Kadri has been "very vocal" about how Flames are being run: report

Mar 21 2023, 12:07 am

It’s been a tough season for the Calgary Flames.

After a roller coaster offseason, the Flames entered this season with a lot of optimism. While Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk left town, the additions of Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, and Nazem Kadri looked like they could push the Flames over the top.

It hasn’t gone according to plan.

With 12 games left in the regular season, the Flames are currently below the playoff bar, four points behind the Winnipeg Jets, with a 31-24-15 record.

nhl standings west march 20 2023

Calgary is four points back of Winnipeg, with a game in hand.

All three big-name newcomers have seen significant drops in their point totals. Huberdeau has just 46 points in 67 games — well behind the 115 points he put up last season with the Florida Panthers. Kadri too, is well behind last year’s pace. The former All-Star had 87 points in 71 games with the Colorado Avalanche, but has just 49 points in 70 games in Calgary.

Then there’s Weegar, who has totalled just 25 points in 69 games, which will be a drop from the 44 points in 80 games he had in Florida last season.

You might be able to blame it all on Darryl Sutter’s system, if not for the fact that Gaudreau (115 points) and Tkachuk (104 points) put up gaudy numbers last season in Calgary.

The Flames lost their league-high 15th game in overtime or shootout on Saturday, a 6-5 OT loss to the Dallas Stars.

Kadri didn’t see a single shift in overtime, and played just 13:01 — eighth-most among Flames forwards. That’s not the usage GM Brad Treliving would have envisioned for the Stanley Cup champion, who the Flames signed to a seven-year, $49 million contract in August.

It doesn’t sound like Kadri is thrilled with much that has gone on this season.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Kadri has been “very vocal” about how the Flames are being run.

“Kadri gets benched. It’s a weird benching to me. The one thing I’ll say about Kadri is the best thing about him is… he’s blunt. He’s going to say what’s on his mind,” Friedman said during Monday’s edition of the 32 Thoughts Podcast.

“I’ve heard that Kadri’s been very vocal about what he sees going on in Calgary and why the team isn’t firing on all cylinders. And I think he’s been very blunt about just the communication between players and the coach there. I’m betting some of that frustration boiled over in that game on Saturday night. I’m curious to see where this is all gonna go.”

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Flames if they miss the playoffs this year.

Sutter signed a two-year extension in October, but Treliving’s contract expires this summer. The 64-year-old bench boss is just one year removed from coaching the Flames to a division-leading 111-point season, but Calgary won’t succeed if their star players can’t play for their coach.

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