In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, general manager Brad Treliving made a massive splash on Monday, acquiring Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens. In other news, Elias Lindholm is getting discussed as a possible Selke Trophy candidate thanks to a great first half of the 2021-22 season. Meanwhile, Andrew Mangiapane recently spoke about the frustrations of falling all the way to the sixth round of the 2015 Draft. Last but not least, the Saddledome will be back at full capacity in the near future as the Alberta Government announced a plan for easing restrictions.
Flames Land Toffoli
Treliving upgraded his forward group in a big way on Monday, acquiring Toffoli from the Canadiens in exchange for both a first and fifth-round pick, as well as Tyler Pitlick and prospect Emil Heineman. Shortly after the deal, the Flames GM spoke about why it was so important for him to acquire Toffoli at this time.
“The challenge with this deal at this time, a month ahead of the deadline, is if you wait you accrue more space, there was some cap flex you had to go through here, but we felt we wanted to get the deal,” Treliving said. “We didn’t want him going anywhere else.”
Toffoli comes to the Flames with a very friendly $4.25 million salary, on a contract that still has two additional seasons remaining on it. The 29-year-old has been a consistent goalscorer throughout his 10 seasons in the NHL, and has a solid nine goals and 26 points through 37 games in 2021-22. The Flames needed to add some more scoring to their lineup, and Treliving did a very nice job of finding it here.
Lindholm Deserves Selke Talk
Despite the fact that he is putting up big numbers for a fourth straight season with the Flames, Lindholm remains extremely underrated throughout the league. Not only is he very offensively gifted, but he is fantastic defensively and easily the Flames’ best two-way player. Earlier in the season, head coach Darryl Sutter spoke about how he is one of the game’s most complete centers and compared him to Anze Kopitar. This past week, goaltender Jacob Markstrom also gave big praise to his fellow countrymen (from ‘Kristen Anderson: Flames’ two-way specialist Lindholm should be in Selke conversation’, Calgary Sun, 02/08/22).
“I feel like you should be looking at him for the Selke,” Markstrom told reporters. “I get to see him every day, being on the same team and getting to play games with him. You see he matches up with the other teams’ best players. In Florida, he’s matching up with [Aleksander] Barkov and matching up against those players that are in the conversation every year. I think when you look at plus/minus and stuff like that — game to game, playing against them — he’s always ahead of them with better numbers.
“I don’t know, it’s something you should, for sure, look at.”
Once again in 2021-22, Lindholm has been one of the Flames’ top offensive producers with 18 goals and 40 points through 45 games. Perhaps Markstrom’s comments will be what it takes for him to finally start getting the respect around the league that he is very deserving of.
Mangiapane Carries Chip on Shoulder From Draft Day
Back in the 2013-14 season as a member of the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Mangiapane was hoping to hear his name called on draft day after a 24-goal, 51-point season. He attended the draft that year, and was forced to sit through all seven rounds without hearing his name selected.
The next season, he doubled his point total with 104. Once again, he attended the draft, but nearly got passed over again. It wasn’t until the 166th-overall selection that the Flames called his name, and he admitted recently that the wait was tough on him.
“I was a little uneasy again when we started getting into the later rounds,” Mangiapane said. “You see guys — bigger, stronger players — that I think I’m better than getting drafted.
“You’ve played against a lot of players in the OHL, you see them getting drafted, and I’m questioning myself. ‘Ok, I get it, maybe I’m a year older, but I see myself as a better player than this guy.’ It’s tough. But when my name was selected, all those thoughts went out the window.”
Clearly, Mangiapane used his draft snub as motivation, as he has turned into a very good two-way player for the Flames. In fact, he was even part of the long list for Team Canada hopefuls for the 2022 Winter Olympics when it was believed NHL players would be attending. The 25-year-old has proved a lot of teams wrong who passed over him, and is having a career season in 2021-22 with 24 goals through 45 games.
Saddledome to Go Back to Full Capacity
This past week, the Alberta Government announced a plan to slowly end restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the changes will allow the Flames — who have been playing in the Saddledome at just 50 percent capacity — to go back to normal on March 1.
On top of that, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will no longer be required to enter the arena, meaning some fans who chose not to be vaccinated will once again be able to attend Flames games if they wish to do so. Opinions on this are varying, but one thing everyone can agree on is that hopefully we can start putting the pandemic in the rear-view mirror and not have to put restrictions in once again in the future.
Up Next for the Flames
The Flames are in the midst of what is a seven-game homestand, and will have three games at the Saddledome this week. The first will come Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they will be back in action the very next night against a divisional opponent in the Anaheim Ducks. Their final contest will take place on Saturday against the Seattle Kraken.
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.