NHL Pacific Division Reset: Calgary Flames

Flames add Huberdeau, Weegar in trade, lose Gaudreau, Tkachuk

Also sign Rooney after winning Pacific Division last season

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

2021-22 season: 50-21-11, first in Pacific Division; lost in second round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Key arrivals

Jonathan Huberdeau, F: The 29-year-old had an NHL career-high 115 points in 80 games last season, including leading the NHL with 85 assists. He had five points (one goal, four assists) in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Huberdeau was acquired on Friday with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar in a trade for forward Matthew Tkachuk… MacKenzie Weegar, D: The 28-year-old had 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 80 games last season and one assist in 10 playoff games. …Kevin Rooney, F: The 29-year-old signed a two-year contract July 13. He had 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 61 regular-season games for the New York Rangers and two assists in 15 playoff games.

Key departures

Johnny Gaudreau, F: The Flames’ leading scorer last season, when he was tied with Huberdeau for second in the NHL with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists), Gaudreau signed a seven-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13. … Matthew Tkachuk, F: The restricted free agent agreed to an eight-year contract with the Flames before being traded to the Panthers. He scored an NHL career-high 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) last season and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 12 postseason games. …Erik Gudbranson, D: Signed a four-year contract with the Blue Jackets on July 13 after having an NHL career-high 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 78 regular-season games and one assist in 12 playoff games. … Calle Jarnkrok, F: Signed a four-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 15 after having four assists in 17 games with Calgary and four points (one goal, three assists) in 12 postseason games; he had been acquired in a trade with the Seattle Kraken for three draft picks March 16. … Ryan Carpenter, F: Signed a one-year contract with the Rangers on July 14 after he had 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 67 games with the Flames and Chicago Blackhawks. He had been acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks for a draft pick March 21.

On the cusp

Jakob Pelletier, F: The 21-year-old, selected in the first round (No. 26) of in the 2019 NHL Draft, had a strong showing as a first-year pro with Stockton of the American Hockey League, with 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) in 66 games. … Adam Ruzicka, F: The 23-year-old played 28 games with the Flames last season and had 10 points (five goals, five assists). He also had 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 16 games with Stockton. … Connor Mackey, D: The 25-year-old had an assist in three games with Calgary last season and 36 points (five goals, 31 assists) in 53 AHL games.

What they still need

Gaudreau and Tkachuk, their top two scorers from last season, are gone, so they need to fill the offensive void. Huberdeau should certainly help, but Tkachuk and Gaudreau combined for 219 points (82 goals, 137 assists) last season.

They said it

“I think we’ve got an elite player that we’ve returned in Huberdeau. Second in the League in scoring. Has been a top player throughout his career in the League. He’s one of the premier forwards in the League, not only what he does, the ability to make other players around him better. He’s dynamic. He’s competitive. We added a premier forward to our team.” — general manager Brad Treliving

Fantasy focus 

Forward Tyler Toffoli is one of the potential fantasy beneficiaries of Gaudreau and Tkachuk’s departure with a chance to earn a top-line role this season. Toffoli had NHL career bests in points per game (0.85) and goals per game (0.54) playing on the Montreal Canadiens’ first line in 2020-21, combined for his best power-play point total last season (16) and has glaring fantasy sleeper appeal with potential exposure to elite forwards Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm at even strength and on the first power play. — Pete Jensen

Projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau — Elias Lindholm — Tyler Toffoli

Andrew Mangiapane — Mikael Backlund — Blake Coleman

Jakob Pelletier — Sean Monahan — Dillon Dube

Milan Lucic — Kevin Rooney — Trevor Lewis

Noah Hanifin — Rasmus Andersson

Nikita Zadorov — MacKenzie Weegar

Oliver Kylington — Christopher Tanev

Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar

Source: nhl.com

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