The Calgary Flames may have had a disappointing 2022/23 campaign, as they followed up a dominant season by struggling on all fronts, leading to the departure of both Brad Treliving and Darryl Sutter, but there were at least some standout performers.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that ahead of the 2023 Mens Hockey World Championship, two under contract Calgary Flames and one free agent have been added to the Team Canada roster, rewarding them for great seasons in 2023.
Firstly, after a career year in which he recorded 73 points (34 goals, 39 assists), Flames top-line right winger is Tyler Toffoli, who has been one of the most consistent Flames since his arrival at the trade deadline in 2022.
The 11-year veteran became a leader for this Flames squad after the departures of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, and while his name has been floated as a potential trade candidate, he receives a well-deserved honour as a member of Team Canada.
Next is off-season acquisition Mackenzie Weegar, who started off his first season north of the border in slow fashion, but picked it up later in the year to become one of the most valuable Flames down the stretch.
Weegar registered 4 goals and 27 assists for 31 points on the year, and featured in all but one of Calgary’s 82 games, and with a solid two-way game, they’ll be counting on him for years to come, so this is a good sign that he’s viewed highly around the league and with Team Canada.
Lastly is the polarizing Milan Lucic, who’s contract with the Flames ended with the 2022/23 campaign, but after being spotted at practice with the Calgary Wranglers as a veteran presence, it’s clear that his heart is still in Calgary.
While he’s not the player and the physical presence he once was on the ice, Lucic is still beloved in any locker room he’s in, and brings a veteran style and leadership to the team, so it makes sense that Team Canada wanted to bring that to the World Championships around this young team.
Given the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still in full effect, this was never going to be a star studded squad, but for three of the most important Calgary Flames, this is a fantastic honour as they get to represent their country on a great stage.