The Calgary Flames didn’t appear to be the identical workforce this season as they did in 2021-22 after they gained the division, particularly in internet. Final season’s Vezina Trophy finalist Jacob Markstom majorly regressed and regardless that backup Dan Vladar had flashes of being a strong goalie, he finally didn’t have an awesome total season.

The Flames obtained the pleasure of seeing Dustin Wolf make his NHL debut within the workforce’s ultimate sport of the season and he placed on a present. He’s the workforce’s high prospect and arguably the perfect goaltending prospect within the NHL. There isn’t a doubt that he can have a spot on the Flames for subsequent season, probably behind Markstrom, which leaves Dan Vladar because the odd man out. It makes far more sense to guess on an enchancment from Markstrom contemplating his profession as a complete and the way effectively he performed within the ultimate 9 video games of the season. Not solely will it’s simpler to maneuver Vladar with two years at $2.2 million common annual worth (AAV), Markstrom is a confirmed starter and may assist ease Wolf into the NHL. Having stated all that, let’s have a look at three potential groups that would commerce for Vladar this offseason.

Edmonton Oilers

From how the primary 12 months of Jack Campbell’s contract has gone and the way effectively rookie Stuart Skinner has performed, the Edmonton Oilers seem to have made a fairly large mistake. Skinner began the season as a backup after the Oilers’ large free agent signing of Campbell, however shortly took over the beginning position and completed the common season with 14 extra begins and eight extra wins. The Oilers are additionally heading into the playoffs with Skinner as their starter.

Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s not going to be simple to maneuver Campbell after the season he had, however the Oilers have the choice of shopping for him out which might release a spot on the roster, cap area, and a necessity to accumulate a backup to play behind Skinner. That is the place the Flames, who do nonetheless make offers with their bitter rivals, come into the equation. Vladar proved that he can play superb hockey at instances and even held down the fort in Calgary whereas Markstrom struggled early within the season (from “The Flames could give Dan Vladar extra begins, however Jacob Markstrom continues to be their man”, The Athletic, Feb. 16, 2023). The Oilers would then be paying their goalie tandem $4.8 million AAV as an alternative of $7.6 million AAV. With Evan Bouchard probably wanting large cash on his subsequent deal, neither the Flames nor the Oilers can afford to take a seat on their arms and never make a transfer that might profit them each.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders have squeaked into the playoffs on the again of Ilya Sorokin’s play. He’s a Vezina Trophy contender this season and can very probably be a finalist. Over the previous couple of seasons he has taken over the beginning duties from Semyon Varlamov and the veteran, within the ultimate 12 months of his deal, solely obtained 22 begins this season. Varlamov and lots of groups know that he can play far more than that and he performed effectively this season. He will probably be transferring on and the Islanders will probably be in want of a less expensive backup goalie.

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The workforce might very effectively be eager about a youthful backup who will for sure carry out higher with a powerful defensive system in entrance of him. The Islanders are generally known as probably the greatest groups within the NHL defensively, however that’s additionally because of Sorokin. They don’t must be paying a backup goalie $5 million as Sorokin will probably be beginning 55-60 video games a season and it will even make extra sense to usher in somebody with a little bit of expertise and flashes of robust play. Vladar is underneath contract for 2 extra seasons, a perfect size for the Islanders.

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks have been actually sunk by their lack of strong goaltending this season. Thatcher Demko, who performed nice after coming back from his months-long damage, didn’t begin effectively in any respect. As soon as he landed on the injured reserve, Spencer Martin did a fair worse job. The workforce’s incapability to get a save from their goaltenders washed away their possibilities of making the playoffs fairly early.

Spencer Martin Vancouver Canucks
Spencer Martin, Vancouver Canucks (Photograph by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI through Getty Pictures)

Their plans are going to alter this offseason as Martin will probably play out the ultimate 12 months of his contract within the American Hockey League whereas Collin Delia is an unrestricted free agent this summer time. Martin is an efficient third-string goalie, however buying Vladar to be Demko’s backup can be a sensible transfer. As famous above, the size of his contract and the cap hit aren’t unhealthy in any respect and he might present some strong aid for Demko as he did with Markstrom this season.

I don’t anticipate Vladar to get the Flames a ton in return as he completed the season with a .894 save proportion and minus-7.1 objectives saved above common (GSAA). He did go 14-6-5 although, proving he might rise to the event and play effectively when he was actually wanted. There’s a very slim probability Vladar isn’t traded earlier than free company, so anticipate his identify to begin popping up increasingly more as we strategy the offseason.