The hottest topic on Calgary Flames social medias right now is the status of the 2024 unrestricted free agent class. Why? Craig Conroy’s introductory press conference was very meaningful for a number of things he said. One of the biggest takeaways was Conroy referencing the Johnny Gaudreau situation and never let that happen again:
Asset management is critical for future success. If one of the 2024 UFAs is not interested in re-signing, it’s important to get assets back for them now. I think this is especially crucial for Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, and Tyler Toffoli, whom the organization gave up major assets to bring to the club in the first place.
Nikita Zadorov cost a third-rounder, so not much discourse if he doesn’t want to re-sign. Chris Tanev was signed in free agency, so again there’s no acquisition cost. Mikael Backlund and Oliver Kylington are both draft picks, so getting the games they have from both is already a huge plus, especially Backlund and the 908 games he’s played in a Flaming C to this date.
How many of the 2024 UFA class do you think is going to re-sign? We asked, you answered.
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Number of 2024 UFAs re-signed
We presented the following poll:
Zero to two 2024 UFAs brought back
The lowest option of UFA’s returning received the second highest support, at roughly 29%. Just like bringing back all seven, it’s probably very unlikely they don’t bring back a single player here. But, if the Flames trend towards a complete revamp, maybe they only keep one or two UFA’s. I would have to imagine Oliver Kylington is the likeliest to return with the Flames beyond this year, given his age and the unique style of game he plays. It would be hard to imagine a complete organizational revamp, as the Flames likely trend to trying to stay competitive. But, who knows what Craig Conroy has up his sleeve.
Three to four 2024 UFAs brought back
This option received the highest number of votes, about 58%, which makes sense. Betting on the fact that roughly 50% of the UFA’s returning, given what some expressed at their year end press conference. While this Flames team might need a complete revamp, but I don’t think the team goes into a complete rebuilding state. Betting on roughly half of the class returning is probably very fair. Guys like Toffoli, Tanev, and Zadorov had expressed their desire to stay previously, but a lot has happened since then. I wonder if we see a chain reaction of sorts take place with the 2024 UFA class. If some of the UFA class – like Elias Lindholm for example – expresses his desire to move on, does this then lead to others wanting out as well?
Five to six 2024 UFAs brought back
This option received a relatively low number of votes, at 11%. Betting on more than half of this class re-signing with the Flames seems unwise, given all of the rumours we’ve heard so far. Even if more than five of this class wants to return, it doesn’t make financial sense to invest in pay raises to bring these players back, considering the long-term contracts for Huberdeau, Weegar, and Kadri already on the books. The Flames find themselves in a very interesting situation.
All seven 2024 UFAs brought back
This option received the least amount of votes by a significant margin. That makes sense, based on the rumours surrounding Lindholm, Backlund, and Hanifin in particular. It would be unfathomable to imagine all seven UFA’s are brought back, considering the raises most of them are likely to receive. Given what insiders have said about Noah Hanifin over the last week, he is very likely to leave the franchise in the coming weeks.
What’s going to happen with the 2024 UFA class?
Given what you answered, it’s seems fans think half or lower than half of the class will be returning. There was a significantly higher margin of votes for the first two options, about 87%, and almost no votes for the latter options, with only 13% of votes. Given the rumours surrounding this class, we should be in for a very interesting next couple weeks.
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