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NHL Offseason

Flames Unfiltered – Episode 204 – Discussing Markstrom Trade and Team’s Future Strategy

Brad Burud/Kyle Lewis June 23, 2024

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Discussing Markstrom Trade and Team’s Future Strategy

Listen to “Flames Unfiltered – Episode 204 – Discussing Markstrom Trade and Team’s Future Strategy  ” on Spreaker.

— EPISODE 204 —

Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis are the hosts of “Flames Unfiltered,” a podcast dedicated to the latest news and discussions surrounding the Calgary Flames hockey team. Brad Burud is a seasoned sports commentator and podcaster with a deep focus on hockey. Kyle Lewis brings his insightful analysis and passionate perspective to the show, making their discussions both engaging and informative.

Episode Summary:

In this compelling episode of “Flames Unfiltered,” hosts Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis dive deep into the latest developments surrounding the Calgary Flames. From the recent challenges and triumphs of the team’s performance on the ice to significant management decisions, this episode is a must-listen for any Flames fan.

Brad and Kyle kick things off by discussing the emotional highs and lows following recent games, notably focusing on the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff dynamics. They transition into the departure of beloved announcer Rick Ball, reflecting on his impact and speculating about potential successors. There’s a sharp pivot to coaching changes with Brad Larson’s appointment and the implications it holds for the Flames’ future strategies. Central to this episode is the in-depth analysis of the Jacob Markstrom trade, Cap Space acquisitions, and the future prospects for the team as they navigate draft picks and free agency.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rick Ball’s Departure: The impact of Rick Ball leaving the Flames’ broadcasting team and potential replacements, highlighting the importance of a good commentator.
  • Assistant Coaching Changes: Brad Larson joins the Flames’ coaching staff, bringing his previous experience from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Markstrom Trade Analysis: Insights into the trade of goalie Jacob Markstrom, the included draft pick, and defenseman Kevin Bahl, along with fan reactions.
  • Cap Space and Strategy: The Flames’ current cap situation post-trade and how it positions them for future acquisitions and leverage in trades.
  • Upcoming Draft and Free Agency: Speculations and hopes regarding the upcoming NHL draft and free agency, focusing on the Flames’ potential picks and strategy.

Notable Quotes:

  1. “Rick Ball might be our biggest loss we’ve had in the last few years.” – Brad Burud
  2. “To get a first for a goaltender in virtually any case is pretty remarkable.” – Kyle Lewis
  3. “I think Markstrom was the only goalie since Mika Kiprasoft that we could have faith in.” – Brad Burud
  4. “Cap space is leverage.” – Brad Burud
  5. “This defense might be better than we think.” – Kyle Lewis

Flames Unfiltered: Navigating the Calgary Flames’ Future Amidst Change

Key Takeaways:

  • The Calgary Flames’ future looks promising with a dynamic approach to cap space, potential new signings, and a strategic draft plan.
  • The trade of Jacob Markstrom signifies a shift towards youth and development, featuring a high-potential goaltender duo.
  • The Flames’ off-season moves signal a focus on rebuilding with an eye on longevity and sustainability.

The latest episode of Flames Unfiltered, hosted by Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis, delves into the intricate and evolving saga of the Calgary Flames. With significant changes on the horizon—from influential trades and coaching additions to strategic draft picks and free agency maneuvers—this episode teems with insights and passionate discussions. The hosts tackle pivotal issues head-on, providing a comprehensive and unfiltered look at the future of Flames hockey.

Leveraging Cap Space for Strategic Gains

One of the most compelling discussions in this episode revolves around the adept maneuvering of the Flames’ salary cap space. The hosts highlighted the importance of cap space as a strategic asset, especially in an era where financial flexibility can create significant competitive advantages.

Kyle Lewis aptly noted, “Cap space is a commodity… We’re probably going to go into the season after a few signings with around 12-15 million in cap space.” This approach hints at a prudent yet aggressive strategy by the Flames’ management, focusing on signing a mix of veteran presence and young prospects. The increase in the salary cap to $88 million allows the Flames over $20 million in cap space, offering them a significant cushion.

Brad Burud added, “Cap space is leverage,” underscoring its utility beyond just player signings. By potentially absorbing undesirable contracts from other teams in exchange for assets like draft picks, the Flames can position themselves as pivotal players in future trade discussions.

This financial flexibility, when viewed through the lens of strategic planning, suggests that the Flames are not just looking to rebuild, but to do so in a way that positions them for sustained success. The prospect of leveraging cap space to acquire high-value assets while maintaining financial health is an exciting theme that could define the next few seasons for the Flames.

