The Calgary Flames have made quite a few moves this offseason in hopes of reshaping their roster after a dismal second half that saw them out of the playoffs. However, the Flames new signings may have caused other issues that the team will have to deal with in a few years — namely the expansion draft.
The Athletic’s Kent Wilson (subscription required) writes that the team might be in trouble if/when the unnamed Seattle franchise has its expansion draft in 2020. Assuming all the rules are the same as they were for Vegas, Calgary will have a logjam of players at the forward position and won’t have enough spaces to protect some quality players.
Assuming there are no changes among forwards over the next two seasons, the team would likely protect or have to protect Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, James Neal as six forwards they would likely protect. That would leave one spot open for players like Derek Ryan, Mark Jankowski, Sam Bennett, Andrew Mangiapane and Spencer Foo, which could leave several high quality players exposed to Seattle. Unless the team addresses these issues, the team may be giving Seattle a solid player.
- Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that the Vegas Golden Knights still haven’t decided on a plan for what they intend to do with second-line center Erik Haula after they signed Paul Stastny away from the Winnipeg Jets this offseason. Haula had a great offensive season, centering the second line with 29 goals and 55 points, but the line (along with the departed Neal and David Perron) struggled defensively. In fact, Vegas’ second line was one of the worst defensive lines in the league. “It produced, but the goals against per 60 minutes was not good enough,” said Vegas general manager George McPhee. “We were actually dead last among second lines in the league. You can just sort of look the other way on that or you can address it. We’re trying to address it.”
- J.D. Burke of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that he believes that Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat should continue to take his game to a new level as he has every year. However, if there is one area of Horvat’s game that could use some upgrading it would be his defensive game as that’s the weakest part of his game. The 23-year-old took his scoring game up a notch last year when he potted 22 goals, an improvement on his previous career-high of 20 goals, but Horvat missed 15 games last year, so to put up a career-high in goals is key. However, with the additions of players like Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel and Tim Schaller, maybe defense won’t be that imperative.