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Every season, garbage bag day is a hallowed occasion for media types to hang around in a hallway all day and get morsels of truth from hockey players who haven’t really discussed their injury or free agent statuses openly over the preceding season. In a COVID-19 world, it’s a virtual garbage bag day instead, with Zoom replacing a hallway.

Here are the most newsworthy things to come out of Monday’s chats with the media.

Talbot added that he would like to start more than he did in 2019-20. The team rode David Rittich in the first half of the season, with Talbot starting just 22 times over the 70 regular season games the Flames played. Talbot confirmed that Brad Treliving did reach out to him during the COVID-19 pause to discuss bringing him back, but they didn’t get down to hashing out a contract.

Via Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, Johnny Gaudreau expressed his fondness for Calgary, referring to it as a second home and pushing back a bit on speculation that it’s fait accomplit that he’ll head east when his current contract is done.

If you’re a skeptical type, it’s true that it’s unlikely that Gaudreau would bury the Flames and the city on a media Zoom call moderated by Flames PR. But he’s also been extremely consistent with this stance dating back to his draft selection in 2011: Gaudreau was extremely excited that the Flames took a chance on him, extremely flattered that they pressed so hard to sign him and, aside from the contract stalemate between Treliving and agent Lewis Gross several summers ago, by all accounts his relationship with Flames management has been unicorns and sunshine for the past decade.

In other words? A large contingent of the Flames fanbase freaked out about hotshot college prospect Gaudreau not wanting to sign a deal in Western Canada. But he did that. Twice. So don’t resign yourselves to the notion that the Flames necessarily need to punt on him for asset management purposes.

Gaudreau has two seasons remaining on his current deal. The final season includes a no-trade clause where Gaudreau specifies five teams he’d be willing to go to. Despite his fairly blah (by his standards) regular season, he’s a year removed from a 99 point effort.

For those of you keeping track, it sounds like Sam Bennett would like to stay at centre going forward. That would mean for next season the Flames have Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Bennett and Derek Ryan up the middle, and would seemingly mean any new faces from the farm – looking at you Glenn Gawdin and Matthew Phillips – would begin their NHL gigs playing on the flanks rather than up the middle.