In this week’s edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, talks continue to swirl around the futures of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, with some suggesting the team may be best to sell high on the former. In other news, prospect Jack Beck has earned himself to Team Canada’s World Junior development camp this July in preparation for the 2023 tournament. Last but not least, Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow and his family will be presenters at the 2022 NHL Awards this Tuesday.
Tkachuk & Gaudreau’s Futures Still Up in the Air
Once the Flames’ 2021-22 season came to an end at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, both the fanbase and organizations’ mindsets transitioned to the offseason and what the future of this team may look like. Plenty of that focus has been, and will continue to be, on Gaudreau and Tkachuk, both of who are without contracts for the 2022-23 campaign.
For Gaudreau, 28, there were rumors on social media this past week that he was nearing a lengthy extension with the Flames, though his agent has since debunked those claims. The star winger is coming off of the best season of his career with 40 goals and 115 points and as a result is in line for a significant pay raise, one that could see him earn between $9-10 million annually. Though he said at season’s end that he would love to remain in Calgary, several, including David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, have heard he may be interested in testing the free agent market.
While Tkachuk is also a free agent, his situation is different given that he is restricted. Like Gaudreau, he has stated his goal is to remain a Flame, but there are questions about whether or not that is entirely the case. In a recent article written by Hailey Salvian of The Athletic, she suggested that if there is any uncertainty from general manager Brad Treliving about the 24-year-olds willingness to re-sign long-term, they would be better off to move him this summer where they could get a significant return.
He, too, is coming off of a career year in which he had 104 points and, thanks to that great season, has higher value around the league than ever before (from ‘Hailey Salvian: Should Flames sell high on Matthew Tkachuk? How much for Johnny Gaudreau? Mailbag,’ The Athletic, 06/20/22).
Beck Invited to Team Canada’s Summer Camp
With the 2023 IIHF World Juniors set to begin in December, Team Canada recently announced the players invited to attend their summer camp in late July. One of those players who made the list was Beck, a Flames prospect. The 19-year-old was selected in the sixth round (168 overall) in the 2021 Draft, and has seen his stock rise tremendously since that day.
Related: Calgary Flames 2021-22 Player Report Cards: Andrew Mangiapane
In his rookie season with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League, Beck recorded a rather modest seven goals and 19 points in 56 games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to suit up for any games in the 2020-21 season, but was still selected by the Flames who, rightfully so, saw a lot of potential from the left winger. That potential showed in 2021-22, as he notched 22 goals and 44 points in just 36 games, along with another three goals and four points in four playoff outings. He was one of just 26 forwards to be invited to the camp.
Snow to Present at NHL Awards
Since being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) back in June of 2019, Snow, the Flames’ assistant general manager, has become an icon in the hockey world. At the time of his diagnosis, he was given just one year to live, but is continuing his fight today in what has been an extremely courageous battle.
In recognition of his fantastic story, the NHL announced this past week that he, along with his family, will be one of the presenters at the NHL Awards, which are set to take place on Tuesday. Along with Snow, goaltender Jacob Markstrom will also be in attendance, as he was one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy alongside Igor Shesterkin and Juuse Saros.
Looking Ahead for the Flames
As far as upcoming news goes for the Flames, the hot topics of discussion will continue surrounding the cornerstones of this franchise in Tkachuk and Gaudreau. That said, however, there are other pending free agents to keep an eye on such as Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington, both of whom have also earned themselves a pay raise thanks to big improvements in the 2021-22 season. Depending on what happens with these players will go a long ways in determining how competitive this Flames team will be in 2022-23.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.