Why it is unlikely Martin Necas will become a Calgary Flame

Switzerland v Czech Republic - Final - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia
Switzerland v Czech Republic - Final - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia / RvS.Media/Monika Majer/GettyImages

In a quiet start to the off-season, Carolina forward Martin Necas has emerged as an appealing restricted free agent (RFA). After being removed from the playoffs by the Rangers, Necas headed back home to Czechia. He competed in the IIHF World Championship. Necas and the host team beat Switzerland 2-0 to capture gold for the seventh time in competition history. Calgary Flames' Andrew Mangiapane represented Team Canada.

The 25-year-old gold medal winner was good in the playoffs. He was a solid point leader on Carolina's run, contributing 4 goals and 5 assists in 11 games. Two seasons ago, he proved to the league that he could be a 70-point player. Despite this promise and Twitter buzz, it seems unlikely that he will don the orange and red next season.

On paper, Martin Necas is exactly what Calgary is looking for. He is young and has proven that he can make a significant dent on the scoreboard. In the 2023-24 season, Necas scored 24 goals and had 53 points in 77 games for Carolina. This was a drop-off from the previous season: he had 28 goals and 43 points in 71 games for Carolina in 2023-24. He is coming off the two best seasons of his young career.

Interestingly, this is allegedly not the first time Calgary has eyed Necas. On the Czech podcast Bomby k tyci, Necas stated that he was supposed to be traded to Calgary for Matthew Tkachuk, plus other components.

There is an argument to be made that Necas could fill the centre spot left by Elias Lindholm's departure. That said, while Necas is listed as a centre under Rod Brind' Amour, he plays predominantly on the wing. He won 34.1 percent of his face-offs in the 2023-24 season. The top 5 face-off win percentages are 60.1 percent or greater.

The Flames currently have depth on the wings. Down the centre and blue line are where they are looking thin.

Additionally, the Flames have struggled with their power play this season. They finished 26th in the league, while the Hurricanes finished second. Necas had 8 power-play goals this season, behind only Jarvis, Aho, and Teravainen. Marc Savard recently split ways with the Flames.

Savard was the power play coach, and despite some hopeful steps forward at the end of the season, he mutually parted ways with the organization.

An issue that could be a roadblock in Calgary's pursuit of Necas is the other team's interest. Several different teams have been rumoured to be in contention over the forward, and the conversation has heavily revolved around pairing him up with Elias Petterson.

The Canucks are just one of the many teams that have been rumoured to be courting Necas. This interest matched his track record, which shows that he has the capability to reach 70 points a season, which would mean that his contract would reflect this. Calgary has a cap to work with of just under 20 million available. There is room to make moves, but Conway will need to be cautious. Necas' contract could look like approximately $7-8 million AAV.

Necas is so close to being perfect for the Flames. He is looking for a team to become a top-six forward with significant power play time. The bottom line is that at this point in Calgary's retooling or rebuild, Necas' addition to the roster is likely not a priority.