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Oilers celebrate Calgary Flames’ fall from grace
Earlier this week, we learned that several Calgary Flames players had no intention of signing a contract extension with the Flames beyond next season, and therefore wished to leave the organization.

According to rumors, Noah Hanifin, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm and also former Montreal Canadiens Tyler Toffoli have no intention of staying in Calgary beyond the 2023-2024 season.

This is terrible news for the Flames and their fans, who are coming off a VERY frustrating season that saw them miss the playoffs by just two points.

The new general manager, Craig Conroy, has already found himself in a huge mess, even though he’s only been on the job for a few weeks.

In short, the Calgary Flames are really on fire, no pun intended.

And this chaos in Calgary, well, it seems to be delighting the Edmonton Oilers, the Flames’ rival team in Alberta.

Indeed, that’s what we learned earlier this week from Elliotte Friedman during his appearance on Jeff Marek’s podcast.

Friedman explains that the Flames’ descent into the abyss has the Edmonton Oilers feeling a sense of accomplishment.

And why is that?

Well, because according to Friedman, the Oilers’ goal in 2022 in their second-round series against the Calgary Flames was not just to win the series, but to completely destroy the Flames’ franchise and organization.

By beating the Flames, the Oilers hoped to bring about the organization’s downfall, which is exactly what’s happening.

Oilers players wanted to beat the Flames to sink them, and they succeeded, so they’re happy about it to this day.

The Flames’ downward spiral had already begun last summer, when Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk both left the club.

Gaudreau decided to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets (a decision I still don’t understand to this day) via the free-agent market, and a few days later, Tkachuk informed the Flames that he would not be re-signing with the team and that he wished to be traded.

The sky was falling for the Flames, much to the Oilers’ delight, but the Flames’ GM at the time, Brad Treliving (now GM of the Maple Leafs), seemed to manage to keep the Flames’ heads above water with the acquisition of Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar, as well as the signing of Nazem Kadri.

However, all of Treliving’s hard work only postponed the Flames’ inevitable downfall.

After missing out on the playoffs, the Flames are once again facing a very difficult summer, with several players set to leave the organization at their own request.

Even if the Flames can get some interesting returns for their players (for the moment Hanifin, Backlund and especially Toffoli and Lindholm), they shouldn’t have a good enough club to remain competitive.

In short, it’s chaos in Calgary, and the Oilers look on with a big smile.

On the other hand, the Oilers are delighted right now, but they may be less so when they realize that the Alberta rivalry won’t be as interesting.

Even for any good field hockey fan, the Flames’ downfall is not good news, considering that the battle of Alberta will no longer be as entertaining and intense.

All this remains to be seen.

In a gust

– The week in review for the Canadiens.

– Read more.

– Profile of a little-talked-about prospect.

– Indeed.

– Bad news.

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