In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, we’ll consider the many new faces that will join the organization heading into the 2021-22 season as they kicked off free agency with a few signings and also made a couple of trades. Meanwhile, former Flame Micheal Ferland is reportedly retiring, and last, but certainly not least, some very interesting news popped up about Milan Lucic and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Free Agency & Trades
While he didn’t or hasn’t yet made massive changes to the roster like some are hoping, Flames general manager Brad Treliving landed one of the bigger names on the free-agent market last week, signing two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman to a six-year, $29.4 million contract. The 29-year-old forward had 14 goals and 31 points in 55 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.
Shortly after Coleman, Treliving signed another two-time Stanley Cup champion in Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $800,000 deal. In 56 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season, he put up five goals and 10 points. The Flames also signed defencemen Colton Poolman, Andy Welinski, Nick DeSimone, and Kevin Gravel, along with goaltender Adam Werner to short-term deals, though they all figure to be depth options.
Calgary made two trades recently, most notably to acquire Nikita Zadorov from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The bruising blueliner had eight points in 55 games last season.
The other move that isn’t getting a lot of attention but could be very beneficial down the road was bringing in goaltender Dan Vladar from the Boston Bruins in exchange for another third-round pick at the 2022 Draft. The 23-year-old has played only five NHL games but posted some very impressive numbers at the AHL level and looks to be a promising prospect.
Ferland Likely Retiring
While Ferland has yet to officially confirm reports, it sounds like he will retire from professional hockey. The 29-year-old, who was selected by the Flames in the fifth round (133 overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, played in Calgary from 2014 to 2018, where he established himself as a legitimate power forward. His best season came in his final year with the Flames in 2017-18 when he scored career-highs with 21 goals and 41 points in 77 games.
Unfortunately, concussions have forced him to consider retirement. He has had plenty lately and said his wife doesn’t want him to play anymore. While he hopes to play rec hockey in the future, he doesn’t think he’ll suit up for any form of contact hockey ever again. Assuming this is the end of his career, he will retire with 60 goals and 134 points in 335 games, very impressive totals for a player who had to overcome a ton of adversity early on.
Penguins Interested in Lucic
Perhaps the most interesting news regarding the Flames last week came courtesy of Rob Rossi of The Athletic, who reported that the Penguins are interested in bringing Lucic to Pittsburgh. Rossi mentioned that both clubs have had conversations regarding the 33-year-old, though he didn’t mention how serious these discussions are.
While Lucic has gained his share of supporters since he arrived in Calgary before the 2019-20 season, moving him and his contract would be a major benefit for the team. In 56 games last season, he managed 10 goals and 23 points; he hasn’t hit the 40-point mark since 2016-17. He has two seasons remaining on a deal that pays him $6 million annually, though his cap hit comes in at $5.25 million because the Oilers retained $750,000 in the James Neal trade.
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: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, 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.