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Toffoli, Backlund, Lindholm, and Hanafin could all be out the door in Calgary: Around the League
8 months ago
Welcome back to Around the League — the column here at CanucksArmy where examine news and notes from around the National Hockey League, oftentimes through a Vancouver Canucks-tinted lens.
Folks, it looks like the Calgary Flames are in trouble.
Thursday was full of bad news for Flames fans, as multiple reports of players informing the club they don’t intend on re-signing long term in Calgary surfaced.
First it was Elias Lindholm who Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported that the Flames are waiting on an answer from after new Flames GM Craig Conroy met with the Swedish-born centre and made a pitch for him to stay in Calgary.
“The way I understand it, the Flames and Lindholm’s camp met recently and Craig Conroy made a pitch, a play of ‘hey not only would we like you to stay, but we’re ready to roll out the red carpet and we’re ready to pay you and give you what you want.’ And he’s waiting on an answer. And the general speculation around the league is that Elias Lindholm is leaning towards not re-signing with the Flames. But to my knowledge, has not given them an official no.”
So while it’s not a forgone conclusion that Lindholm, who has one year left on his deal before he will become an unrestricted free agent, will leave the Flames at all, it’s one of many names to keep an eye on in Calgary this offseason.
The other big names, who we’re more certain won’t be back in Calgary beyond next season at the latest are Tyler Toffoli, Noah Hanafin, and to a lesser extent, Mikael Backlund. First, Backlund.
Per Elliotte Friedman, the Flames have offered Backlund the captaincy, but according to Frank Seravalli, Backlund is “leaning towards not re-signing.” Of course, anything can change, but that’s where things stand right now.
Finally, Toffoli and Hanafin have reportedly made up their minds — neither player will look to re-sign in Calgary. Both Hanafin and Toffoli have one year remaining on their deals before they become UFAs, so it will be very interesting to keep an eye on both.
At 31, Toffoli just had the best statistical season of his career, potting a career-high 34 goals and a career-high 39 assists. Wingers don’t carry much value on the NHL trade market currently, but it’s hard to imagine that the Flames will be hard-pressed to find multiple suitors for Toffoli, who has one year left at $4.25 million. The Flames have reportedly made it clear to other teams that Toffoli is on the trade block.
As for Hanafin, the 26-year-old left shot defenceman has told the Flames he would like to go to a team in the United States. Hanafin tallied 38 points last season while consistently playing top four minutes for the Flames.
So yes, it appears the Calgary Flames could be in trouble.
Granted, it looked like the Flames were doomed last offseason after Johnny Gaudreau hit unrestricted free agency at the 11th hour and Matthew Tkachuk informed the Flames he intended to not sign long term in Calgary shortly thereafter. They managed to come out of that situation and still remain close to a playoff team, but it’s hard to imagine a similar scenario is possible here.
All eyes will be on the Flames as both the NHL Entry Draft and first day of NHL free agency are next week.
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