Markstrom Thinks Flames Are Better This Season Than Last

While on the European Player Media Tour, Dan Rosen talked to Calgary Flames' goaltender Jacob Markstrom about the state of the team. Markstrom said the Flames are better this season with Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar than 2021-22 with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.

To begin, the Flames added three stars and lost two. Though Gaudreau and Huberdeau are the same age and Tkachuk is a good number of years younger than Kadri, the team added an excellent defenseman on top of the forward trade-out. The defense didn't need to get any better, and now the Flames will have to move one to two defenders, but the core is upgraded and they will only get assets in return which is a positive.

Huberdeau replaces what the Flames lost in Gaudreau as they finished last season with an equal number of points (115). Gaudreau may be a little better defensively and is quicker, but Huberdeau is very effective and a force on the power play. Kadri gives the Flames very good center depth with the option to load up the top two lines if needed because of the versatility of Elias Lindholm.

Huberdeau and Kadri will be around for a long time after signing 8-year and 7-year deals. The chemistry of the Flames' top line likely won't be replicated, at least not right away. But the Flames do look better as a whole in regards to forward depth and especially possibly the best defense group in the league. How well will Calgary do this season? We'll have to wait and see if they can take two division titles in a row and push further into playoffs.

Photo credit: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports