22 season, but also said he is an adult and understands the business side of things. The 37-year-old proved in the second half of this season that he can still play at a high level, as he finished with 26 points in 56 games. He, too, has just one year remaining on a deal that pays him $6.75 million annually.
Lucic Sees Issue With Flames Mentality
Lucic, who impressed many Flames fans with his consistent work ethic night in and night out, told reporters that the team needs a change in mentality moving forward. His reasoning behind it is that in the past, he noticed that Calgary was a team that seemed to show great resiliency and had an ability to stick with things when the going got tough. Since his arrival, however, particularly this season, that has been missing.
If there is a player who can comment on that, it certainly is Lucic, who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins back in 2011. He spent a lot of time with a very talented Bruins team and also played on a good L.A. Kings team in 2015-16, as well as a talented Edmonton Oilers team in 2016-17 that advanced to the second round. Safe to say he knows what he’s talking about, and the bad mentality could explain the Flames’ poor and very inconsistent play this season.
Markstrom Promises to Be Better
There was no denying that the 2020-21 season was a disappointing one for Markstrom. Expectations were very high after he signed a six-year, $36 million deal this offseason, and while he started the season out red hot, his play cooled down in both February and March and played a big role in why the Flames missed the playoffs.
Markstrom told reporters after the season that his down year, along with missing the playoffs, was all the motivation he needs to have a great summer of training and be back on top of his game for the 2021-22 campaign. Despite the down year, it’s hard to doubt him, as he has certainly proved in the past how good he can be when on top of his game.
Dube Out for Worlds
When the Flames were officially eliminated from the playoffs, it was confirmed that Dube was going to head overseas to Latvia and play for Team Canada at the World Championship. Unfortunately, he sustained a concussion shortly afterward and was unable to attend the tournament.
It would have been great for Dube to play and forget about his 2020-21 season with the Flames. The 22-year-old struggled in his first full season in Calgary, putting up 11 goals and 22 points in 51 games. Hopefully, for his sake, he is able to recover soon and get ready for next season, as he is still an extremely important part of the Flames team and is someone they will need to be better if they want to make the playoffs in 2022.
Former Jr. A player turned blogger. At-large writer covering mainly the Calgary Flames. Co-host of Flames Faceoff and Oilers Overtime podcasts.