32 for 32: Calgary Flames Preview

NHL.com offers in-depth analysis of each of the 32 teams between August 8 and September 8. Today, the Calgary Flames.

The Calgary Flames will have a new face when the puck hits the ice for their opener, but one thing remains the same.

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General Manager Brad Treliving is aiming for the top.

Calgary, which won the Pacific Division title last season (50-21-11), is optimistic that it will still be a contender after a turbulent off-season in which the team lost its two leading scorers: attackers Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. It came after the Flames reached the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time since losing in seven games in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning. .

« I could see it in [les yeux de Treliving] and in his way of speaking: he wants to win immediately, » said the striker Jonathan Huberdeau, one of the new faces in the Calgary roster. “He wants to build a winning team and get the right players. Right now we have a good team. Our defense is excellent and we have a good goaltender. Look at the formation, we have a good team. He’s enthusiastic, and I think he thinks I would fit well in this team. It made me think, and I said to myself that I want to play there. He wants to win for several years, not just for one season. »

Huberdeau, who signed an eight-year, $84 million contract extension with the Flames on August 4, was acquired along with the defenseman MacKenzie Weegarforward prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round draft pick in a July 22 trade with the Florida Panthers for Tkachuk and a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick .

Tkachuk finished second on the Flames last season with 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists). His departure came nine days after Gaudreau signed an unrestricted free agent contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13. Gaudreau led Calgary and tied with Huberdeau for second in NHL scoring with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists).

The Flames have also signed the center player Kevin Rooney for two years, in addition to having the striker sign a new one-year contract Trevor Lewis.

“You deal with problems as they arise,” says Treliving. We had to deal with a few obstacles. Players have made choices and they absolutely have the right to make those choices. We deal with these issues as they arise. You can feel sorry for yourself or roll up your sleeves and face the situation. We chose the second option. »

The addition of Huberdeau, who was on the NHL’s Second Team All-Star and finished fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy as most valuable player to his team, adds ammunition to a roster who otherwise would have lacked punch on offense.

Video: FLA@WSH, #3: Huberdeau cashes and scores

Calgary can always count on Jacob Markstrom, who went 37-15-9 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 63 games last season. He was named a finalist for the Vézina Trophy, awarded to the best goaltender in the NHL. There is also Elias Lindholmwho just set a career high in the NHL with 82 points (42 goals, 40 assists) and who was a Selke Trophy finalist, awarded to the league’s best defensive forward.

the attacker Andrew Mangiapanewho set a personal best with 35 goals last season, signed a three-year contract worth $17.4 million on August 2.

Weegar, a right-handed defender, can play on the left or right flank. He reached a career-high in the NHL with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 80 games last season with Florida.

Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin, who form the first defensive pair, also had their best season in the NHL. Andersson led all Flames defensemen with 50 points (four goals, 46 assists), while Hanifin was second with 48 points (10 goals, 38 assists).

Calgary will once again be led by Darryl Sutter, who won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s top coach.

« We have a team that is one of the best in the league, in my opinion, a team that competes every year to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do, » said Treliving.

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