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It’s Calgary Flames day on PHT

Aug 14, 2013, 9:00 AM EST

markgiordanogetty Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Calgary Flames.

One way or another, 2013 was set up to be a crossroads season for the Calgary Flames. They had already missed out on the playoffs in their three previous seasons, but had spent years resisting calls to embrace a rebuilding process by trading captain Jarome Iginla or star goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff before they moved out of their prime.

By the time the 2013 season started, the cornerstones of their franchise were in the mid-30s and with Iginla’s contract set to expire, the Flames needed to prove that they could take a significant step forward with their current roster. They didn’t. Instead, with the possibility of losing Iginla as an unrestricted free agent hanging over their heads, the Flames moved Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester in the days leading up to the trade deadline.

They might have dealt Kiprusoff too, but he struggled mightily during the 2013 campaign and despite some reported interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs, he ended up staying with the Calgary.

On April 23, with his team’s playoff chances long since vanished, Kiprusoff allowed four goals on 32 shots in a meaningless game against the Nashville Predators. That might be the way it all ends for him. With a season still left on his contract, the man whose career took off in 2003-04 when he led the Calgary Flames within one win of the Stanley Cup is heavily leaning towards retirement.

Offseason recap

With the team now focused on rebuilding, Calgary resisted the urge to make a big splash during the free agent frenzy. Instead, Calgary re-signed forwards Mikael Backlund and Brian McGrattan as well as defenseman T.J. Brodie.

They also had Pittsburgh and St. Louis’ first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft thanks to the Iginla and Bouwmeester trades respectively. With those picks, along with their own, they drafted Canadian forwards Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier, and Morgan Klimchuk.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Here’s hoping the Flames can struggle back to mediocrity, watching their half-decade long slide from decent to awful was such a fantastic combination of comical and gratifying – but any decent rivalry needs an actual on-ice rivalry, so here’s hoping they can pull things together enough to pose a threat every now and then once again.

    Right now it’s not even fun watching them lose games and key players, and as much as I may hate to admit it at other times Calgary fans deserve better.

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      (I think Canucks and Flames fans alike can all agree though, that the Edmonton Oilers and their fans are the worst.)

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      You’ll probably disagree with me, but as a Flames fan I’m looking at the Canucks right now and watching them basically do what the Flames did, bad GM giving out bad contracts (Gillis and Sutter) depleted farm system, older core that seems to have maxed out but the owners and management think they can keep riding, and a tough cap situation. The Flames took forever to realize this and finally start making corrections, we’ll see if the Canucks wise up earlier.

      • davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        You’re right, I do disagree. I think the Canucks have much further to fall, and I think they have already started shoring up their organizational depth – obviously if they lose both Sedins it will be a major blow (as it would be for any team to lose 2/3 of their top line) but I don’t think it’s imminent and hopefully within a few years the team should have more than just a handful of young players in the lineup like they do now.

        But it’s Calgary Flames day here on PHT, let’s not get too distracted by the Canucks situation at this point. ;)

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        I don’t think the Canucks are at the point where they wont make the playoffs, but I do agree that they’ve passed their peak. Much like 03-04 was the zenith of the Flames core, 10-11 was the same point for the Canucks. Of course that Vancouver team had far more talent than the 03-04 Flames so they have farther to fall. Still there are similarities… a declining core, a controversial GM who can’t seem to make the right moves anymore, a star (stars in Vancouver’s case) past his prime, and an aging goaltender who has seen better days. At this point, to me, the Flames have a brighter future, if only bc they’ve rebuilt their prospect base. I mean I’d take Baertschi, Reinhart, Gaudreau, Monohan, Gillies, Knight, and Klimchuck over Horvat, Shinkaruk, Gaunce, Jensen, and Corrado anyday. The Canucks just aren’t the annual President’s Trophy contender they once were. They’ve moves back to the middle of the pack. And as their core continues to age, the decline will become more and more noticeable.

