Flames add Coleman from Cup champion Lightning, seek return to playoffs

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2021-22 regular season, which starts Oct. 12. Today, the Calgary Flames:

2020-21 season: 26-27-3, fifth in Scotia North Division; did not qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Key arrivals

Blake Coleman, F: The 29-year-old, who signed a six-year contract July 28, won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning the past two seasons and scored 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 48 Stanley Cup Playoff games during that span. Coleman scored 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 55 regular-season games last season. … Trevor Lewis, F: The 34-year-old, who signed a one-year contract July 28, scored 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 56 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season but did not score a point in eight playoff games. Lewis won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014. … Nikita Zadorov, D: The 26-year-old was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade July 28 for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft after he scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) and averaged 19:12 of ice time in 55 games last season. … Tyler Pitlick, F: The 29-year-old was acquired from the Seattle Kraken in a trade July 22 for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft. Pitlick scored 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 38 games for the Arizona Coyotes last season. … Dan Vladar, G: He was acquired in a trade with the Boston Bruins on July 28 for a third-round pick in the 2022 draft. Vladar, who turns 24 on Aug. 20, was 2-2-1 with a 3.40 goals-against average and .886 save percentage in five games (all starts) for Boston last season, his first in the NHL.

Key departures

Mark Giordano, D: After being Flames captain for the past eight seasons, he was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21. Giordano won the Norris Trophy voted as the top defenseman in the NHL in 2018-19 and has scored 509 points (143 goals, 366 assists) in 949 regular-season games playing all 15 of his NHL seasons with Calgary. … Derek Ryan, F: He signed a two-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 28 after scoring 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 43 games last season. … Josh Leivo, F: He signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 28 after scoring nine points (six goals, three assists) in 38 games last season. … Joakim Nordstrom, F: An unrestricted free agent, Nordstrom scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 44 games last season. … Michael Stone, D: He is an unrestricted free agent after scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in 21 games last season. … Nikita Nesterov, D: An unrestricted free agent, Nordstrom had four assists in 38 games last season. 


[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]


On the cusp

Connor Mackey, D: He scored three points (one goal, two assists) in six games with the Flames last season, his first as a professional, and 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 27 games for Stockton of the American Hockey League. Mackey, who turns 25 on Sept. 12, had one assist in seven games for the United States at the 2021 IIHF World Championship. … Adam Ruzicka, F: The 22-year-old had one assist in three games for the Flames and scored 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 28 games for Stockton last season. … Matthew Phillips, F: The 23-year-old scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 30 games for Stockton last season and did not score in his NHL debut May 19, Calgary’s final game. … Glenn Gawdin, F: The 24-year-old had one assist in seven games for the Flames last season and scored 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 22 games for Stockton.

What they still need

A goalie to back up Jacob Markstrom. They also need to negotiate a contract extension with forward Johnny Gaudreau, who can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Gaudreau, who turns 28 on Aug. 13, led Calgary with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 56 games last season and has scored at least 30 goals twice in his seven full NHL seasons. Forwards Gawdin and Dillon Dube, and defensemen Zadorov, Mackey, Oliver Kylington and Juuso Valimaki each is a restricted free agent and needs a new contract for this season.

They said it

“They always say the next Cup is the best one, and that’s the way I feel, so I’d love nothing more than to win in Calgary as well.” — forward Blake Coleman

Fantasy focus

After the departure of Giordano, there will be a new No. 1 defenseman in Calgary and a full-time spot available on the first power-play unit with valuable forwards Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan and Gaudreau. The front runner for that role could be defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who had NHL career highs in points per game (0.38) and power-play points (six in 56 games) last season with further room for improvement. Though Andersson is not ranked in NHL.com’s top 250, he is a deep fantasy sleeper and could quickly emerge as a must-add fantasy player in this coveted role. — Pete Jensen

Projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau — Elias Lindholm — Matthew Tkachuk

Blake Coleman — Sean Monahan — Dillon Dube

Andrew MangiapaneMikael Backlund — Tyler Pitlick

Milan Lucic — Trevor Lewis — Brett Ritchie

Noah HanifinChristopher Tanev

Juuso Valimaki — Rasmus Andersson

Oliver Kylington — Nikita Zadorov

Jacob Markstrom

Dan Vladar

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