In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, an extension appears to be in the works for Johnny Gaudreau, while the team is also in the hunt for a top-six forward. Fans will get to see the Seattle Kraken play Calgary for the first time on Oct. 2, though we will have to wait to find out which Flame will be suiting up for the Kraken as the expansion draft nears.
Gaudreau Extension Looks Probable
It seems the trade rumors that have surrounded his name in recent seasons will soon be put to rest as the Flames and Gaudreau are reportedly in discussions about a lengthy contract extension. According to Elliotte Friedman, the two sides have begun talking, and while he said it was a guess, he expects the deal to surpass Matthew Tkachuk’s average annual value of $7 million per season.
If that is the case, that’s a nice raise for the 27-year-old, who is coming off a team-friendly deal worth $6.75 million per season. Both extension and raise are warranted, as aside from a poor 2019-20 campaign, Gaudreau has been the team’s most productive player since his rookie season in 2014-15. He again led the Flames in scoring this season with 19 goals and 49 points.
Flames Looking to Add Top-Six Forward
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, general manager Brad Treliving is focusing on much more than just the Gaudreau extension. He noted that the Flames want to add to their top two lines, and listed both Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues and Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks as potential targets.
The Tarasenko rumors are nothing new and will likely intensify now that the 29-year-old has requested a trade out of St. Louis. Injuries have taken their toll on the once elite goal-scorer, making him a risk for any team to acquire. He has two seasons remaining on a contract with a $7.5 million cap hit.
Rakell is a more intriguing option given that he has a much lower cap hit at $3,789,444 with only one season remaining. The 28-year-old’s numbers have fallen off a bit in the past few seasons, but that probably has a lot to do with the Ducks’ struggles as a team. At his best, he is capable of scoring north of 30 goals a season.
Pagnotta also added that the team is still showing interest in Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel. The Flames don’t seem to be frontrunners in these sweepstakes, given that other teams have better prospect pools and can make more intriguing offers, but that Calgary is still talking to the Sabres is exciting for fans who are hoping for a big change.
Flames Set to Face Kraken
The Flames and their fans will get to see the first-ever game against the Kraken on Oct. 2, when they faceoff in Kent, Washington. It will be the Kraken’s third contest in franchise history, after games against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers.
Not only will this game introduce fans to the NHL’s newest franchise, but they will want to see whichever former Flame will be suiting up for them. Most signs point to defenceman Mark Giordano being selected in the expansion draft, but there has been some talk that the Flames will offer compensation to ensure the Kraken doesn’t select their captain. Expect plenty of speculation on this until the expansion draft takes place on July 21.
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.