    • kaptaanamerica - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      As a life long Canucks fan and British Columbian, i prefer to see the Canucks play the California teams. I don’t miss the flames rivalry at all.I hate the California teams and prefer to keep those rivalries on the front burner.they make for better road trips and are easier to get to and watch games… besides they are also west coast Pacific time zone teams (San Jose isn’t i know, but close enough).

      • blomfeld - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:17 AM

        “they are also west coast Pacific time zone teams … San Jose isn’t I know, but close enough? …

        and to think that I’ve wasted ordinance firing back at someone like you ? :(

        suffice it to say that I’ll be having a meeting with my ‘target assessment’ officers here on USS Blomfeld first thing in the morning ! … no two ways about it …

      • kaptaanamerica - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        Yeah, San Jose isn’t on the coast.if you’ve ever traveled there you’d know that.look at a map.

  2. stinkpretty1 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Where’s cammaleri going? This team is looking for a Connor McDavid. Gonna be a rough couple of years for the Flames.

    #Oilers2.0

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      The Oilers will be in cap hell in 3 years and rebuilding again in 4, hopefully we’re not the Oilers 2.0!

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        I can’t believe a team with so much young talent (and conversely, lacking established NHL talent) would be so close to the Cap already. They’re spending like the Flyers and Leafs and they might be considered a longshot for the playoffs by some experts. Even moving Horcoff’s albatross deal didn’t seem to help. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    There is one good consequence of their current state of affairs – having the Flames and Avs in the same division will help the Hawks on their road to a 2nd straight Presidents award;)

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      The Flames aren’t in the same division as the Hawks.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        LOL -= huge error. Thanks for being gracious and not saying something like “You totally clueless wonder…”.

        Now if only PHT had a cancel post option like Yahoo does.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        Oh no, no erasies for us. We gotta sleep in the bed we make. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a comment all written up and then deleted once I’ve realized what a dingus I’d look like. Like that Mike Train fella said, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

  4. stefet - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Cap hell in 3 years? That’s why they’re signing their guys now… Ie eberle and hall and soon to be nuge…to avoid that hell that you speak of.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      They’re already pretty close to the Cap and they have Nuge, Yakupov, and Schultz playing for peanuts. It’s not an ideal situation… although the Cap will go up and Hemsky will leave.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      The reason I think they’ll be in cap hell in 3 years is because they built the team unevenly, they drafted too many small skilled forwards and didn’t address forwards with size, defense (they do have some in the pipeline now) and goaltending (at all!) soon enough. Add to that the second contracts are just piling ontop of each other rather than being spread out, if I’m not mistaken Schultz and The Nooooog will both be RFA’s next year while Yakupov will be going into the last year of his rookie deal, if the Oilers give them all the same contracts that they gave Eberle and Hall then they’re just going to run out of cap room before they can actually complete the rebuild and have a serious cup run.

      The one thing the Oilers do have going for them IMO is that I think they’ve hired an excellent coach, Dallas Eakins had a stifling defense in the AHL while still producing a high scoring team, and he did an excellent job of producing young talent in the Leafs organization, that will help them along the way, it’s just a matter of if the team can get there quick enough before they have to start removing players from the core.

  5. blomfeld - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Happy Calgary Flames Day … and may God speed

    With all kidding aside, in my life I’ve always felt tremendous empathy for ‘that’ which has been forsaken … be it a plant, an animal, a person or an NHL team. In fact, that’s the reason why I became an LA Kings fan way back in 1973, as they were an ‘awful’ team at the time and yet I sympathized with their plight. With these Flames of today, I can say that I know two things for an absolute fact:

    1) back in the 80’s, the Calgary Flames were an NHL powerhouse and a treat to watch !

    2) 99.9% of all Canadian prairie folk are ‘quality’ humans, just like American prairie folk

    I wish the Calgary Flames well and my message to them is to ‘hang in there’ as they say, stay the course and be true … God is watching over you and therefore your trials and tribulations will surely soon come to and end … take care friends … Blomfeld

    • stinkpretty1 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      Im a prairie boy, but cheer for another team with a C for the logo.

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