With a busy June and July in the rear view mirror, we enter what is arguably the slowest month of the hockey calendar. Which leads me to ask, what’s next?
Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving has done some magic-like work this off-season, but he isn’t done just yet. On August 3rd, the Flames announced some front office moves. They promoted pro scout Don Maloney to Vice President of Hockey Operations, as well of re-sign assistant GMs Craig Conroy and Brad Pascal. Keeping the band together is very key for the Flames as the team builds towards achieving their goals and ultimately winning it all.
Speaking of keeping the band together, this brings us to the next task on the list. Re-signing restricted free agents. The list is not long, but features a few key names. At the top of the list, at least among the fanbase, would be Forward Sam Bennett. Whom is the former 4th overall pick in 2014. Bennett is a tricky contract to get done. Do the Flames want to sign him long term? How low would the salary cap hit be? Seems a bridge style contract would suit both sides well. A prove it deal for the Flames and a chance for Sam to show that he is worthy to be a bigger piece of the puzzle.
Defenseman Brett Kulak is also looking to make a splash. The Flames may be deep on the blue line but there are still a couple jobs up for grabs. Kulak, who has spent time last year both on the Flames and in the AHL for the farm team Stockton Heat, definitely has his eyes on sticking at the NHL level. Kulak fits perfectly into the Flames’ plans moving forward and a contract agreement should come pretty easy.
After Bennett and Kulak is a less notable player, Tyler Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon is entering a prove it type season, but he is most likely destined for Stockton to play for the Heat. At one point, Wotherspoon was going to be the “next one” on the Flames D. However, he has had his struggles as of late and if re-signed this would pretty much be the last chance for him in the Flames system. I foresee a one year deal here. Up to Tyler to take advantage of it.
After getting these players re-signed, the Flames should have a bit of money to spend if they desire to spend it. Rumors have been out there that the Flames are still looking at adding depth up front. Also with training camp coming up shortly, Treliving is expected to announce a couple of PTOs (Pro tryouts). The fans will be standing by to hear who those players will be.
August may be “slow”, but there is always work to get done and the Flames fans have faith that Brad Treliving will continue to make moves. He should be able to complete signings and do everything in his magical abilities to improve the Flames for the up coming season. With less than a month until the young stars preseason tournament in Pentiction, B.C., the anticipation of the season continues to grow.