What He Said:
Elliote Friedman on 31 thoughts today, touched on the Flames rough weekend and what it may mean for the Flames future.
At 42:00 he touches on how the Muzzin puck flip incident shook Tkachuk and the team:
"Tkachuk feels some of the players don’t want him creating something every night and I think he’s confused by that. I think he knows how to play the game a certain way and that now he’s questioning it”
If one player on the Flames plays "the right way" it is certainly Matthew Tkachuk. Anyone who thinks he would be the domino that falls I really hope is wrong.
Friedman goes on to say that a shakeup to the core may be incoming:
"I do think that Brad Treliving has been making a lot of calls on guys, not just Sam Bennett... and I think there gonna look at it as time to change up our group. It's hard to do right now cause you can't bring guys over the border. But I think they will aggresively try to change their mix, not just for now but in the future"
What This Means:
Honestly this week will be very telling. Toronto aside if the Flames can't go at least 3-1 against the Senators they could very much be on a fast track to the bottom of the division.
However, I don't think the Flames are in a place where they want to move into a full on rebuild. There only albatross contracts for older guys are Milan Lucic and Mikael Backlund, so a re-tool could keep this team competitive while there top players are still on team friendly deals.
The guys who are probably the most likely to be the fall guys for this poor start are Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano. While Johnny has been fantastic, they have been our top players for half a decade and the Flames org may not see this core as serious contenders. Whether this means packaging Sean Monahan with picks and or prospects for a top line center, or Giordano being swung somewhere with picks to bring in a top 6 winger, it looks like change may be coming to the C of Red.
The Silver Lining:
Brad Treliving isn't dumb, and is obviously not in a massive rush. If he was he would've done something on Sunday. Treliving has made a trade with our core before, obtaining Elias Lindholm (Our best center) and Noah Hanifin (Our best D man so far this season) in exchange for Dougie Hamilton and Michael Ferland (Fox was never signing here). If he does choose to move someone, I have confidence in his capabilities in the trade market.