When Craig Conroy was the Flames assistant GM final summer time, he watched as Johnny Gaudreau strode into free company and landed in Columbus for no return. When he took over as GM final month, Conroy was instantly confronted with related crucial choices on six veteran, core gamers who’re all one yr away from free company themselves.
It was a scorching matter at his introductory press convention, when Conroy answered by saying he wouldn’t let the Gaudreau scenario play out once more.
Mikael Backlund acknowledged to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox that there have been going to be adjustments in Calgary this summer time and the long-time Flame has to contemplate his personal future. Elias Lindholm is mulling his contract as properly, and if he decides to not re-sign the entire thing might come down. It’s been reported that Noah Hanifin intends to return to play within the USA, and the Flames must search for a decision there earlier than he additionally comes up for 2024 free company.
However the first off the board was Tyler Toffoli, the crew’s main scorer this previous season. He had requested a transfer out of Calgary and finally ends up becoming a member of the New Jersey Devils the place he’ll add veteran scoring depth to a crew that already completed prime 5 in offence this previous season.
For Calgary, that is the beginning of one thing new, however simply what form that in the end takes could possibly be decided in days. They nonetheless solely maintain their very own first-round decide (sixteenth total), however might they add extra, or a notable prospect, for an additional of those dominos? Or will they hold searching for young-ish professionals with potential for fast impression, comparable to Yegor Sharangovich, who comes again within the Toffoli swap?
The Flames accomplish the duty of getting youthful with Sharangovich, 25, and his extension as an RFA will save the Flames some $2 million from Toffoli’s charge. Sharangovich’s arc is fascinating in that he’s gone from 16 targets (in 54 video games) as a rookie to 24 targets after which dropping to 13 this previous season, when he misplaced a plum spot on Jack Hughes’ line.
If Sharangovich could be a productive prime six participant for a successful Flames crew then Conroy’s first commerce might pan out, however at the price of their main objective scorer this wasn’t an affordable acquisition.
For extra on the deal we flip to our scout, Jason Bukala…
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TO NEW JERSEY: TYLER TOFFOLI
The winds of change are in movement in Calgary, with the Flames transferring out Tyler Toffoli. The transfer, in my view, indicators a pair issues. It says GM Craig Conroy isn’t going to take a seat tight and “hope” gamers wish to stay in Calgary long run. It additionally alerts gamers like Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, and Noah Hanifin that the group has no plans to be held hostage by gamers who don’t imagine within the route of the franchise.
Toffoli is coming off a productive season in Calgary. He scored 34 targets and 39 assists to steer the crew. He would have been the third-leading scorer in New Jersey with these numbers. Toffoli provides one other layer of scoring depth to the Devils lineup, although he doesn’t essentially match the model they wish to play as one of many quickest groups within the NHL that likes to push up and down the ice. Having mentioned that, Toffoli has scored at each cease in his profession. The Devils acknowledge how Toffoli approaches the sport and the form of impression he’ll present.
The Devils are coming into their competition window and Toffoli makes them a greater crew.
TO CALGARY: YEGOR SHARANGOVICH
Sharangovich is an fascinating acquisition for the Flames. He’s a rangy ahead whose offence fell off fairly dramatically this previous season. He misplaced his function on the facility play and skating alongside Jack Hughes, which must be thought of when breaking down his scoring (13 targets, 17 assists). Right here was my scouting report on Sharangovich earlier than this commerce:
Sharangovich might be an enigma to scout. For some motive he’s historically been a sluggish starter at the start of the season. He additionally appears to attain in streaks. However when he’s on, there’s a lot to love about him.
He has good measurement and he strikes properly. He drives the center lane off the puck and scores from across the crease. He has excellent fingers and the power to corral pucks rapidly and deposit them within the internet. His function in New Jersey fell off this yr. From the skin wanting in he doesn’t look to be a match for the place the crew goes sooner or later. I see Sharangovich as a middle-six ahead who nonetheless has top-six upside and can be utilized in all conditions. Factoring in his younger age (26) makes him much more engaging as a commerce goal.