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yave1964

Flames offseason outlook

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Offseason outlook for the Calgary Flames

 

FINAL RECORD 2017-18 37-35-10 84 points 11 points out of a playoff spot

 

  The Flames were optimistic   going into the season, Mike Smith came over from Arizona to replace Elliot Michael Stone was resigned and Hamonic came aboard giving the Flames a deep uber talented defense. Hopes were high.

  It didn't work out. Smith couldn't stay on the ice and although he had some nice stretches he really didn't do much, Hamonic was a non factor as was Stone, nothing quite worked. The playoffs were always just out of reach before they faded very badly late.

 

TOP PROSPECTS: Here is the problem, they have raided the OHL and AHL and have youth such as Tkachuk, Bennett, Jankowski and Gillies all laid claim to jobs already without much NHL ready down at the farm. Rasmus Andersson may compete for a bottom pair defense job but there isn't much else ready. Tyler Parsons is a legit goalie prospect, a couple of years from now. Juuso Valimaki is probably another year or so away. In fact the Flames have a thread bare pipeline with little ready to provide relief to the current team. Spencer Foo, some consider him a prospect, some don't. He might crack a third line winger spot. 

 

FREE AGENTS

A bunch of boring vets none of whom are likely to resign, Versteeg, Stajan, Chris Stewart and Tanner Glass will all be part of the mid July scramble for a camp invite and quickly forgotten in Calgary. Move along, nothing to see here.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS:

 

DID WE OVERRATE THE CALGARY DEFENSE? Probably a bit. Dougie Hamilton and Giordano are absolute studs Brodie had a torrid couple of months a few years ago but hasn't really followed it up. Still a very good defense but not elite.

 

 HOW DID BILL PETERS LAND ON HIS FEET SO QUICKLY? The Flames quietly fired Glen Gulutzan after another late season fade (his specialty) and replaced him with Peters when he was let go by the Hurricanes. Peters got the job because he is well respected as a coach who knows how to mold young players, kids such as Tkachuk, Jankowski, Bennett and Foo will all be asked to find another gear under Peters. Frankly I think it is a perfect landing spot.

 

 MONAHAN AND GAUDREAU ARE STUDS, CAN ANY OF THE OTHER FORWARDS FINALLY REACH THEIR POTENTIAL? I have never been a fan of Bennett he takes too many chances and gets caught out of position way too often but he has untapped offense, Tkachuk can play and should continue to improve, same with several of the kid forwards.

 

WILL THEY MAKE A BIG MOVE? Hamilton is being whispered about for some damn reason, I can see it kind of, the team has defense depth and the rop prospect (Julimaki) is a puck moving blueliner, Hamilton at his age has the most trade value and may notch a top six scorer. I wouldn't do it personally but I can see the logic.

 

WHAT TO DO WITH MIKE SMITH? He was decent bordering on good last year, he is just injury prone and old. Keep him for his final year of his deal with Gillies as his primary backup getting Parsons valuable experience at Stockton. The next year let Parsons and Gillies handle the duties and let him walk. 

 

CAN THEY COMPETE? For a cup? No. Not enough there there, if you know what I mean. For a playoff spot, sure. A month to go in the season they were right there.I see them as a stand pat organization, reshuffle the aging vets, Versteeg, Stajan and Stewart out, another group of interchangeable ones will take their place. Peters is a better coach, a coach is worth what, 3-5 points a year so they should barring injuries be right there fighting for a bottom playoff spot. 

 

 

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The Flames shipped Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and the rights to Harvard hotshot Adam Fox to Carolina for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm earlier this summer and now they've signed Hanifin to a 6 year deal with a 4.95M AAV.  (modified NTC in 5 and 6th years)  The trade allows the Flames to move Giordano back to the right side and pair with Brodie where he had played his best hockey a few years ago.  Hanifin is expected to play on the 2nd line with Travis Harmonic giving them a very good top two lines.

 

I think they got younger and faster with the move this summer.  It will be interesting to see if they have Lindholm playing alongside Gaudreau and Monahan.

 

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      The Flames shipped Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and the rights to Harvard hotshot Adam Fox to Carolina for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm earlier this summer and now they've signed Hanifin to a 6 year deal with a 4.95M AAV.  (modified NTC in 5 and 6th years)  The trade allows the Flames to move Giordano back to the right side and pair with Brodie where he had played his best hockey a few years ago.  Hanifin is expected to play on the 2nd line with Travis Harmonic giving them a very good top two lines.   I think they got younger and faster with the move this summer.  It will be interesting to see if they have Lindholm playing alongside Gaudreau and Monahan.  

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