In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, the Jack Eichel discussion continues, as Hailey Salvian of The Athletic spoke about what general manager Brad Treliving would need to do to make a deal happen. Salvian also wrote about the Flames captaincy speculation in a recent blog post, and what she believes they will do regarding that situation for the 2021-22 season. In other news, the team re-signed two restricted free agents in Oliver Kylington and Tyler Parsons. Last, but certainly not least, assistant general manager Chris Snow threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park this past Thursday.
Eichel Remains a Possibility
Though there are still a few teams who appear to be more likely destinations, the Flames continue to be a team that gets mentioned when discussing where Eichel will end up. It is undeniable at this point that the Buffalo Sabres will have to move the 24-year-old superstar, who is growing more and more frustrated with the organization and its medical staff regarding a lingering neck injury that caused his 2020-21 season to end early.
Salvian recently appeared on Ottawa 1200 The Drive and discussed the Eichel situation. First, she mentioned that the asking price from the Sabres appears to be the equivalent of four first-round picks. She gave three examples of what a package could look like, with the first being Matthew Coronato, Jakob Pelletier, Jusso Valimaki, and a 2022 first-round pick. The second option was Coronato, Pelletier, Connor Zary, and a 2022 first-round pick. The final option she suggested was Coronato, Zary (or Pelletier), and both a 2022 first-round pick and 2023 first-round pick.
As Salvian mentioned however, if that move were to be made, the Flames would be over the maximum salary cap. This means that they would likely have to move out a few current roster players if they wish to bring in Eichel. Her proposal here included Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube, Coronato, and a 2022 first-round pick. This would likely be the more preferred trade for the Flames, but the question is, would the Sabres be interested? We won’t know the answer to that question until the Sabres finally pull the trigger on a move.
No Captain in 2021-22?
Salvian also recently wrote on an issue that has been discussed regarding this team lately, that being their vacant captaincy (from ‘Hailey Salvian: Matthew Tkachuk as Flames captain? Is there still time to make a significant roster move?: Mailbag’ , The Athletic — 08/13/21) . With Mark Giordano being selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, the Flames will have to name a captain at some point, but will that announcement come prior to the 2021-22 season?
While Salvian said she believes the frontrunner to be named the Flames next captain is Mikael Backlund, she believes they will instead have four alternates next season, with Chris Tanev being named to that group. This would make sense given that a very likely candidate in Matthew Tkachuk currently has just one season remaining on his contract. It may be best to see how that situation unfolds and then name him team captain if an extension is agreed upon.
Two RFAs Off the Board
Treliving was able to re-sign two of his teams pending RFAs this past week. The first signing was made with defenceman Oliver Kylington, who agreed to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal is worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level. The 24-year-old has plenty of potential, but has been unable to become a regular on the Flames blueline to this point. He appeared in just eight games last season, recording one assist. This is likely a make or break it moment for him, in not only his Flames career, but potentially his NHL career as a whole.
The second signing was goaltender Tyler Parsons, who also signed a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay him $771,750 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level. The 23-year-old’s stock has fallen dramatically the past few years, but a big 2021-22 season could help change that.
Snow Throws First Pitch
Thursday was a big day for Flames assistant general manager Snow and his family, as he had the honour of throwing out the first pitch of a game between Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays for his 40th birthday. Snow continues to be a big inspiration throughout the hockey community and beyond as he was diagnosed with ALS over two years ago.
Snow has helped raise both plenty of money and awareness towards ALS, and has amazed plenty, including doctors who did not expect him to make it to this point. As mentioned, he has been a huge inspiration for anyone and everyone who knows his story, and it was a great moment to see him be able to throw this pitch at Fenway Park.
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.