Flames’ goalie coach on Markstrom: ‘To get him, it changes the dynamic of our team’
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But Sigalet, after Friday’s big news, doesn’t mind sharing who he’d concluded was cream of the crop.
The Flames, after all, landed that big prize, signing Jacob Markstrom — ex of the Vancouver Canucks — to a six-year, US$36-million mega-deal on the first day of free agency.
“He was the top, I think, of everyone’s list,” Sigalet said.
Markstrom, 30, has been the backbone for the Canucks, one of the main reasons that young squad performed beyond expectations this past season.
He had his pick of potential destinations in the Pacific Division, with the Edmonton Oilers reportedly offering a seven-year contract at a lower annual salary.
It’s believed there were several other teams in the bidding for the gent who finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting.
“I think he’s the best goalie in the league,” declared fellow Flames newbie Chris Tanev, a stay-at-home defenceman who followed Markstom to Calgary on a four-year pact worth US$4.5 million per campaign. “He’s stood on his head for us in Vancouver for the last few years, works extremely hard and he’s been the MVP of our team over there for the past two or three seasons.
“And as a person, he’s always smiling. He’s always having fun. He brings a lot of energy to the team and he works extremely hard. All good traits to have.”
Indeed. All confirmed, too, by Sigalet’s studies.
“He’s an elite goalie in the league and I think he’s just starting to come into his prime now,” Sigalet said of Markstrom, an imposing presence at 6-foot-6 and 206 lb. “With what he has done the last three years there in Vancouver, you just see him get better and better every year. He gave that team a chance to win every night, no matter how many shots or chances he saw. You can just see that his battle, his compete level and his will to want to win is what separates him from other goalies. To get him, it changes the dynamic of our team.