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Checking in on Ten of Last Season’s Flames on Their New Teams



Toffoli the teapot

Ah, the good old “quick check” on an ex via social media. Many of us do it, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps jealousy – maybe just to see if they still have your old shirt.  

Much like relationships, fans grow attached to watching players on their favorite team and feel some sense of scorn or sorrow when they depart for the next step in their careers. Calgary fans and former Flames are no exception to that rule.

Let’s examine how some 2022-2023 former Flames players are holding up with their new teams. After all, the Flames fanbase had been meaning to pick up that rice cooker from Radim Zohorna before he went back to Pittsburgh.   

Catching Up With Former Flames

Bonus: Nikita Zadorov 

Nov. 30, featured the first big move for the Flames during the 2023-2024 season. 6-foot-6, 248-pound defenceman Nikita Zadorov said goodbye to the drama in Calgary after being shipped to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2024 fifth-round pick and a 2026 third-round pick. 

This came on the tail of a public trade request from his agent, Dan Milstein after being relegated to the third pairing for much of the early season. In shipping Big Z for strictly non-cap assets, General Manager Craig Conroy freed up valuable cap space to capacitate further moves and allow a bit more freedom regarding roster management.  

How has Zadorov done in Vancouver?  

The offence hasn’t been there, but given that the Filip Hronek/Quinn Hughes pairing stirs the drink on the Canadian West Coast, that may be understandable. Since joining the club, the hulking defenceman has a mere two assists in 15 games.  

Nikita Zadorov sticks up for a teammate in a game against the Blackhawks

Zadorov may not love that stat line. Particularly after a 14-goal season in 2022-2023, all of those goals came away from a powerplay situation. Despite the lack of offence, the former London Knight has made his presence known. Zadorov leads the team in penalty minutes by a vast margin since being acquired with 26. Dakota Joshua ranks second since Nov 1 with 15.

Zadorov got his wish and currently plays a top-four role on a pairing with Ian Cole. The Canucks are 11-3-2 since the arrival of the 28-year-old pending UFA. 

Tyler Toffoli 

Another player traded early during Craig Conroy’s tenure as general manager of the Flames, consummate professional Tyler Toffoli, has gotten to work with the New Jersey Devils as they navigate their way through a perilous, injury-laden regular season. 

Toffoli, for his part, hasn’t missed a game, dressing for all 38 Devils outings this season. The veteran sniper has 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points. His four powerplay goals double any Calgary Flame player’s production this season.  

With that said, Calgary fans can hold their heads high, knowing that Yegor Sharangovich has performed well since being acquired along with a 2023 third-round pick (Aydar Suniev) in exchange for the former Flames winger. The Belarusian has 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 40 games and currently plays a top line role with Elias Lindholm.  

Matthew Phillips 

A lightning rod of controversy last season, Phillips followed former Calgary Wranglers head coach Mitch Love to Washington after signing a one-year, one-way deal worth league minimum.  

Despite having a treasure chest of offensive talent, things haven’t worked out yet for the former Victoria Royal. One goal and four assists spells trouble for Matthew at the NHL level, but as we all know, anything can happen over an 82-game season.  

Phillips led the Wranglers in scoring last season with 36 goals and 40 assists. Conroy hinted during a radio interview in the offseason that Phillips’ time in Calgary mmightnot be over if the diminutive forward were to become available on waivers.  

Trevor Lewis 

Headed back to his old stomping grounds, Trevor Lewis signed a one-year, $775,000 deal with the LA Kings during the offseason. Dependable as ever, the 6-foot-1 checking center has five goals, three assists, and a +4 on-ice goal differential at 5-on-5. He even has an assist on the power play. 

Milan Lucic 

Lucic, 35, was arrested on the evening of Nov. 17 for an alleged domestic dispute and remains on indefinite leave with the Boston Bruins. Milan entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program on Nov. 21.

Michael Stone 

The booming shot blue liner retired over the summer and has since joined the Flames in a player development role.   

“I feel very happy to be able to leave the game the way I have and directly into this role with the Flames organization,” Stone said. “I’m looking forward to working with the young defencemen and help them achieve their ultimate goal of playing with the Calgary Flames.” 

Stone has even taken the odd practice-skate with the Flames in 2023-2024.  

Brett Ritchie 

Always a performer when playing the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Ritchie signed a PTO with the Florida Panthers this preseason.

The tryout didn’t work out for the former Flames power forward in the Sunshine State, and the 6-foot-4 winger signed with Belarusian club Dynamo Minsk of the KHL. With injury issues limiting Brett to only six games this season, the senior Ritchie brother has zero points in six games with his new club.  

Nick Ritchie 

Currently serving an eight-game suspension for an on-ice incident with his new team Oulun Kärpät of the Finnish Liiga, the other half of the NHL’s first brother-for-brother trade may need to reel in his antics if he is to hold down a spot in Finland’s highest league.  

Nick Ritchie reigns down blows on a defenceless Markus Nurmi.

The former top-ten pick has a goal and four assists – to go with 70 penalty minutes in ten games. At only 28 years old, Nick has plenty of track left on his career.  

Troy Stetcher 

A short-time fan favorite after being acquired in the Ritchie brothers deal, the feisty defenceman headed back to Arizona during the offseason on a one-year, $1,000,000 deal. The 29-year-old has a goal and three assists in 36 games this season. The former Flames offensive defenceman will be in Calgary on Tuesday, Jan. 16 when Coyotes play the Flames. 

Connor Mackey 

Originally signed out of Minnesota State University by the Flames, Mackey signed a one-year deal with the New York Rangers this offseason to the tune of $775,000. The 27-year-old hasn’t been able to crack the Rangers lineup and has plied his trade with Hartford of the AHL. The Tower Lakes, Illinois native has two goals and six assists with the Wolf Pack in 2023-2024. 

Connor Mackey currently plies his trade in AHL Hartford

Don’t count Mackey out just yet. Connor was recalled in mid-December before being sent down again without playing a game. He’s still in the picture.  

Radim Zohorna 

2022-2023 was about as strange as it gets for the 6-foot-6 Zohorna. Claimed off waivers to start the season, Radim proceeded to suit up for five different teams over a calendar year. The Flames, Wranglers, Maple Leafs, Marlies, and Czechia at the World Championship. Make it six if you count the Penguins during the preseason.  

Gone but not forgotten, Zohorna returned to Pittsburgh during the offseason signing a one-year, $775,000 deal. 

After what was likely a tense 24 hours on Oct. 8, when the Czech forward was once again waived, Zohorna played two games with the Wilkes-Barre Penguins before being called up and sticking with the Penguins. Radim has four goals and three assists in 29 NHL games this season.