After making a lot of moves in the weeks leading up to July 1st, Brad Treliving mostly abstained from the opening day of free agency. He made one small move in signing winger Marek Hrivik late in the day. Hrivik will likely find himself in Stockton as a veteran depth option.
The Flames have already been set at the defense and goaltending following recent trades but there was some talk that the Flames could be looking for a winger to round out their forward core.
With the signing of Spencer Foo and Mark Jankowski pushing for a spot, it’s very likely that this current roster could look the same come training camp. However both players are wild cards so perhaps one more winger could strengthen this young forward group.
Here are a few forward options that are still in free agency:
Jaromir Jagr (82 GP, 16 G, 30 A, 46 PTS, +2, 54.94 CF%)
Jagr’s time with Florida officially came to an end as the club chose not to resign him. At 45 years old, you’d think he’d be slowing down but that’s far from the case as he put up 46 points on a Panthers team that struggled to score. It was a twenty point regression from his 66 points season the year before but it still wasn’t awful. Jagr has had interest in the past of playing in Canada but coming to a small market may not suit him. Not to mention trading in Florida winters but the bitter cold of Calgary winters.
Jagr has the experience of playing with youth in Florida with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau so he could fit with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Jagr has both strong shot generation and even more importantly outstanding shot suppression numbers which would complement Gaudreau and Monahan’s offensive game even more. The Flames have shown a liking to signing Czechs in the past, maybe it’s time for one more.
Jarome Iginla (80 GP, 14 G, 13 A, 27 PTS, -30, 48.92 CF%)
After looking at some his numbers I’m pretty sure Iginla wouldn’t fit too well onto this Flames team but his return would be amazing. Iginla isn’t the dangerous player he used to be at 5-on-5 but he still commands respect on the ice with his physical play and the class he brings to the game.
He would be a great addition for the powerplay but I’m unsure where he could fit in on the team as he wouldn’t be a good fit on the top line with Gaudreau and Monahan. His shot generation numbers aren’t great and his shot suppression is poor. Perhaps as a bottom six option he could fit, but even after the buyout of Lance Bouma there isn’t a lot of room there.
I couldn’t write an article about the Flames looking for short-term wing depth without including Iggy, but it really doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Thomas Vanek (68 GP, 17 G, 31 A, 48 PTS, -5, 47.47 CF%)
Vanek was traded from the Red Wings to the Panthers just before the trade deadline to try to help the Panthers make a late playoff push. It didn’t amount to much as he only put up 2 goals in 20 games in Florida. Vanek is a strange player in that he has the pieces to be great but it doesn’t seem to come together for him.
His shot generation numbers are below average and his shot suppression numbers are even worse so it would be tough to see him on the top line. Vanek has played with six different teams since the start of the 2013-14 season which isn’t an accident. He could be a good depth option, but like Iginla there isn’t a lot of room further down the charts.
Jussi Jokinen (69 GP, 11 G, 17 A, 28 PTS, -15, 53.26 CF%)
I swear I didn’t try to make this a piece about former Panthers but it kind of just worked out that way. Jokinen was bought out from the final year of his four year contract with the Panthers a few days ago.
Jokinen had his worst season since 2008-09 this past year as he fell to 28 points from 60 in the 2015-16. It’s hard to say if this was just a down year or the start of a regression for Jokinen who is 34 years old. The upside for Jokinen is that his shot generation and shot suppression numbers are both solid which is a big positive. He’s always been a good playmaker with some finishing abilities but if he can set up Gaudreau and Monahan while also being a solid defensive forward, he would be a really nice fit.