If you’re anything like me, you don’t pay attention much to what’s been going on with the Flames over the off-season. I mean, you pay attention to draft day, free agent frenzy, arbitration, and things like that… but not to the day-to-day degree that begins Sep 21 and lasts until (hopefully) springtime.
Here is a wrap-up of what’s happened while you were away.
FLAMES INK JAKUB NAKLADAL – MAY 19
Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving didn’t take a break at all following the post-season, signing Czech defenceman Jakub Nakladal to an entry-level contract on May 19. The 27-year-old blueliner spent the 2014-15 season with TPS Turku of the SM-Liiga, posting three goals and 15 points in 50 games. He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Championships, where he led all Czech defencemen with five assists in 10 games.
BACKS IS BACK – JUNE 20
Pivot Mikael Backlund, who was drafted by the Flames in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft, signed a three-year deal with Calgary on June 20. The Swedish forward saw limited action last last season undergoing abdominal surgery. In 52 games he put up 10 goals and 27 points, playing a key role for the Flames in the post-season.
In 298 career games, Backlund has scored 51 goals and amassed 128 points. In 2013-14, he had a career season which saw him net 18 goals and 39 points in 76 games.
TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE – JUNE 26
The Flames sent shock-waves through the hockey world at the NHL Draft in June with a blockbuster trade with the Boston Bruins. The Flames acquired 6-foot-5 defenceman Dougie Hamilton in exchange for Calgary’s 2015 first round pick (15th overall) and two second round picks (45th overall and 52nd overall – previously acquired from the Washington Capitals).
“I look at our team right now with Giordano, Brodie, Russell, Wideman, Engelland, Smid, and adding Dougie Hamilton to that mix, I like that defence,” Treliving said.
“When we looked at Dougie, this is an age group asset for us. This is a player that fits where we are going in Calgary. This is not a deviation in terms of the young players that we are building around. He adds to it. He’s in that peer group.”
2015 NHL DRAFT – JUNE 27
After trading their first round pick to the Bruins, the Flames were left with picks in the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft. They ended up selecting Rasmus Andersson (defence – 2nd round, 52nd overall), Oliver Kylington (defence – 2nd round, 60th overall), Pavel Karnaukhov (center – 5th round, 136th overall),Andrew Mangiapane (left wing – 6th round, 166th overall), and Riley Bruce (defence – 7th round, 196th overall).
QUALIFYING OFFERS TENDERED – JUNE 29
The Flames tendered qualifying offers to 12 restricted free agents in late June: Hamilton, Lance Bouma, Micheal Ferland, Drew Shore, David Wolf, Josh Jooris, Bryce Van Brabant, Kenny Agostino, Paul Byron, Max Reinhart, Bill Arnold, and Turner Elson.
COACHES, CONNY EXTENDED – JUNE 30
The Flames re-signed associate coach Jacques Cloutier and assistant coaches Martin Gelinas and Jamie Pringle to multi-year contracts. The organization also extended the contract of assistant general manager Craig Conroy.
The Flames locked up Hamilton to a six-year deal to close out the month of June. The 22-year-old was thrilled to get a contract worked out so quickly with his new club.
“Looking at the team, it’s a young team with a lot of great players and I think a great future and a great plan in place,” he said. “I think any situation that has that, it’s going to be exciting to be a part of that. I think that continues on with the fans and the city. I had some experiences there at the World Juniors and had a lot of fun playing there and being there and even just watching the playoffs this year and seeing the fans and the C of Red and all that. I think it obviously shows the fans and fan support in the city. That’s something that is also really exciting.”
FREE AGENT FRENZY – JULY 1
The Flames kicked off Canada Day by signing Karri Ramo, who had wrapped up his second season with Calgary this past spring. The 29-year-old went 15-9-3 in the regular season with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Calgary then went out and signed forward Michael Frolik to a five-year deal. The Czech forward, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013, is coming off a 19-goal, 42-point season with the Winnipeg Jets.
The organization added some depth up front by signing forward Derek Grant to a one-year deal. The Abbotsford, BC native spent the 2014-15 season with Binghamton Senators in the AHL.
The Flames wrapped up the day by acquiring a fourth round pick in 2016 from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Reinhart, who has since signed with the Preds.
2014 DRAFT PICKS LOCKED UP – JULY 2
KYLINGTON, RFA’S SIGNED – JULY 15
Kylington signed his first contract with the Flames on July 15 while Arnold, Agostino, Shore, and Van Brabant accepted their qualifying offers.
FORWARD THINKING – JULY 23, 24, 26
Calgary continued to get their RFA’s signed later on in July, working out deals with Bouma (July 23), Jooris (July 24), Elson (July 24), and Byron (July 26).
THE CAPTAIN SIGNS EXTENSION – AUGUST 25
When the 2014-15 campaign came to a close, Treliving made no bones about the fact he wanted to get Mark Giordano, who was entering the final year of his contract in the 2015-16 season, extended. He did just that on August 25, signing the captain to a six-year contract.
Last winter, Giordano was in the midst of a stellar season before he was felled by a season-ending bicep injury. In total, the rearguard 11 goals and 48 points in 61 games.
“In my opinion, if he didn’t unfortunately go down with an injury, he’s sitting here with a Norris Trophy,” Treliving told CalgaryFlames.com. “He’s the leader in every sense in this organization — not in just the rah-rah sense. He’s a leader in terms of his action, the way he lives his life, the way he prepares.”
WILSON ADDED ON PTO – SEPTEMBER 3
On Sept. 3, the Flames announced veteran defenceman Ryan Wilson would join the club on a professional try-out. He spent the last six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, notching seven goals and 60 assists for 67 points and 157 penalty minutes. This is Wilson’s second stint with the Flames organization after he was originally signed as a free agent in 2008 before being traded to Colorado in 2009.