THE FNHL

2024 Salary Cap: $67.7M

Flames Players On the Move

Offseason of big change

Calgary (AP) - It appears as though the Calgary Flames rebuild is now over, the tinkering is done and now, it will be up to the hockey Gods to smile down on the proud Albertan team.Coming into this offseason, the Flames' GM Jeff Nagle knew he had to make some big decisions on the direction of the team and solidify some glaring weak spots. With six trades, GM Nagle overhauled the roster to include a stud up-and-coming goaltender, a cemented top-six forward group and added a co-anchor on defense. Taxing the future a bit, the Flames used their draft picks as trade bait and will not be participating in this year's draft.

Here is a high level breakdown of the major changes the Flames' have done with their lineup:

Left Wing:
IN - Jeff Skinner 80 OV, 26 yrs
OUT - Anthony Mantha 76 OV, 23 yrs

Analysis: With the Flames holding too many young stars in the making, Mantha was the odd man out. With a focus on skating and speed, the young 23-year-old didn't fit the bill quite as good as Pastrnak, Eichel or Reinhart. With Skinner, the Flames get a bonafide star veteran and consistent point producer that will anchor the team's offense.

Right Wing:
IN - Nathan MacKinnon 77 OV, 23 yrs
OUT - Maxime Lapierre 77 OV, 35 yrs

Analysis: Lapierre was brought in to mentor many of the Flames young players as they navigated to life in the bigs. He did the job. But as all ageing players find out, time wears on you and last season Lapierre just didn't fit into the team's new direction. With a desire to free up cap space, the Flames waived the veteran winger to New Jersey. Nathan Mackinnon will come into the Flames being their best all-around skater and will look to take his offensive game to a new level and live up to his first overall draft position promise.

Defense:
IN - Jack Johnson 82 OV, 34 yrs
OUT - Vladimir Mihalik 79 OV, 34 yrs

Analysis: With ageing Andy Rogers being the only stud on the Flames' blueline, there was a great need to bring in some talent to take some of the burdens off of the superstar. The Flames brought in Johnson from Minnesota to help give the Flames a good 1a/1b tandem on defense. With a 3 year, $8.5m AAV contract still looming for Johnson, the Flames are hoping that this gutsy move pays off.

IN - Sami Vatanen 74 OV, 24 yrs
OUT - Michael Funk 77 OV, 35 yrs

Analysis: With Rogers entering UFA after next season, the Flames wanted to find a mentee that could learn from the superstar veteran. Enter Sami Vatanen. The young defenseman still has a lot of promise, but after being shuffled around a few times, he has lost some confidence in his game. Vatanen will be taking the time that smooth skating Michael Funk once occupied. Funk couldn't rekindle his offensive game in Calgary and so, became expendable.

Goaltending:
IN - Malcolm Subban 82 OV, 26 yrs
OUT - Brad Thiessen 79 OV, 27 yrs

Analysis: The Flames were intensely loyal and patient with Brad Thiessen. By sending him to $20m+ workout camps two years in a row; they invested heavily in the well-rounded goaltender. Unfortunately, Thiessen could never quite get over the hump. Addressing their goaltending situation was a top priority coming into this offseason and so, the Flames took the opportunity when given with Malcolm Subban. The unproven netminder will get his first kick at being #1 and the Flames are banking on him stealing them some games: something Thiessen could never do.

With no draft picks in the draft and no need to fill any spots on the pro team, for all intents and purposes, the Flames' offseason is complete. Aside from a few farm pickups, the Flames will likely not be big players in free agency. Now, they wait impatiently for the 2024 season to finally begin!

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2019

By: Jeff Nagle

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Previous Team News

2/21/2019 - Flames Players On the Move

2/19/2019 7:06:52 AM - The Most Traded Man in FNHL History

1/30/2019 5:06:34 AM - Flames are Changing Gears

12/18/2018 10:52:14 AM - Final Four Predictions

3/23/2018 4:31:25 AM - Flames Wheel and Deal at Draft

10/3/2017 6:06:13 AM - And, They're In!

9/22/2017 4:58:30 AM - Magic Number At 3

9/18/2017 6:52:19 AM - Eight Is Enough

9/12/2017 6:57:40 AM - Flames Hanging On

8/28/2017 - Flames Move Horton

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Calgary Flames

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 Jeff Nagle

 2010

 Riverview, NB

 Canada

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