The Calgary Flames have pulled their roster from the brink of despair this summer and now look to be one of the best teams in the entire Western Conference this coming season.
In yet another move that shocked the hockey world, the Flames pulled off a blockbuster when no one was looking, reportedly agreeing to terms with forward Nazem Kadri on a massive seven-year contract worth an average annual value of $7 million.
The details of the deal, which now ties Kadri to Calgary through the 2028-29 season, such as its salary structure and inclusion of any trade protection have yet to be released.
In a corresponding move, the Flames dealt forward Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for future considerations, clearing his $6.375 million cap hit off their books.
What an absolutely stunning summer for the Flames front office, to say the least.
After losing both faces of their franchise in heartbreaking fashion as Johnny Gaudreau left money on the table to sign in Columbus and Matthew Tkachuk forced his way out of town, the Flames refused to let that disappointment sink their future and instead rebuilt their roster into something arguably better, adding the top free agent on this year's market to a group that now includes two newcomers in Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar, the former of whom recently committed his remaining prime years to Calgary by signing an eight-year extension.
If last year is any indication, Kadri will help the Flames immensely upon arrival. The 31-year-old is coming off the best season of his career in 2021-22, exploding for 28 goals and 59 assists in 71 games -- a point total which almost certainly would have been higher if not for a late-season injury that robbed him of the schedule's final 11 games -- while also helping lead the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup championship in over two decades.
Age is a risk with Kadri, of course. He'll turn 32 before the regular season kicks off and produced at a far higher clip than his career average last year on the deepest roster in the league. But Kadri's two-way ability is a coveted commodity in the modern NHL, and even if his production dips in the latter stage of his new deal, his contributions over the next two seasons will likely keep him worth his price tag when the Flames need him the most.
And thus, the most turbulent summer in franchise history seemingly comes to an end.