In this Calgary Flames News & Rumors update, Mark Giordano recorded a major milestone Sunday night, recording his 500th career point. David Rittich made it clear he does not want to be moved before the trade deadline, though Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes major changes will be happening soon in Calgary. Meanwhile, free-agent acquisition Joakim Nordstrom was able to finally score his first of the season, while the Flames had a game cancellation and are looking at more this upcoming week.
Giordano Records 500th Point
While Sunday night resulted in a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, there was one very special moment that took place. Giordano was able to record the primary assist on a Nordstrom goal in the first period, which gives him 500 career points. With it, he became just the third defenceman and ninth player in franchise history to reach that milestone, as well as just the fifth undrafted defenceman to do so.
“I’ve got my little guy, Jack, at home and it’s his birthday today and I told him I’d get it for him,” Giordano said to Sportsnet’s Ryan Leslie during an intermission interview. “That’s for you, buddy.”
While the Flames captain has certainly regressed since his 2018-19 Norris Trophy-winning season, he has still been productive from the back end with six goals and 17 points in 39 games. Both of those totals lead all Flames defencemen this season.
Changes Are Coming
Speaking after last night’s game, Eric Francis made it clear that changes are coming to Calgary. However, he cautioned that fans should not expect big trades to be made prior to this year’s deadline and that they will instead happen in the offseason.
“I caution everybody, the big trades are not going to be made in the next week before the trade deadline,” Francis said. “The big ones are going to happen in the offseason, and mark my words: Big ones will be made, big ones should be made. They have to be made.”
This certainly makes sense for a number of reasons. First, the fact that the Flames should shake things up with the core comes to no surprise, as this is a team who has struggled immensely this season and has had its fair share of playoff struggles in past years. It also makes sense they would take place in the offseason rather than now, given both the difficulties of trading with the current pandemic, along with the fact major moves like the ones Francis is insinuating generally don’t happen at deadlines.
Rittich Wants to Stay Put
Speaking of trades, just because the ones won’t likely be made prior to the deadline doesn’t mean any won’t. The Flames have multiple rentals, who could be moved prior to April 12, including their backup goaltender in Rittich. Despite dropping last night’s game and falling to 4-7-1 on the year, the 28-year-old let it be known post-game that he does not want to be dealt.
“Don’t try to make this a story here,” said Rittich when asked about the possibility of a trade. “This is my team and I want to stay with this team as long as I can. I’m not even looking at the trade deadline.”
Rittich, who is in his fourth season with the Flames, has seen his playing time cut dramatically this season with the addition of Jacob Markstrom. In 15 games this season, he has a 2.90 goals-against average along with a .904 save percentage.
Nordstrom Gets on the Board
As mentioned above, Nordstrom was able to score the Flames’ opening goal last night, which gave Giordano his 500th point. The goal was also a milestone for Nordstrom, as it marked his first in a Flames uniform.
It has been a frustrating season for Nordstrom, who was unable to get on the board through his first 27 games with his new team. While he wasn’t expected to bring a ton of offence, he has still disappointed nonetheless. It is very unlikely he will find himself back in Calgary next season, but it was still nice to see him get one.
Last Wednesday, the Flames were supposed to take on Vancouver, however, the game was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst the Canucks. This is a scary situation, as 16 players are now on the COVID-19 protocol list, and the media is saying that some of the players are very sick.
The Flames have two more games scheduled against the Canucks this Thursday and Saturday, but both are a near guarantee to be postponed. This is a shame given that the North Division had been doing so well with nearly no players being put on the protocol list throughout the season. Hopefully, the Canucks players on the list are able to recover soon, however, given the amount of time they may be forced to miss, questions have arisen as to whether or not they will be able to complete their season.
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.