Lamborghinis and stripe combos dominate the Flames opening day talk

Calgary – The only thing that was faster than the opening speed of Calgary Flames Camp was the speed of the tweets fired with details of the first day’s line groups.

And the one thing that stood out more than Jonathan Huberdeau’s reveal that he’s selling his Smurf-blue Lamborghini, was the hair displayed on the team’s second line.

When Nazim Kadri glanced at his wings, the bearded veteran may have wondered if he was part of an ’80s metal band, given Cody Eiken’s gingerbread rush on his left, and Sonny Milan’s Bearded Nest on the right.

“I don’t know,” Milano smiled, when he was told he had the best cover in camp.

“Eakin also has some great hair, too.”

Aside from Tyler Toffoli taking the right wing alongside Elias Lindholm and Huberdeau, Kadri’s accompanying PTO wing pairs made for the best trio of the day.

The versatile Eakin no doubt serves as a placeholder for Andrew Mangyapan, who is skiing alone while recovering from a disc of some sort earlier in the summer.

He puts Milan in the driver’s seat to fill the gap in the top nine that is clearly a short player in the management’s eyes.

“I spoke to (head coach Daryl Sutter) the day before I got here (Sunday) and they seemed so happy I came, they told me there was a place open and I had to get it,” said the 26-year-old who turned “The Dishigan” famously last year with Trevor Zegras, en route to scoring 14 goals and 34 points in 66 games for the Anaheim Duck.

“I had a good season last year. I was definitely hoping for a contract, but it is what it is and I am definitely excited for the opportunity. If I do my best and play my game, I think I will be good.”

After a strong start last year, Milan managed to score only three goals in their last 27 matches, leading to a surprising parting with the Ducks.

Although it was difficult to accept the PTO’s offer, he chose Calgary because of the opportunity that might make him play alongside the best players.

“I’m with Kadri, who’s had a hell of a year, and Eakins, who’s also a veteran, so it’s a good place,” he said.

“I think I have a lot to prove. I thought I deserved the contract after last season. So I just have to prove that I can do it again.”

Insisting that he first wants to rate those in camp, GM Brad Trilleving has not denied that he remains open to the possibility of adding another winger if Milan isn’t the answer.

“In all honesty, this top nine position is still kind of a work in progress for us,” Trilleving admitted, largely speaking of the right-side position in the second line.

“I want to deal with what we have here, but you always sniff. I don’t think anyone finished tinkering.”

“This camp is really important for deciding where it works for everyone.”

As he joked, “Maybe we put all of our streaks together on a napkin — and it usually lasts about 10 minutes. You don’t know where the chemistry is going to come from.”

Jacob Pelletier may be people’s pick for breakout, but when asked if he expects the AHL star to do something special, Sutter said, “No.”

“I think we have players who can play on both sides, so we’re lucky with Blake (Coleman), Mangs, Dobbs (Dillon Dobby), Cody. It’s not ‘who’, it’s more like ‘how?’

Sutter won the Stanley Cup with Toffoli, and he has long been praised for how natural a goalscorer he is, making him the favorite to use his right-footed shot at the top line with an ace like Huberdeau.

When asked about the different skill sets between him and the man who would replace him, Matthew Tkachuk, Sutter was rude.

“One of the guys won the Stanley Cup and was a big part of the long playoff rounds,” he said.

Michael Backlund, Dobby and Coleman formed a third streak full of familiarity.

At the back end, the plan is clear: MacKenzie and Jealous will play on his side with Chris Tanev as the club’s closed pair.

“Weegar can play big minutes,” Sutter said of the rookie defender who is close to signing an extension with the team.

“Tani can handle his shoulder…

Last year, Tanev helped turn Oliver Killington into a top-four defender.

Killington isn’t in the mix currently in the camp as he’s dealing with a personal issue, leaving Nikita Zadorov and Nicholas Milosz as the third pair.

Received by Florida’s never-before-seen media mob type, Huberdeau said he’s already making other modifications to his new environment, including selling his Tesla and Lamborghini.

“It was a little chilly,” he said of the convertible, one of “three or four” cars owned by the man who signed an $85 million extension with Flames this summer.

“I’m selling everything. Starting over.”

“I’ve already got a pickup truck. That’s off the list. Then I’m not sure. If you put a convertible with snow tires, maybe that could work.”

Modifications on the fly – a camp story for these bonfires.


Ekin Kadri Milano

Coleman Backlund Dobby

Lucik Ronnie Ritchie

Pospisil Rosica Luis

Tanev is jealous

Hanifen Anderson

Zadorov Milosz

Sampling – stone

*Mangyapan is out due to injury and Killington is out for personal reasons.