June and July has proved to be smoking hot for the Calgary flames. GM brad Treliving has be relentless in his pursuit to solidify his team. After crashing out of the NHL Stanley Cup finals in a round one sweep at the hands of the hated Anaheim Ducks, work began immediately to fix the holes.
It all started with a bang on June 16th. Flames have been targeting goaltenders as they had zero under contract for the upcoming season. They find their man when they acquire Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes for Goalie Chad Johnson and prospect Brandon Hickey. Smith immediately answers the questions of who will be in goal for the Calgary.
Having addressed the net issue Treliving turned his attention to the blue line. Just 7 days after the Smith trade, on June 23rd the Flames pulled off another trade, sending a package of draft picks to the New York Islanders for D Travis Hamonic. Hamonic is an immediate upgrade to the top 4 of the Flames’ defensive core. This was a move that had Flames’ fans salivating on how good of a defense this team could have next season. June 23rd also marked the entry draft where they select D Juuso Valimaki, a highly touted Finnish prospect.
There have been some great additions to the Flames so far. The back end looks rock solid and Brad Treliving turned his focus to some internal business. On June 28th the team managed to re-sign fan favorite from last season Kris Versteeg to a 1 year extension, which was a huge delight of the “C of Red”. Not long after announcing that signing, BOOM! Another trade! Flames find a backup for Smith, as they send a prospect and a draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for Eddie Lack. A move that seemed to go over well with the Flames’ faithful.
Just a day later the transactions continued with a different kind of move. Forward Lance Bouma was bought out giving the Flames a little more salary cap room. An important move with a few young key player still to be signed. Flames also announced on the 29th another re-signing as they brought back D-man Michael Stone.
Whoa! What a D-core built by the Flames brass. Next up was free agency. With a few holes up front and the desire to add some depth, the Calgary were in the mix all over the board. No stone would be left un-turned. In a bit of a surprise College FA Forward Spencer Foo was the first one snagged by the Flames. Foo, was rumored to be down to Calgary or Edmonton before deciding the stampede city was the place to be. This signing had the fan base buzzing with excitement. Flames also added FAs Marek Hrivik and Luke Gazdic. They are most likely AHL bound.
July 12th would continue the busy season for the Flames. A key FA was re-signed to a multi-year deal as they add Forward Michael Ferland inked. Ferland spent some time on the Flames top line and found some success. Hopefully, that trend can continue. As the week moved along the Flames were able to sign a few more guys that the organization were high on signing. F Garnet Hathaway, draft pick Valimaki, and goaltenders David Rittch and Jon Gillies were inked.
This was an important off-season for the Calgary Flames and it was a busy one. Though the team hasn’t made any moves or signings in the last week, they are surely still working hard. With Sam Bennett and Brett Kulak available, among others still unsigned and rumors that the team is still searching for a little more depth; the month of August will be one to keep an eye on. You never know when Brad Treliving will strike.
Photo Credits: Matchsticks and Gasoline