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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Zadorov ‘pleased the place I am at proper now’ after Flames commerce to Canucks Specific Instances

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Nikita Zadorov has no regrets about the way in which his time with the Calgary Flames ended.

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The Russian defenceman’s agent went public with a commerce request following a Flames shootout loss in Toronto on Nov. 10, and which may have made issues a little bit awkward within the locker-room for a pair weeks.

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However in the end, Zadorov received the commerce he needed on Thursday when he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks, in alternate for a pair of draft picks — a fifth-round choice in 2024 and a third-rounder in 2026. 

Going public with the request doubtless soured some followers on Zadorov. There’ll certainly be some boos on Saturday evening on the Saddledome when Zadorov performs his first recreation with the Canucks, oddly sufficient towards the Flames.

However requested if he regretted the commerce request being made public, he didn’t hesitate together with his reply.

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“No, I’m pleased the place I’m at proper now,” Zadorov mentioned.

There look like few laborious emotions in direction of Zadorov from his former teammates.

He was well-liked behind the scenes throughout his two-plus years patrolling the blue line for the Flames, and the fellows nonetheless sporting the Flames C on their chest haven’t mentioned something publicly that may point out resentment in direction of him.

Zadorov decided that he thought he wanted to make to additional his profession. The Flames appear to respect that.

“He’s an excellent man, I received near him, we frolicked quite a bit off the ice and he’s a man who’s a buddy and goes to remain a buddy for the remainder of my life,” mentioned Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau. “Clearly, on the ice he’s an excellent participant, he’s an enormous physique and he likes to hit, so we’ve got to maintain our heads up tonight. However total he’s an excellent man and an amazing hockey participant.”

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As to the explanation why Zadorov needed out of Calgary, he instructed reporters assembled exterior the guests locker-room on the Dome on Saturday that it got here right down to not having acquired a contract provide.

He’s set to turn into an unrestricted free agent in the summertime and with the Flames nonetheless needing to kind out the contract conditions of a number of different key gamers — most notably fellow blue-liners Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, in addition to ahead Elias Lindholm — a proposal didn’t appear to be coming imminently.

And so, Zadorov is a Canuck now.

On Friday, he posted on Instagram thanking Calgary and Flames followers for his or her assist, and he doubled down on Saturday morning about how a lot he loved enjoying within the metropolis.

“It was a variety of feelings, to have Darryl (Sutter) because the coach, ? We had a very good yr my first yr after which it was a variety of ups and downs final yr,” Zadorov mentioned. “I’m an emotional individual, so I stay via these feelings, I’m investing into it. The folks, I believe, in Calgary I haven’t met one unhealthy individual right here, everyone was so useful via my time right here and I loved it very properly.”

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As for the weirdness of enjoying the Flames in his first recreation sporting a Canucks uniform, Zadorov didn’t deny that it felt a little bit unusual on Saturday. He’d frolicked with a few of his former teammates over the previous couple nights, and it’s an undeniably distinctive scenario to be suiting up towards the Flames so rapidly after being dealt.

“I imply, will probably be awkward however once we go on the ice, there’s no mates,” Zadorov mentioned. “They’re undoubtedly going to be my mates for the remainder of my life, like I mentioned yesterday in my assertion it was an unbelievable two-and-a-half years, I loved each a part of this metropolis, the followers, the folks in right here. It’s unreal, and my teammates had been the perfect a part of it. Hopefully they won’t hit me too laborious at present.”

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FLAMES ADD PYSYK 

There’s a brand new identify on the Calgary Flames’ defensive depth chart.

The Flames introduced Saturday that they’ve signed veteran rearguard Mark Pysyk to a two-way contract for the rest of this season. The 31-year-old was instantly positioned on waivers, indicating that he’ll be assigned initially to the AHL’s Wranglers.

“Mark is a right-shot defenceman who supplies depth on the blue-line for our group,” mentioned Flames basic supervisor Craig Conroy. “He’s a flexible participant with important NHL expertise.”

Certainly, Pysyk brings loads of been-there and done-that, having totalled 521 NHL appearances between the Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars. His profession stat-sheet at reveals 28 targets, 104 factors and 162 penalty minutes on the prime degree.

Earlier than receiving this job provide from Calgary, Pysyk was skating with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL workforce, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He’s now an alternative choice for a Flames workforce that has already dressed 9 defencemen in 2023-24 and simply traded Zadorov.

Pysyk’s contract carries a league-minimum cap hit of US$775,000.

daustin@postmedia.com 

www.twitter.com/DannyAustin_9 

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