In this week’s Calgary Flames news & rumors update, Jack Eichel’s trade rumors have once again been heating up after a media availability he had last week, and the Flames are one of many teams who may line up as a suitor. In other news, Sean Monahan’s rough season appears to be injury-related as his season came to an end last week, with the team announcing he will require hip surgery. Meanwhile, with the Flames being eliminated from postseason contention last week, both Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube will suit up for Team Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Latvia, and their teammate in Nikita Nesterov will play for Team Russia.
Eichel Appears Done as a Sabre
Over a month ago, I wrote about the possibility of the Flames acquiring Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres this offseason. It felt like a pipedream at the time, but after some comments the captain gave this week about a ‘disconnect’ between him and his team’s management, many are speculating he will be wearing a new uniform for the 2021-22 season.
While teams like the New York Rangers and the L.A. Kings are considered the favorites to land Eichel, the Flames are a possibility given their cap situation heading into next season. It remains a longshot, but general manager Brad Treliving would be wise to at least give the Sabres a call and see what they have to say. It will be a very interesting situation to monitor this offseason.
It was a very disappointing season for Monahan, as the 26-year-old’s lack of offence played a huge role in why they missed the postseason. With just 10 goals in 50 games, he was in serious jeopardy of not hitting the 20-goal marker had the season been a full 82-games, which would be the first time he failed to do so over his eight-season career.
The 10 goals, along with just 28-points, were good enough for just sixth in team scoring, which simply isn’t good enough for Monahan. However, last week once the team got eliminated from postseason contention, it was announced he was done for the year and will require hip surgery. The injury has reportedly been bothering him all season long and helps explain his struggles. Whether or not he is with the Flames next season remains to be seen, but regardless he should be able to produce like he has in the past, assuming he’s healthy once again.
Suiting Up at Worlds
This past week, it was announced that both Dube and Mangiapane will play for Team Canada at the Worlds, which are set to begin on May 21. For Dube, it will be a chance to try and have a positive finish to what has been a frustrating 2020-21 season. The 22-year-old, who has 10 goals and 20 points in 49 games, hasn’t seemed to impress bench boss Darryl Sutter, as he has been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions this year.
Mangiapane has had a stronger season with 16 goals and 30 points and will look to keep it going for Team Canada. They will be competing against their teammate in Nesterov, who will play for Team Russia. The 28-year-old defenceman made a second attempt at the NHL this season with the Flames and has four assists in 37 games so far. With his contract set to expire at season’s end, he will look to have a big tournament and perhaps garner some interest from other NHL clubs, assuming Treliving doesn’t want to bring him back.
As mentioned above, the Flames were eliminated from the playoffs this past week. It was truly remarkable they were able to stay in the race as long as they did, considering how they played for the majority of the season. For reasons many don’t understand, they still have two more regular-season games against the Vancouver Canucks despite other teams already playing in playoff games.
Through 54 games, their record sits at 25-26-3. Make no mistakes, that simply isn’t good enough, but it is interesting to note that they have more wins than the Montreal Canadiens, who are set to begin their playoffs on Thursday versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though they had less wins, they are six points ahead, meaning the Flames could finish the season two points shy of them if they are able to win their final two games against the Canucks.
Former Jr. A player turned writer. Cover both the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers, and am part of both the Flames Faceoff and Oilers Overtime podcasts.