The initial reaction to the deal — at least among those following the situation — was “uh, wha?”
Sarich was a healthy scratch on numerous occasions last year and things reaching a boiling point in December, when he reportedly demanded a trade out of Calgary.
Sarich quickly refuted those claims and returned to being a lineup regular, though his reemergence coincided with fellow defenseman Mark Giordano going down for the year with ruptured tendons in his leg. One wonders what would’ve happened if Giordano didn’t get hurt.
Regardless, the 33-year-old Sarich is now officially back with the Flames. If you’re curious, his $2 million cap hit means Calgary is now spending quite a bit for its blueline — Sarich, Jay Bouwmeester, Dennis Wideman, Mark Giordano, Anton Babchuk and Chris Butler will collectively earn $21.7 million next season.
Comparatively, the Stanley Cup-winning Kings will pay just over $18 million for its top six of Drew Doughty, Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene, Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.