It’s no secret the Calgary Flames are seeking more scoring.
Is former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues the guy to add it?
The Flames lost two 100-point players in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk in a tumultuous start to free agency.
Turning things around considerably, Flames GM Brad Treliving brought in a dynamic playmaker (Jonathan Huberdeau) in the Tkachuk trade. Then added a gritty point-producing centre (Nazem Kadri) through free agency. But the winger depth could still use a boost. Especially on the right side.
Most early roster prognostications have prospect Jakub Pelletier as a top-nine winger. And that may still happen. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested on Thursday’s 32 Thoughts podcast that the Calgary Flames have been talking about Evan Rodrigues as a possible addition.
“I don’t think they’re done,” Friedman told podcast partner Jeff Marek. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve sniffed around on Evan Rodrigues.”
After learning that Vegas signed Phil Kessel — another winger on the Flames radar — on Wednesday night, Friedman doubled down on Rodrigues. The Sportsnet insider inserted an update suggesting the Flames might “zone in” on Rodrigues.
The 29-year-old is a centre but can also play the wing. It’s most likely he’d suit up on the right side if he joins the Flames. Rodrigues had a career year with the Pittsburgh Penguins, netting 19 goals and 43 points.
He spent a couple of minutes a night on the power-play and averaged nearly 16 minutes total. His offensive output also wasn’t reliant on playing alongside Sidney Crosby.
Although he did spend most of his time with Crosby and Jake Guentzel last year, Rodrigues also made an impact with Jeff Carter and Brock McGinn, as well as with Kasperi Kapanen and Jason Zucker.
It’s interesting to note that even with a very bad Buffalo Sabres squad, Rodrigues’ underlying numbers have been pretty good throughout his career.
Rodrigues is coming off a one-year, $1 million deal with the Penguins. The Calgary Flames have a little over $2M in salary cap space remaining on the projected roster.