MacKenzie Weegar was one of the Florida Panthers’ best blueliners last season. However, he will be suiting up the Calgary Flames this upcoming season.
The Panthers traded Weegar in one of the biggest trades in recent NHL history. Weegar, Jonathan Huberdeau, Cole Schwindt, and a first-round pick were sent to the Flames in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk.
The new Flames defenseman spoke at a team charity golf event on Wednesday. He gave a glowing review of his new team in comparison to his old flame.
“I’d say we’re a better team than Florida is,” Weegar said. “It’s going to be really exciting. I think a lot of people have come up to me in the city, a lot of fans and stuff that they’re really excited for this season and [Jonathan Huberdeau] and I and [Nazem Kadri] and a couple of new faces here. It’s going to be a good season, and I’m excited just as much as they are.”
There’s good reason to be high on the Flames, as well. They lost star players in Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau in the offseason. However, they added star power with Huberdeau, Weegar, and Kadri.
The Flames won their division last season, winning 50 games in the process. Calgary defeated the Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs. However, the Flames would lose to the Edmonton Oilers in the Battle of Alberta in the second round.
Weegar and Huberdeau made key contributions last season for the Panthers. Florida had their best regular season finish in franchise history in 2021-22. And Weegar isn’t the only one with high hopes for the Flames.
“I think we have a great team,” Huberdeau, who signed an eight-year extension in August, said. “You look at our [defenseman] core, is just great. We have a big team, a great goalie, two goalies actually (Jacob Markstrom, Dan Vladar). The forwards too, we added ‘Naz,’ too. I think we have a great top six. … I’m excited to see what we’re going to do, but I think this year we can believe and go get a Stanley Cup right away.”