The NHL is 31 days away from the beginning of the 2017/18 season. Over the next 31 days we’ll dive into the 31 NHL teams in alphabetical order, take a look at their previous standings and upcoming season predictions, as well as their key additions and subtractions. Yesterday we looked at the Buffalo Sabres. Today we take our first trip into Western Canada and look at the Calgary Flames.
2016/17 record: 45-33-4
2017 prediction: Wildcard team
The Calgary Flames are looking to put themselves back in a playoff spot after getting eliminated by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2017 playoffs. In the offseason, the Flames added former Islander Travis Hamonic which put the Flames on the map as one of the strongest D corps in the NHL. Flames fans might not recognise their team between the pipes this as the Flames went through a total goalie change, trading Chad Johnson to Arizona for Mike Smith. They also let Brian Elliott walk to free agency. To replace Elliott, they brought in Eddie Lack.
If the Flames want to repeat success and try to make a run in the playoffs, they will need help from Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan to grab one of the available playoff spots and try to escape the first round of the playoffs since 2014. Another key addition for the Flames is Spencer Foo, the 23-year-old college free agent who signed with the Flames on June 27th this year. Foo, who should make the team this year will help out Sam Bennett who has been struggling to improve his game.
It’s no doubt the Flames still have their work cut out for them, but with an improved defence and a new goalie corps, the Flames can show the Pacific division they are no joke.
Do you think the Flames will burn brightly this season? Or will fans’ hopes be extinguished as their team’s chances fizzle out. Comment below or join in the conversation on twitter.