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What’s Going On Between The Flames And Oliver Kylington?

Oliver Kylington remains unsigned and mutual interest has been expressed by the Flames. Why hasn’t an agreement been reached?

Oliver Kylington‘s return to the Calgary Flames was a heartwarming story celebrated throughout the team. The 27-year-old defenseman, who was nominated for the 2024 Bill Masterton Award, played 33 games this season after missing the entire 2022-23 campaign due to personal reasons. However, despite free agency opening up nine days ago, Kylington remains unsigned.

The situation has left many people puzzled. Kylington was set to become a UFA, and both he and the team expressed a mutual desire for a reunion. While Kylington had every right to explore his options in the market, he has only played 33 games over the past two years. This limited sample size has made it difficult for teams to assess his value, which has clearly impacted his contract prospects. The Flames also have handled the situation admirably, providing unwavering support and showing great patience throughout these last two years. Given that Calgary seemed to offer the best environment for Kylington both on and off the ice, it raises the question: why hasn’t an agreement been reached yet?

With all the talk toward the end of the season regarding Kylington’s interest in returning to Calgary, the current situation is quite bizarre. Did Kylington’s camp misjudge his value on the open market, or is something else going on behind the scenes? With that being said, speculation has started to begin to potentially explain what’s happened here…

Flames and Kylington’s Camp Likely Disagreed On Term

The Flames made it known that they were going to be careful on term during free agency. GM Craig Conroy signed contracts that were in the 1-2 year range, the only exception being the five-year extension that was given to Yegor Sharangovich.

Oliver Kylington Flames NHL

Given the uncertainty surrounding Kylington, a long-term extension was never going to be an option. The smart scenario would’ve been Kylington taking a 1-2 year “prove it deal” to showcase his skills and solidify a role for himself. That way more teams could get a better idea of what his skillset would be. Is he a top-four defenseman? Or is he better suited in a third-pair role?

Via the Flames Talk Podcast, Pat Steinberg and Wes Gilbertson talk about the predicament surrounding Kylington on July 10th’s episode. During the show, it’s mentioned that Kylington’s camp believed they were getting close to a four-year deal with another team, but the deal fell through. It’s also believed that the deal was being used as leverage against the Flames in hopes of them matching the offer. The Flames didn’t match it and they stuck with the offer they felt was fair, which brings us to today.

“At some point, that deal fell through. The four-year deal that Kylington camp’s believed they had in place fell through and now all of a sudden the deal they were leveraging the Flames with didn’t exist anymore”.

Will Kylington Have A Home Next Season?

It’s unknown why the offer didn’t go through, but it’s clear that Kylington’s camp believed he was capable of getting value on the open market. This proved to be a mistake as he remains unsigned. His lack of recent NHL action resulted in the Flames likely offering a short-term deal, which doesn’t seem to be his preference.

If a short-term deal was on the table, the Flames weren’t in the wrong here. Offering a long-term deal to a player who has missed so much action isn’t a smart choice, and it’s evident that the Flames were going into negotiations with this mindset. With the signing of defenseman Jake Bean and as the days go by, the likelihood of a reunion between Kylington and the Flames is decreasing.

It’s an unfortunate situation. Kylington’s return to the NHL was a story Flames fans embraced wholeheartedly, as he was seen as being a potential part of the next phase of the team. The idea of Kylington not finding a home for himself is absurd given his skillset. The 2024-2025 season is still two months away, and there’s still time for Kylington to reach a contract agreement. However, there’s a very real possibility that he may not be an NHLer next season.

A Professional Try Out is also an option given his situation. A team can bring him into training camp to see how performs and a contract may result out of it. Regardless, this is a player who had the right to test free agency but heavily overestimated his demand in the open market. If he can’t secure a professional contract in North America, Europe may be the only option left.

Next: St. Louis Blues Sign Veteran Defenseman Ryan Suter to 1-Yr Deal

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. MoxNix

    July 11, 2024 at 3:24 pm

    Just another greedy player. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

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