Calgary Flames goaltender gives his candid thoughts on state of the team

Matt Garland
August 24, 2022  (12:58)

With the NHL season not here until October, players are enjoying their summers, training and preparing for another NHL grind. Calgary Flames starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom, was at the European Player Media Tour in Paris and told NHL.com's Dan Rosen that he thinks the Flames are better than they were before their off-season changes.

Talked with Jacob Markstrom at the European Player Media Tour here in Paris. Calgary's goalie said he thinks the Flames are better now with Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar than they were with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.

Markstrom, last season's runner-up for the Vezina Trophy, saw his team lose both of their 100-point players Matthew Tkachuk (traded to Florida), and Johnny Gaudreau (signed with Columbus) and veteran defenceman Erik Gudbranson (signed with Columbus, but get replaced by Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. From a pure production standpoint, the Flames lost 88 goals and 236 points and brought in 66 goals and 246 points in that three-for-three swap. From a goals above replacement perspective (via Evolving Hockey), the Flames lost 59.4 goals above replacement and brought in 46.2. They may be a little worse from a pure goals perspective, but the group may have a better lineup balance than in seasons past.
That is a bold statement to make by Calgary's starting netminder. When examining the players that went out and came in, he might be onto something. Kadri can replace the scoring and tenacity that Tkachuk brings on the ice. The Flames' defence is way better with Weegar on the blueline compared to the contribution Gudbranson can make.
Calgary replaced their leading scorer from last season with Huberdeau. When comparing Huberdeau and Gaudreau they are both elite playmakers, with excellent vision and a good two-way game. I would give the edge to Gaudreau in the goal scoring department, scoring 40 last season while Huberdeau's highest goal total has been 30. They are both 29 with Huberdeau being the bigger player standing at 6'1 compared to Johnny at 5'9. Huberdeau uses his big frame more recording 99 hits compared to Gaudreau's 10 hits last season. How will Huberdeau's game mesh with coach Coach Darryl Sutter?
Markstrom and Huberdeau briefly played together on the Florida Panthers when Huberdeau was first getting into the league from 2012-2014.
The Flames begin their 2022-23 season on Oct. 13 when they host the Colorado Avalanche.
AUGUST 24   |   173 ANSWERS
Calgary Flames goaltender gives his candid thoughts on state of the team

Do you think the Flames got better this offseason?

Yes, no doubt about it12069.4 %
No, Tkachuk and Gaudreau are special players5330.6 %
Latest 10 stories