In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, the team now needs a new captain after the Seattle Kraken selected defenceman Mark Giordano in the expansion draft. Shortly after, the Flames acquired Tyler Pitlick in a trade with the Kraken, and just a few days later, selected eight players at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Meanwhile, general manager Brad Treliving is also still working on a Johnny Gaudreau extension and is reportedly taking calls on Matthew Tkachuk.
Giordano Selected by Kraken
Though it seemed to be the most likely scenario, fans still hoped that Giordano would still be a Flame by the end of the expansion draft. Unfortunately, that was not the case as the Kraken selected the 37-year-old blueliner, who has one more season remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $6.75 million.
Giordano may no longer be the player he was when he won the Norris Trophy in 2019, but he is still very effective, with 26 points in 56 games last season while averaging 23 minutes of ice time per game. This was a huge blow to the Flames and their locker room, as Giordano has been their captain since the 2013-14 season and has spent his entire 949-game career with them. His 143 goals rank second all-time in franchise history, while his 509 points rank third.
Flames Bring In Pitlick
On Thursday, the Flames made their first trade of the 2021 offseason, acquiring Pitlick from the Kraken in exchange for a fourth-round pick at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. It also marked the Kraken’s first trade in franchise history, who had just selected Pitlick from the Arizona Coyotes in the expansion draft.
Pitlick, 29, played in 38 games for the Coyotes last season and scored six goals and 11 points while averaging the most ice time on the penalty kill among Coyotes forwards. Taken 31st overall by the Edmonton Oilers at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he has played 286 career NHL games with the Oilers, Coyotes, Dallas Stars and the Philadelphia Flyers, recording 47 goals and 84 points. He has one season remaining on a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $1.75 million.
On Friday, the Flames selected eight players in the 2021 Draft: one in the first round, one in the second, two in the third, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh. With their first pick, 13th overall, they selected forward Matt Coronato, which is exciting as the 18-year-old is arguably the best goal scorer in this draft class, registering 48 goals and 85 points in 51 games for the Chicago Steel of the USHL last season. He is committed to play for Harvard next season.
With their next pick, 45th overall, they selected another forward, William Stromgren. The 18-year-old Swede played in 27 games for MODO in the HockeyAllsvenskan this past season, Sweden’s second-highest league, where he managed three goals and nine points.
Cole Huckins was taken 77th overall by the Flames. He has tremendous size at 6-foot-3, 200 lbs, and has some impressive offensive abilities as well, scoring 14 goals and 32 points in 33 games for Acadie-Bathhurst Titan in the QMJHL last season. At 89th overall, Calgary picked their first defenceman, selecting Cameron Whynot from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. In 34 games in the 2020-21 season, he scored six goals and 23 points.
At 141st overall, the Flames selected their second defenceman in Cole Jordan. He played in 23 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2020-21, putting up three goals and 10 points. At 168th, the Flames chose Jack Beck. The 18-year-old forward was unable to play in 2020-21 due to the OHL’s cancelled seaosn and put up an underwhelming seven goals and 19 points in 56 games the season before. However, he has a very high hockey IQ and is a great skater. He will be an interesting player to keep tabs on next season.
Lucas Ciona was the next Flames pick, at 173rd overall. He spent most of the 2020-21 season with the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL, where he had two goals and 13 points in 23 games. Their final pick of the draft was a goaltender, Arseni Sergeev, who spent the 2020-21 season in the NAHL with the Shreveport Mudbugs. In 20 games, he recorded a very impressive 2.17 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.
Gaudreau Extension Stalled
In recent weeks, Gaudreau’s extension was reportedly both close to being finalized and likely, though it appears less progress has been made lately. Treliving told the media over the weekend that the two sides are continuing to talk, though there was nothing new to report.
Recently, Elliotte Friedman said that he believes Gaudreau is looking for north of $7 million per season. The 27-year-old led the Flames in scoring in 2020-21 with 19 goals and 49 points in 56 games. He has one season remaining on a six-year, $40.5 million deal that carries a cap hit of $6.75 million, and from the sounds of it, believes he is in line for a raise. While it may still take some time, the consensus is that a deal will be worked out between these two sides.
Taking Calls on Tkachuk
After rumors surfaced earlier this offseason that Matthew Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary, management denied it outright and was not happy with the report. They made it sound as though Tkachuk was not being moved and would be back with the team next season. However, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, that isn’t guaranteed.
Pagnotta tweeted last Tuesday that the Flames are taking calls on the 23-year-old, but the price is very high. Though he struggled a bit this past season with 43 points in 56 games, he is one of the most talented young stars in the game and should draw interest from most NHL teams. He has one season remaining on his contract that carries a cap hit of $7 million.
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: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, 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.