NHL Rumour Report: Big moves coming as Flames extinguished from playoff chase

Change is coming in Calgary. With coaches, managers and several key players all slated for free agency, the franchise may not have a choice.

- A lot was on the line for the Flames this past season, and the results are in: the Flames enter the offseason having just narrowly missed the playoffs and failing miserably to meet preseason expectations.

- Now the tough work begins. It all starts with the General Manager, Brad Treliving, who is without a contract extension past this season. Rumblings suggest the Flames want to extend him, but the man himself is unsure about re-upping for one of the most stressful jobs in the sports: running the day to day operations of a Canadian NHL franchise. UPDATE: Brad Treliving will not be returning as GM. 

- The coach comes next. With or without Treliving in charge, there is a belief around the team that while there is tremendous respect for Darryl Sutter as a coach, he may not be the best fit for this group of players.

- On the ice is where things get pretty interesting. Reports suggest the team wants to make room in the crease for AHL standout Dustin Wolf, but Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar are under contract for at least the next four and three years, respectively. A trade could be in the offing; would the Flames be ready to part with their franchise netminder in Markstrom? He's 33 and has three years remaining at $6 million a season.

- At forward, there is plenty of chatter that members of the current core could be on the move in the offseason. It is rumoured Mikael Backlund has asked for, or is open to, a trade. Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin, Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli are all slated to hit unrestricted free agency in 2024. The Flames have to decide what direction they want to go with this group. 

- Mutterings at the trade deadline suggested multiple teams inquired on Backlund, Lindholm and Dillon Dube but were rebuffed. Lindholm, in addition to Backlund, sounds uncommitted to Calgary long term. After failing to make the playoffs, it could be decision time on a fair chunk of this core. Standing pat is not an option this summer for Treliving, or whoever takes his place in the General Manager's office.

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References: 1, 2, 3

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