In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, Nazem Kadri has finally found a new home, agreeing to a lengthy long-term deal in Cowtown. Meanwhile, Sean Monahan has reportedly been dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in a corresponding move, though the deal has yet to be confirmed by either club. In other news, Milan Lucic’s name continues to be discussed in potential trade rumors. Last but not least, the organization chose not to sign 2016 draft pick Mitchell Mattson to an entry-level deal, making him a free agent.
Kadri Chooses Calgary
Heading into this year’s free agency, Kadri was undoubtedly one of the top available players. The 31-year-old played a huge part in the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup months ago while also having the best season of his career with 87 points in 71 games. Despite the great year, however, he remained on the free agent market for over a month, but as of Aug. 18, he’s no longer up for grabs.
This Thursday afternoon, the Flames announced they had indeed signed Kadri to a seven-year, $49 million deal with an average annual value of $7 million. This continues what has been an outstanding offseason for general manager Brad Treliving as of late and now gives his club an excellent 1-2 punch down the middle between Kadri and Elias Lindholm.
Much like Huberdeau’s recent eight-year extension, each of these deals could get ugly near the tail ends, given the ages of both players. That said, one could easily argue that the Flames will be heading into the 2022-23 season with a better roster than they had a season ago, meaning that they will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders this year. Assuming both players can continue playing at a high level through the first four to five years of their respective deals, the Flames should be in great shape for a long time.
Monahan Reportedly Dealt to Habs
After announcing the Kadri signing, it became very clear to everybody that the Flames would need to move a contract out to be cap compliant, and they reportedly managed to do so within the hour. According to several reports, Monahan has been traded to the Canadiens, though the exact return at this point isn’t known. Habs reporter Eric Engels has also said he believes that the Flames have also sent a first-round pick Montreal’s way in order to have them take on Monahan’s lucrative deal.
With Monahan out of the picture, it officially closes the window on an era in which the Flames’ core was centered around himself, Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano. It is unfortunate given that his Flames tenure ended with a few frustrating injury-riddled seasons, but that doesn’t take away from what he was able to do prior. Through the first seven of his nine seasons in Calgary, the 27-year-old was a very consistent goal scorer, having recorded north of 20 goals in all of those years, while breaking the 30-goal barrier in three of them. In 656 total games in a Flames sweater, he scored 212 goals and 462 points.
Lucic Popping up in Trade Rumors
Over the past few weeks, Lucic’s name has popped up in a number of trade rumors. Brian McGonagle, more commonly known as Rear Admiral of the Spittin’ Chiclets Podcast, put out a cryptic tweet last week that seemed to suggest the hulking forward may be headed back to the Boston Bruins. It seems now that may have simply been wishful thinking on his part, though it doesn’t seem like the craziest scenario for general manager Don Sweeney to try and bring him back now that both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci have re-entered the fold as well. Of course, being able to fit in his $5.25 million cap hit would be much easier said than done.
Another team discussed as a landing spot for Lucic is the Anaheim Ducks. Given the 33-year-old’s no-movement clause, he would have to be willing to accept a trade before it goes through, and the Ducks may be one of few teams he would consider doing that for. After all, not only is it a great place to live, but he was able to play a single season in California for the 2015-16 season as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
As James Johnson of The Win Column recently pointed out, Lucic is only owed $1 million in real dollars this upcoming season, which would certainly make him more appealing to Ducks management. They have also been looking to find someone to replace Nic Deslaurier’s toughness, and few would do it better than Lucic himself. As far as the money goes in terms of cap, the Ducks have over $18 million in space right now, meaning they could easily bring him in for the final year of his deal with no issues at all should they wish to do so.
Flames Elect to Walk Away From Mattson
As of this past Monday, Mattson no longer appears on the Flames’ reserve list. This means that the team and player did not agree on a deal prior to Monday’s deadline for certain college players’ rights and, as a result, makes him a free agent.
Mattson, 24, was selected by the Flames in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2016 draft. While he showed some offensive skill while playing high school hockey, it never clicked at the collegiate level. In 80 combined games over four seasons with Michigan State University, he managed just three goals and eight points.
Looking Ahead for the Flames
The biggest thing to continue monitoring with the Flames is the trade situation going on with Monahan. While it looks like he’ll be heading to the Canadiens, something appears to be holding it up. If this deal somehow fails to go through, Treliving would need to find a way to move either Monahan or Lucic in order to make room for Kadri.
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.