Weegar: Flames need players who ‘want to be here’

Weegar: Flames need players who 'want to be here'

NHL training camps open in less than a month, but several teams, including the Calgary Flames, still have multiple pressing offseason questions that need answers.

The Flames have several key players entering contract years, including Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov.

Reports indicate that Lindholm and Hanifin, in particular, aren’t keen on signing extensions, which could result in the Flames trading them. But despite plenty of rumors throughout the offseason, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar – a core piece set to enter the first season of an eight-year, $50-million deal – is blocking out the noise.

“There’s lots of rumors of guys not wanting to be here or guys staying. To be honest, I kind of keep my head out of it and my nose out of it. I just want guys that want to be here,” Weegar said Saturday, per NHL.com’s Aaron Vickers. “And I think (general manager Craig Conroy) and (head coach Ryan Huska) are on the same page.”

Conroy and Huska are entering their first season in their respective roles despite long tenures with the organization. Conroy particularly has his work cut out for him with all of the upcoming unrestricted free agents. During his introductory press conference, he said that “it doesn’t make sense” to enter the season with so many pending UFAs. Conroy added that he doesn’t want to see key UFAs walk for free like Johnny Gaudreau did in 2022.

But aside from trading Tyler Toffoli to the New Jersey Devils early in the offseason, Conroy hasn’t done anything significant to shake up the roster.

Weegar doesn’t appear opposed to greater change as long as everyone is on the same page for building a winner in Calgary.

“For me, the turnover, it doesn’t really affect me,” Weegar said. “All that matters is the guys that want to be here and guys that want to win here in Calgary, and if you don’t want to be a part of it, unfortunately, you have to move on even if they’re great friends and great guys. For me, you want to win, and I think we want to win now. It starts with Craig and Husk at the helm.”

Calgary acquired Weegar along with Jonathan Huberdeau in the blockbuster trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers. A versatile two-way defenseman, Weegar produced 31 points in 81 games last season. He figures to play a sizeable role for the Flames this coming season, and his part could grow further if changes are made to the back end.

Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Full Story »


Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More in News

Sharks get bad news on major summer trade acquisition

He is still listed as day-to-day, and it’s unclear whether ...

Blue Jackets star defenseman suffers injury after collision

He logged 13:43 of ice time over 16 shifts before ...

Wild’s Evason irked by Goligoski’s ‘really stupid’ unsportsmanlike penalty

Wild head coach Dean Evason singled out Alex Goligoski after ...

NHL 2023-24 Stanley Cup playoff chances and projected standings

Our NHL projections and probabilities page highlights each team’s projected ...

Canes 2-0 after winning in ninth round of shootout

It took nine rounds of a shootout, but the Carolina ...

Trending on Ice Hockey Chronicle

24 predictions for the 2023-24 NHL season

The NHL offseason served up countless headlines, from Norris Trophy ...

Bruins, Heinen reunite with professional tryout

Danton Heinen is looking to take a second tour of ...

Who is Jeff Jackson? Connor McDavid’s agent hired to Oilers front office position

Jackson joins the front office of the Oilers, but what ...

Dom’s 2023-24 NHL projections, take 2: What the model got right and wrong, according to our writers

Are the 2023-24 NHL point projections generated by Dom Luszczyszyn's ...

Senators’ Dorion working on signing Pinto before camp opens next week

Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion hopes to ink restricted ...