Happy holidays all. The Calgary Flames Christmas break continues thanks to the COVID situation. Much uncertainty remains. But let’s focus on what we know. Christmas lists were long and with extra time to prepare, here’s what we hope every Calgary Flames player found under his tree this morning .
Johnny Gaudreau – What he really wants, or at least what Calgary Flames fans want. A long extension to keep his slick offensive ass in town. The impending unrestricted free agent might actually want to test the waters elsewhere but if the Bearded One got things moving here behind the scenes, it would be a merry Christmas, indeed.
Elias Lindholm – Honestly, if you read up on Swedish folklore to see how they celebrate Christmas, Lindholm needed a safe room to protect himself from their version of Santa – Tomte. The freaky gnome-like creature needs to be satisfied with porridge (not Santa’s preferred cookies) and if you fail to please him, you’re just as likely to be murdered in your sleep as you are to get a bad gift. No wonder all the Swedes on this team have no fear of head coach Darryl Sutter.
Matthew Tkachuk – Like Gaudreau, Tkachuk is in need of a new deal at the end of the year. Instead of the same deal as his linemate and fellow Team USA Olympic lock (sorry, gents), let’s give Tkachuk a special clause that says if he signs long-term like his brother Brady did in Ottawa, he can become the next Calgary Flames captain.
Blake Coleman – A rabbit’s foot. This guy needs some serious puck luck. We’re all tired of hearing how his details contribute to wins in other ways, and I’m sure he’s a bit weary of talking about those things, too. Coleman has scored or been on pace to score 20 goals in the last three seasons but has a five per cent shooting percentage with just four goals on 80 shots. His lifetime average is nearly double that.
Mikael Backlund – A mini marketing campaign. One of the most likeable and genuine members of the Calgary Flames, Backlund deserves to be more appreciated by the fanbase. There seem to be two camps of Flames fans – those who think Backlund should be a perennial Selke contender, and those who think he’s useless. Spoiler alert: he’s still a pretty damn good player.
Andrew Mangiapane – More of whatever it is he eats on the road so he can start scoring some goals on home ice. Mangiapane is in one of the strangest goal-scoring situations I’ve ever seen with 16 goals in 17 road games and just one in 11 at the Saddledome. Whatever dish he’s diving into away from home must have some serious magic for Mangiapane.
Milan Lucic – A Shooter Tutor. Hey, Lucic is having a lot of success with the whole five-hole shot. But at some point, goalies are going to figure out that all they need to do when he’s coming up ice at them is keep the paddle down low to cover the gap. He has a pace to maintain after starting out with seven in the first 28 games.
Sean Monahan – A time machine. Everyone misses the 30-goal-scoring days. Monahan likely most of all.
Dillon Dube – More time with better linemates. Or an Apple TV subscription so the Roy Kent lookalike can watch the series.
Trevor Lewis – Whatever Lewis got he immediately sent to Milan Lucic to repay him for bodyguarding his empty net goal earlier this year.
Brad Richardson – A full pension. Oh, wait …
Tyler Pitlick – Is Pitlick still on the team? So far most are wishing it was Michael Bunting added from the Coyotes in the offseason.
Noah Hanifin – This guy has been great all year but he really looked good scoring against the Boston Bruins (his hometown) and Carolina Hurricanes (his former team). Let’s get him a face to face with the NHL schedule makers.
Rasmus Andersson – Someone has to buy him a goal, right? He averages an assist just about every other game, but has yet to score this year. And he’s come really close. Remember that nifty play by Teuvo Teravainen to save a sure thing before the COVID outbreak?
Oliver Kylington – A personal highlight reel for Team Sweden brass. He wasn’t on the Olympic long list. It’s been a pretty good year for Kylington, who has established himself as a top four defenceman.
Chris Tanev – Free dentures for life. Implants would be ideal for end of career. But there’s no point in doing all that work because they’re likely to get smacked out. And they’re not cheap.
Nikita Zadorov – One of those flashy Men In Black movie memory flashy things. People are cruel.
Erik Gudbranson – A facial hair trimming kit. No one had a better Movember moustache than Gudbranson. Wait until you see his playoff beard. Better prep for it now.
Michael Stone – Can we get this guy a multi-year deal? If he’s inevitably going to sign in Calgary every year anyway, how about we just let him have a bonus guaranteed year.
Juuso Valimaki – Frequent flyer status card. To keep him playing games, he should spend a lot of time going up and down as needed.
Jacob Markstrom – Olympic postponement. It shouldn’t go forward without NHLers. Markstrom was a sure thing as the Team Sweden starter. He’s a better bet for the next Winter Games if they shift a year. Beats having to wait another four years for his shot.
Dan Vladar – Star Wars lightsaber. Easy.