In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, Elliotte Friedman is on record saying he believes the Montreal Canadiens reached out about acquiring Sean Monahan before they made a deal for Christian Dvorak. Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau had an exciting weekend in Philadelphia as the 27-year-old married his now-wife, Meredith.
In more hockey-related news, newly hired assistant coach Kirk Muller spoke about his excitement for this new chapter with the Flames over the weekend. Another member of the organization who should be excited to get the 2021-22 season underway is the team mascot, Harvey the Hound, who will have something to prove after being voted the second-worst mascot in the NHL. Perhaps the most exciting news from the past week came when it was announced that NHL players will be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Habs Inquired About Monahan
In his latest ‘31 Thoughts‘ Podcast, Friedman spoke about the trade that brought Christian Dvorak to Montreal from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a first-round pick in 2022 along with a second-round pick in 2024. From the sounds of things, Canadiens general manager (GM) Marc Bergevin reached out to Flames GM Brad Treliving about the possibility of trading for Sean Monahan.
“I think they went after a few guys. I think they asked about obviously Hertl, obviously Dvorak,” Friedman said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked Washington about Kuznetsov, but it didn’t make any sense because they are in win-now mode… I’m sure they asked Calgary about Monahan.”
It’s unknown how close the discussions came to a deal, but it’s become increasingly clear that Treliving wants his roster to be competitive for the 2021-22 season, so it isn’t surprising that the two sides couldn’t come up with a trade. While there are plenty of Flames fans who want to see a core piece, like Monahan, moved, trading him for picks doesn’t make much sense at this point. With training camp about to start, the Flames are banking on a bounce-back season from the 26-year-old, who has struggled the past two seasons.
Gaudreau Gets Hitched
Sept. 4, 2021, will be a day Flames forward Gaudreau will never forget. The uber-talented winger tied the knot on Saturday, marrying Meredith Morris. Several of his teammates were in attendance, which has been in the works since the two became engaged in August 2020.
It may not be the only exciting news for Gaudreau this offseason. Rumors have circulated regarding a contract extension. He has just one season remaining on his six-year, $40.5 million deal that carries an AAV of $6.75 million. After a 2020-21 season in which he led the team in scoring with 49 points in 56 games, he may be in line for a slight pay raise.
Muller Excited for New Opportunity
After spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Canadiens, Muller is excited for his new opportunity with the Flames, who hired him in June.
“I was watching them at the end of the year and you could see some of the disappointment in their body language,” Muller told Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette regarding the Flames (from ‘Stu Cowan: Former Habs coach Muller eager for fresh start with Flames,’ Montreal Gazette, 09/03/21). “I don’t think their group was very happy with the season they had. I think we have a good, hungry group right now. There’s been about six or seven changes in personnel on the team, so we’re going to have some new faces. Darryl can start right from the beginning and put his stamp on the team. I’ll be going in there and sharing some ideas. I think collectively with the staff and the players we can create a good, competitive identity there as a group and it’s going to be exciting to get things turned around in the right direction.”
Muller, 55, was fired by the Habs just nine games into the 2020-21 season. Before his five-year stint in Montreal, he spent five years as their assistant coach from 2006-2011. He has also served as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues and as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. Muler also had a very successful playing career, with 357 goals and 959 points in 1349 games.
On Friday, hockey fans got the news they were praying for when it was confirmed that NHL players will be suiting up for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is the first time the game’s top players will go head-to-head in the Olympics since 2014 after the NHL chose not to send their players to the 2018 games in PyeongChang.
The games will take place in February, which will give Flames fans the opportunity to see a number of their players compete on the world’s biggest stage. With NHLers in the tournament, Team Canada won the last two gold medals, in Sochi in 2014 and in Vancouver in 2010. However, Russia claimed gold in 2018. Despite that Team Canada will be the favourites heading into 2022, several other great rosters will have a shot at gold.
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.