Welcome to our third offseason installment of Ask Us Anything!
Samwell9: Politics, basically. It is inexcusable that they have not retired his jersey already, as he is one of the greatest players in franchise history, aside from the terrific work he has been doing for victims of sexual abuse that he has been involved in as of late. He is second all time in the franchise’s points and goals, as well as third in assists, fourth in games played and fifth in penalty minutes. He played for their only Stanley Cup winning team. The fact he has not had his jersey number retired by now leads me to believe that it will never happen. A shame.
MarkParkinson14: It's odd that they haven't retired his jersey yet seeing he is one of Calgary's all time greats. While, yes, it could be politics, it could also be that the Flames are very picky about who gets retired. The Flames have only retired Lanny and Vernon's numbers and maybe there's a specific set of criteria for retiring a number in Calgary. Every team, in every sport has their or set of rules for what makes you worthy of having your # retired. Fleury is that bridge from the old to the Iggy generation and I'd say hes worthy of it, but it's not something I get hung up on or lose sleep over. Mike Vernon not being in the HHOF, that's another story.
FlamesMM: Fleury ticks almost all the boxes for a player worthy of having his jersey retired by an organization. Perhaps the Flames have a few more boxes that need ticking than it appears to us outsiders. It is worth noting that not a single Flame has worn #14 since Fleury, so perhaps they are just taking their sweet time about it, but it seems to be something else. What that something else is, remains to be seen. Let’s just say that I think this Forever a Flame stuff is a bit silly, either retire the number, or just honour them.
Samwell9: I find that incredibly unlikely, just due to the sheer volume of extremely talented players in the NHL and where he ranks among them as of today. I would say it is very possible he wins a “Team MVP” award at some point in his career, but league wide seems quite far-fetched. Maybe if he kills it in his two-way game like he did as a rookie, you could see some love for the Selke down the road? Still, a long way to go for that to even be considered a possibility though. Regardless, I love Tkachuk and think he is an extremely valuable asset.
MarkParkinson14: Let's get Tkachuk through his sophomore season and go from there. Like the jersey retirement question, I don't get hung up on league awards. Sure, it's good for Tkachuk if he wins due to the recognition and endorsement opportunities it presents, but it's all a popularity contest and last I checked his last name isn't Crosby or McDavid.
FlamesMM: Matthew Tkachuk winning a Hart? Probably not. However I think there are a other trophies that he could be more suited for. In fact, if the Flames ever win a Cup (that’s a BIG if), his style of play could be one that could put him in the running for a Conn Smythe trophy in my opinion. He’s got a lot of good aspects to his game, but to win some of the big trophies you have to in the very top of the elite players, and I think Tkachuk isn’t there, but he does have a lot of years to prove me wrong.
Samwell9: I can say that I truly was against the Flames acquiring Mike Smith well before it actually occurred, although I was not really that high on Fleury either. I would probably prefer Fleury to Smith, but I did not find either to be ideal candidates. I thought the Flames should take a shot at a younger goalie with upside, which seemed like it could have shaken loose through the expansion draft. I feel like acquiring Smith or Fleury involves settling for an average goalie that is likely to decline, while the Flames should have looked at goalies that have shown well in smaller samples that have starting potential.
MarkParkinson14: To me it seemed like the Flames looked at each other in the offseason and went "crap, we forgot about the goalie position." I don't like what they did with their netminder choices for this season, but they are probably smarter than me. MAF was intriguing, but I don't know if he even would have wanted to come to Calgary. Maybe the Flames know more and they feel like Gillies or Rittich is close to being ready and they could get by with Smith for a season.
FlamesMM: I really think a lot of the goaltending situation has to do with that the Flames are really high on the three goaltending prospects within the organization. From there the Flames needed a stopgap for a year or two, and Smith made sense. In Smith the Flames acquired a goaltender that they were familiar with, and a goaltender that is going into the final few years of his career with hopefully something to prove every night. Were there better options, sure, but the Flames were looking for familiarity and someone who can easily fade away in a couple seasons when the prospects rise.
Samwell9: I don’t see a reason why Ferland should not start on the top line this year. He is absolutely a solid top-9 forward and has shown that he can work well with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. However, a lot can happen throughout the course of the season that could change that. I like Kris Versteeg as a fit up there if things need to get shuffled around, while Spencer Foo, Hunter Shinkaruk and Emile Poirier are all darkhorses that could get a shot up there if they player up toward their ceilings of potential. Matthew Tkachuk would be another interesting fit, if the Flames every need to really mix around the line up.
I still think the Flames should sign Jagr, but I guess that remains to be seen until after Sam Bennett’s contract is worked out, whether either party will show interest.
MarkParkinson: Yes. 100x, yes.
FlamesMM: Glen Gulutzan spoke in an interview a few days ago and stated that Ferland looks to be the first line RW to start training camp. What happens after that remains to be seen. There will be no shortage of players pushing for spots in camp, and should somebody impress, then I would expect to see changes. For now though, it’s Ferland’s spot to lose.