The NHL calendar officially flipped to the 2021-22 season yesterday with free agency opening at 10AM Calgary time. Last season, teams were hesitant to send Brinks trucks to everyone’s door like usual, but this season it was back to normal. There were a total of 161 signings, 294 contract years, and $783.6M given out by the 32 NHL teams.
The Calgary Flames made seven moves today, two trades and five signings. We’re tracking all the moves related to the Flames as well.
Additions to the team
Blake Coleman (LW/RW)
Blake Coleman‘s contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning expired at the end of the 2021 season. The Flames signed him to a six year contract with an AAV of $4.9M. His contract includes a full no-trade clause in the first three years and a modified no-trade clause in the final three years.
Though he shoots left, Coleman has played most of his career on the right win (according to Flames GM Brad Treliving) and that’s where he’ll slot in on the Flames’ depth chart. He will likely start on the second line with Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund as the go-to shutdown line for the Flames. It will be an up-tempo line that is sure to be one of the most fun to watch on the team.
Nikita Zadorov (LHD)
Nikita Zadorov was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2022 third round pick the Flames got back in the David Rittich trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Zadorov is an RFA who is arbitration eligible and has a qualifying offer at $3.2M. The Flames will need to negotiate a contract with him.
Zadorov is not going to replace the minutes that Mark Giordano played for this team last year. However, he is a very solid defensive defenseman who will likely play second or third pair minutes and be heavily deployed in defensive situations. He’ll be counted on to be a shut down defender and a minute muncher for the team.
Trevor Lewis (RW)
Trevor Lewis played for the Winnipeg Jets last season but is familiar with Darryl Sutter from his time with the Los Angeles Kings. Lewis and Sutter won two cups together in LA. Lewis signed a one year contract that pays him $800k.
The Flames are a Sutter run team and Treliving went and got Sutter one of his guys. Lewis will be good depth on the right side and will likely slot in on the third or fourth line. He’ll play in defensive situations and be relied upon to be a veteran leader on the team. This deal is low risk and provides depth on right wing which is never a bad thing.
Daniel Vladar (G)
The Flames only had one goalie signed heading into free agency, and traded a 2022 third round pick to the Boston Bruins to acquire Daniel Vladar. Vladar is signed for another two season at $750k.
Vladar is going to be Jacob Markstrom‘s backup. He has put up incredible numbers in the AHL the past few seasons and was pushing hard for NHL minutes last season. The Bruins just couldn’t give him those minutes and decided to go with the waiver ineligible Jeremy Swayman instead of Vladar. He’s a young goalie and should be able to provide Markstrom with the necessary rest throughout the season. Watch for Vladar to play 25-35 games for the Flames.
Kevin Gravel (LHD)
Kevin Gravel spent the entire 2020-21 season with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. He was signed to a one year contract worth $750k.
The Stockton Heat blueline thinned out due to several players opting to play in Europe and Russia next season instead. Gravel will serve as a minor league left side defender.
Nick DeSimone (RHD)
Nick DeSimone split time between two AHL clubs last season, the Rochester Americans and the San Jose Barracuda. He was signed to the same contract as Gravel, one year at $750k.
DeSimone is another depth defender for the Stockton Heat, but plays on the right side.
Adam Werner (G)
Adam Werner played for the AHL’s Colorado Eagles last season. Same contract as the previous two players, one year at $750k.
He is a relatively young goalie (24 years old) who has posted decent, though unspectacular numbers in the AHL/NHL/SHL. He’ll push Dustin Wolf and Tyler Parsons in Stockton next year. This seems like a move designed to help insulate against potential Parsons injuries, and just generally give the organization much needed depth in net.
Former Flames finding new homes
Josh Leivo (RW/LW)
Josh Leivo signed a one year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes worth $750k.
Dominik Simon (LW/RW)
Dominik Simon signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one year at $750k.
Derek Ryan (C)
Derek Ryan was deciding between Calgary and a couple other teams, but ultimately chose to sign a two year contract with an AAV of $1.25M with the Edmonton Oilers.
Alex Petrovic (RHD)
Alex Petrovic signed a one year deal with teh Dallas Stars worth $750k.
What other moves do the Flames need to make?
The Flames still have to agree to terms with their RFAs: Dillon Dube, Glenn Gawdin, Justin Kirkland, Matthew Phillips, Luke Philp, Oliver Kylington, Connor Mackey, Colton Poolman, Juuso Valimaki, Zadorov, and Parsons. Alexander Yelesin and Carl-Johan Lerby were tendered qualifying offers, but have committed to play elsewhere next season. Yelesin will be with the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and Lerby will be with the SHL’s Malmo Redhawks.
It will be a big year for the Flames as their moves yesterday signal the team is going for it next year. Hopefully they’ll fare better than they did last season.