Weegar: ‘We’re a better team than Florida’


MacKenzie Weegar does not lack confidence in view of the next season. He feels the Calgary Flames are a better team than the Florida Panthers, the same Panthers who traded him to the Flames in the trade Matthew Tkachuk July 22.

Florida won the Presidents’ Trophy last season, awarded to the regular season champions (58-18-6).

« You can feel the electricity in the air, » Weegar said at the Flames’ annual golf tournament on Wednesday. “We’re a better team than Florida is. It will be really exciting. A lot of people in town, fans, have told me they’re really looking forward to this season and to seeing [Jonathan Huberdeau]me, [Nazem Kadri] and a few other new faces. It’s going to be a good season and I’m as excited as they are. »

The Flames won the Pacific Division title last season (50-21-11), but lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They then lost their best scorer, striker Johnny Gaudreau (40 goals, 75 assists), who signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets as an unrestricted free agent on July 13. Tkachuk had 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) last season.

Then, nine days later, the Flames traded Tkachuk, who finished second in club scoring with 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) to the Panthers after the forward told them he had no intend to sign a long-term contract. In return, Calgary got their hands on the striker Jonathan Huberdeauthe defender MacKenzie Weegara first-round pick and a prospect.

Huberdeau tied with Gaudreau for second in NHL scoring with 115 points (30 goals, 85 assists) in 80 games with the Panthers last year. He signed an eight-year contract worth $10.5 million a year with his new team a few days after arriving in Alberta. The agreement will begin next season.

Weegar had 44 points (eight goals, 35 assists) in 80 games last year, personal highs in every category.

« I think we have an excellent team, » said the Quebec forward. Our defensive core is excellent. We have a big team, an excellent goalkeeper, two goalkeepers actually (Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar). In attack too, we added Naz. I think we have a great top-6. I can’t wait to see what we do, but I think we can get the Stanley Cup right now. »

The Flames continued their shopping spree on August 18, offering center a seven-year, $7 million a year contract Nazem Kadri August 18.

The 31-year-old forward won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche last season after setting career highs in assists (59), points (87) and power-play points (29) in 71 games. Six of his 28 goals were game winners.
He had 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 16 playoff games, even though he was hampered by a thumb injury.

“It’s going wonderfully. We’ve talked a few times and you can tell right away in his attitude that he has a winning mentality,” Kadri said of his new head coach, Darryl Sutter.

“What matters to win is your mentality, how you think about the game and how you analyze it. It’s positive. I think he’ll like me as a player and I’m sure I’ll like him as a coach. »

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