The Markstrom Trade: A Catalyst for Change

The trade of Jacob Markstrom to the Washington Capitals for a first-round pick and defenseman Kevin Ball was another hot topic. As the hosts dissected this trade, it became clear that this move was about more than just changing personnel—it signals a philosophical shift in how the Flames intend to move forward.

Brad Burud captured the essence of the trade’s impact: “We got a first. That’s perfect… albeit it’s top ten protected, but I can live with that.” The acquisition of Kevin Ball, a 6’6″ defenseman known for his physical play, adds another dimension to the Flames’ defensive core. Kyle Lewis elaborated, stating, “Kevin Ball is huge and projects as a bottom-pairing defenseman… He’s very physical and quite fleet of foot for a big guy.”

The implicit promise of youth and future potential in this trade cannot be understated. The introduction of Dustin Wolf as a promising goaltender, paired with Dan Vladar, points to a future-focused approach. As Kyle Lewis mused, “I’m excited to see a 40/60 or 41/41 type split between Vladar and Wolf. Both have quite a bit of potential, especially Wolf.”

This trade is a microcosm of a broader strategy aimed at rebuilding with a strong foundation of young talent. The willingness to embrace change, coupled with a clear plan for development, highlights the Flames’ commitment to long-term success.

The Draft and Beyond: Investing in the Future

As the Flames head into the NHL Draft, the episode delved into the importance of making prudent choices given their current arsenal of 15 draft picks in the first three rounds over the next three years. The hosts emphasized the need to target forwards, adding depth and skill to the roster.

Kyle Lewis was particularly vocal about this, stating, “I think we absolutely have to draft a forward.” He underscored the necessity of finding offensive talent to balance a defensively heavy prospect pool. This approach is reflective of a broader industry understanding that teams often need to strike a balance between defensive reliability and offensive prowess to be successful in the modern NHL.

The excitement around the draft is palpable, especially with the possibility of the Flames moving up to secure a coveted prospect. Brad Burud posited, “Don’t rule out moving up, either… they might throw in a second to get someone they really want.”

The Flames’ extensive draft capital presents an opportunity not just to secure immediate talent but to build a pipeline of prospects that ensures competitive longevity. By focusing on developing players through their system, the Flames can maintain a consistent level of play and address gaps more effectively as they arise.

Charting a Bold Course Forward

The Calgary Flames are undeniably at a crossroads. The themes discussed in this episode—leveraging cap space, trading seasoned players like Jacob Markstrom, and a strategic focus on the draft—paint a picture of a team in the midst of a carefully planned transformation. This transition is marked not by a desperate scramble for quick fixes, but by a deliberate and methodical approach to building a sustainable and competitive future.

The interplay between financial strategy and player development is poised to be the cornerstone of the Flames’ approach. As Kyle Lewis insightfully noted, “Change is fun, even if it’s not always changes you like.” This acceptance of change as part of the journey, rather than a hindrance, is a refreshing perspective that fans can rally behind.

As the Flames prepare for the upcoming draft and free agency period, there is a sense of optimism and anticipation. The team’s actions during these key periods will provide further clarity on their long-term vision and strategy. The dynamic content and discussions from this episode of Flames Unfiltered offer an invaluable lens through which fans can view and understand these moves, fostering a deeper connection to the team’s evolving narrative.

Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis encapsulated this sentiment perfectly, weaving together insights, analysis, and a touch of humor to create a compelling narrative about the uncertain yet promising future of the Calgary Flames. As fans buckle up for what promises to be a thrilling off-season, one thing is clear—the Flames are not just aiming to rebound; they are aiming to redefine their future.




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Brad Burud/Kyle Lewis

Flames Unfiltered features two passionate and opinionated hosts. Brad Burud has been with the show since the beginning and was the creator of the show. A Flames fan since 1986 he brings the old school approach to the show. As a Theoren Fleury and Mikka Kiprusoff fan he longs for the playoff runs he watched decades ago. Kyle Lewis joined the show for the start of season four. A Flames fan since the 90’s, Kyle is a huge collector of Calgary game-worn jerseys. Jarome Iginla was the hero for the Flames when Kyle started this journey and Iginla will always be a favorite. Kyle hopes this year’s version of the Flames can bring him the happiness he felt when Gelinas scored the overtime game winner over Detroit. Thanks for joining us. Sit back and enjoy some Flames hockey talk.

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